I tried to enthuse German with moths. But he kept showing me photos of a Sphinx Moth on his ipod, which rather shut me up. Local moths have been rather quiet, unfortunately. August Thorn and more White-points have been about the best.


James Lowen 

The Butterfly Conservation stand at Rutland kept me entertained with its accumulation of moth catches from Dorset, Rutland and mid-Wales. They included a number of species new to me, although according to the devilish Martin Fowlie, I am not allowed to even think about ticking any of them. Which is a shame, as their number included Small Mottled Willow, Ni Moth, Convulvous Hawkmoth, Palpita vitrialis, Four-spotted Footman, September Thorn and Magpie.  No photos, I'm afraid, as they were inside a plastic box - and the aesthetics deterred me. No such quandary with the first-summer male Red-footed Falcon near Spalding, however. It was a hidden for all but a couple of minutes of the only hour we could afford, but that was just about enough...


27 Aug 2015  Redfoot before Rutland

Every August now seems to be dominated by the British Birdwatching Fair. I help out friends from Argentina, give lectures (this year about Antarctic Wildlife) and explore wildlife-work opportunities. It's hard work - but rewarding. This year, I achieved a personal best in lecture turnout: 176 people crammed into lecture marquee 1 during my talk. I'll have some of that. My friend and I managed a couple of short pre-Birdfair excursions. The first was to north Norfolk. We started really well at Holt Country Park, seeing two Adder, a dozen Silver-washed Fritillaries (including my first valezina variant) and White Admiral. The day then went rapidly downhill, with nothing at all on Kelling Heath and no all-day-breakfast-bar in Blakeney Harbour. We ended really badly by failing to see the previously tarty Icterine Warbler at Burnham Overy Dunes.