Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hawk moths and globby dobbins

 Hello once more from guest blogger Steve Downes, reporter for the Eastern Daily Press and North Norfolk News and writer-in-residence at Blakeney Point. One of the delights of life on the Point has been the elemental skies, which are constantly changing. How people could ever tire of it, I don't know. As I pompously tell my children, only boring people get bored.
 If you study the next photo very carefully, you should be able to spot me. I am wearing a camouflage hat, and I am almost impossible to pick out as I move from dune to dune during my second solo Gap Watch. Unfortunately, people were equally difficult to spot, as the two hours passed without any encounters with human life. Next time, I will take with me the seed pod of a yellow horned poppy, so that I can count the estimated 65,000 seeds inside to pass the time.
 Wednesday evening's moth trap was a great success, with plenty of splendid specimens caught - along with thousands of flies. Some say moths are the dull cousins of butterflies, but I challenge them to look at the elephant hawk moth above, plus the many other evocatively named and subtly marked insects that we caught - including the small fan-footed wave, shore wainscot and archer's dart. At dusk, we set them free - or tried to. The privet hawk moth (below) did not seem keen to seize its freedom, and loped about lazily for a while.
Finally for now, I bring you a list of Norfolk names for local birds. The list does not include the wibbly piggy or the globby dobbin, both of which were made up by the wardens as they made fun of their guest.
Pied wagtail - nanny dishwasher
Ringed plover - stone runner
Redshank - tewk
Avocet - shoehorn
Lapwing - peewit
Swift - devlin screamer
Bittern - bog bumper.

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