Wednesday, 8 August 2012

8th of August: The very hungry caterpillar

The weather has been mostly fair over the last few days with a south westerly wind and some extremely sunny periods. The wind, although very light, changed today to north and then east north east. Things seem calm and relaxed as we watch our young birds fledge and learn to fend for themselves. Twelve Little Tern chicks, a juvenile Arctic Tern and two Ringed Plover chicks were seen at the Watch House this evening and the Sandwich Tern chicks are fishing quite proficiently by themselves all around the Point.

Some migrants have been passing through. Waders are on the move at this time of year and flocks of Oystercatchers have been moving west. The harbour is filling up with Whimbrel, Grey Plover and Turnstone.
Turnstone (Joe Cockram)

Yesterday saw Nightingale, Pied Flycatcher, Stonechat and Whinchat, three Yellow Wagtails, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Wheatear, Cuckoo, Hobby and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Yellow-legged Gull (Joe Cockram)

Today the Cuckoo, Hobby and Wheatear were seen again, as well as two more Yellow Wagtails and a Sand Martin. Short-eared Owls sightings continue to be frequent in the dunes, two distinctive birds are easily identifiable by their different stages of moult. Marsh Harrier sightings have been less frequent, however four juvenile Marsh Harriers and a female were seen together a week ago, presumably the juveniles had all fledged from the same nest on the mainland and headed out to the point together.

In the garden, behind the Lifeboat House, Linnets rattle the dried Lupin seed pods as they fly from the bushes. Amongst the Brambles we found several Emperor Moth caterpillars. Emperor Moths are one of the largest species of moth in the UK, therefore it is no surprise that their caterpillars are also large and very hungry.
Emperor Moth caterpillar in the garden (Bee Bueche)

- Eddie

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