My Little Place of Calm, a Bold Little Grebe and a Few Garden Moths

Hi all!

For those of you that read my last post I mentioned I that I am joining the reserve volunteer team at London Wetland Centre – turns out there was some confusion and I actually start this Friday not last! So I will have to contain my eagerness for a another few days. Particularly excited to read that this morning a Bittern has been sighted at the reserve, which will no doubt be a frequent occurrence over the colder months!

In this post I wanted to share a few photos from one of my favourite places; Kempton Nature Reserve. And share a few recent moths from my home-made garden trap.

I’ve taken to visiting this beautiful area of wetland in the evenings which has allowed me to see it, quite literally, in a whole new light.

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Sunset at Kempton Nature Reserve

I mean who could not feel at peace with this sort of view? Bliss.

And Friday night I was joined by this little guy.

Littel Grebe at Kempton NR

Little Grebe at Kempton NR

This Little Grebe came right up in front of the hide and I had the most enjoyable time watching him dive, following the air bubbles and guessing where he was going to pop up next, and what he may have caught. They are always a delight!

I say ‘he’ but honestly I don’t know if this is a male or a female – can any one tell?

This encounter has spurred me to see if I can get my decent camera fixed! Going to find a local camera shop tomorrow.

Yesterday evening I saw a few Wigeon that were sat on the bank preening themselves; they seemed to still be moulting their eclipse plumage which you could see evidence of from the surrounding feathers.

I also came across this Knot Grass caterpillar having it’s dinner.

SAM_3699

Knot Grass Caterpillar

And this neat Fly Agaric fungus.

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric

How fairytale-esque!

Now on to the moths.

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic Xestia xanthographa – the one on the right was one that I caught last week and the one of the left a couple of weeks before that. After reading this great post I learnt that there can be huge variation within this species, as you can see with these two individuals. This caused me a bit of confusion!

Another moth that shows a wide range of variation in forewing colour and pattern is the Lesser Yellow Underwing Noctua comes.

SAM_3844

Lesser Yellow Underwing

Not making identifying these guys easy for me! But that’s all part of the fun 😉

I’ve also been getting lots of these little micros and have developed a bit of a soft spot for them.

Tachystola acroxantha

Tachystola acroxantha

They don’t have a common name and I can never remember the latin, Tachystola acroxantha, so I’ve taken to calling them ‘flame bottom’…… Can you see why? 😉

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