Saturday, 19 October 2013

Kingfishers, Wrens and Moths

 HUGE excitement here this morning. I heard an unusual bird call while I was sorting out the washing upstairs. Glancing towards the window I saw Mr Robin sitting in the willow tree staring at me. He sang a beautiful song, gave me another hard look and flew off. Intrigued, I went to the window and glancing down at the fence where he was sitting nearly fell over because beside him there was a Kingfisher!

Now I have seen these amazing birds only once before in the seven years we have been here. That time it was the fastest briefest flash of electric blue as it whizzed across the lake, but this morning he was in full view, gliding off the fence and sweeping up into a tree before gliding out and down again towards the lake.

I was in seventh heaven I can tell you. A Kingfisher's blue is unlike anything else in nature, and I had such a great vantage point I saw body, face, wings, beak and all.
And as if that wasn't enough, ten minutes later he was back in the garden and I was at the window at exactly the right time to witness him fly across the patio and back out to the lake once more.

What a treat. It is very nearly as exciting as when I saw the Hummingbird Hawk Moth earlier this summer (do you remember? It resulted in me chair dancing and singing all the way to collect L from school. Denise was bemused as to why a moth should stir up so much excitement whereas mothy friends were not).

And as if that wasn't enough, an hour or two later I was seated at the kitchen table working on the computer with the back door open, and who should hop up the step and into the room but Mistress Wren (and that's not an archaic name we have for our neighbours in case you were wondering, it really was a jenny wren).
I heard Teddy stir in his basket and suggested she might want to hop back out onto the patio, at which point she took off and flew into the window. But wrens (like Robins) are intelligent little people and I knew if I just sat still and quiet she would sort herself out, work out where the door was and get out, which is exactly what she did. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE wrens, for me they are my Granny's birds and always remind me of her.

So, nature has been extremely kind to me today and I am feeling rather blessed.

 Onto the mothy people....

The trap was out on Thursday night. Despite the 12 degree temps we didn't get all that many moths- 20 or so individuals and only one new species, the aptly named (and slightly early if truth be told) November moth, which follows on nicely from my Autumnal moth of a few days before.

There were a couple I was surprised to see in the box because they've been absent for a couple of months and I'd assumed they'd had their day. Most notable of these was a Bordered Beauty (another aptly named moth), sightings of which are rare in Hampshire at this time of year. This (only slightly) made up for the continuing absence of a moth I am desperate to get, and one which has already visited the Oxfordshire garden of my excellent mothing and blogging chum Martin. This is, of course, the Merveille du Jour, a truly stunning-looking moth (for a piccy see this post of Martin's).
All summer long moths have been appearing in Martin's garden and duly coming down here a few days later, so I live in hope of an MDJ turning up in the next week or two.

In the mean time here are a selection of Thursday night's mothy people for you to enjoy...

Blood Vein

Bordered Beauty


Cypress Carpet


Green Brindled Crescent


November Moth


Pink Barred Sallow (love these little moths)


And I know I've shown you the Red Green Carpet before, but it's such a stunning moth with those amazing green streaks I couldn't leave it off
Hope you're all enjoying the weekend?

CT :-)

22 comments:

  1. Kingfisher, wow. Don't think I've ever seen one..

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    1. An unforgettable moment. The colour is truly amazing.

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  2. Hello there and many thanks for the link. I hope the MdJ duly turns up - sure it will.

    What a treat, your kingfisher. As you say, there is nothing like them. We once saw seven on the Ure at Newby Hall (or possibly the same one seven times) and it made for an unforgettable afternoon.

    Penny and I are currently reading John Buchan's memoir Memory Hold the Door and also a book of posthumous tributes by his wife and friends, and it includes accounts of seeing hoopoes on Otmoor - very near here - and golden orioles at Elsfield, also just up the road, where the Buchans lived in the manor house. One of his friends was very sceotical about the latter sighting and always greeted the Buchans by saying: "An how is your golden oriole?" I've seen them in France and, like the kingfisher, it is an unforgettable experience.

    all best

    M

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    1. I've just googled golden orioles, what stunning looking birds.

      The Kingfisher flew in a very different way to other birds, a sort of soft glide with open wings that displayed his blue back perfectly. A real treat :-)

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  3. I have only seen a kingfisher twice and it was wonderful so I can appreciate your excitement, what a treat!
    Sarah x

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  4. HI CT What a wonderfully special moment for you, in fact really 2 moments in 1 day. I am sure you were nearly beside yourself. Great moths shots as usual.

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    1. I've had a smile on my face ever since. Nature always finds a way to lift your spirits doesn't it? :-)

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  5. Wow!! What a great garden "tick". I would have been beside myself for days if we were ever lucky enough to have a kingfisher in the garden :) A very special sighting indeed!

    Great moth photos too - Still no Merveille du Jour here either :( and rain forecast overnight for days :( Have had a couple of year ticks in the moth trap over last few weeks though :)

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    1. I know- I'm still pinching myself.

      Martin's sighting of the MDJ has given me renewed hope that they are about, so we may still get lucky :-)

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  6. Now, a kingfisher I CAN get excited about. Never seen one in real life myself, but I do like seeing them on the telly, especially on wildliferogrammes where some nutty presenter hides by a river and whispers, 'I mustn't move a muscle or I shall put off the kingfishers,' and 6 hours later, they are still there, soggy wet and frozen to the spot and a kingfisher family is dancing about before them.

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    1. Such is the commitment of the dedicated wildlife enthusiast....

      Much more comfortable if you can persuade them to sit on your garden fence under your bedroom window.... :-)

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  7. How wonderful for you CT! I have only seen them flash by, never sat perched. Such beautiful birds. I love wrens too - very sweet, but bold too! I hope the MDJ turns up for you soon, but a lovely selection of moths still coming to your garden. The bordered beauty really is a beauty!!

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    1. I know - I shouldn't really complain about the lack of an MDJ, the others are all lovely too :-)

      And the Kingfisher was breath-taking x

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  8. Always happy to see a Red Green Carpet - they're absolutely beautiful. I've only ever seen a Kingfisher three times but have never forgotten any of them. You lucky thing. x

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    1. Those sorts of things do stay with you don't they? We are so lucky to be able to see them in the wild- it was magical and something I will never forget x

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  9. I am very envious of your Kingfisher. I was only thinking the other week I hadn't see one for ages and googled local wildlife websites for recent sightings in my area. But to see one in your garden - fantastic!
    I love Wrens, too - such a pure, beautiful song in a tiny bird.
    I don't think I'll ever tire of looking at the Red Green Carpet moth.

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    1. I was bowled over the last time I saw one and then it was the briefest flash, so see him/ her in the garden so clearly was the most exciting thing :-)
      I so love wrens, there's just something about them. And the colours on the red green carpet moth really are incredible close up. There are plenty of them around at the moment so if you go out at night with a torch you may see one. They aren't that big and sometimes rest with wings folded upwards.

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  10. How wonderful to have a Kingfisher in your garden. I would have been leaping about for joy with Hubby looking at me not understanding! I checked out Martins Moths and wow what a moth the Merveille du Jour is. The Blood Vein is beautiful and looks like it has been folded out of vintage paper.

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    1. Ah, the Kingfisher made my day (as did the wren). The MDJ is an astonishingly pretty moth. I really hope we see one! And that is a fantastic description you've come up with for the blood vein- love it! :-)

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  11. A Kingfisher in your garden, what a treat indeed ! You are getting much better moths than me at the moment (the last time I had the trap out I got less than 10 in total) and that Bordered Beauty at this time of year is superb :-)

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    1. No trap out at the moment here David- dreadful weather forecast for the next few days. My chance of an MDJ is slipping with every day that passes :-( Still not giving up though :-)
      On the plus side, I have recently made contact with our local moth recording person and am hopefully meeting up with him at the weekend.
      Kingfisher- yes, still grinning like mad over it!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x