6 Jul 2015

Hummingbird Hawk Moth on Hilbre & a Gull-billed tern

The weekend started off amazingly well with a Gull-billed Tern being found at Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB. Unfortunately I didn't get the message until 7 pm but managed to get across from N Wales to the reserve just before it closed to catch up with this Cheshire (and national rarity) 5 minutes before it flew never to be seen again!

For the last couple of weeks Hummingbird Hawkmoths have been regularly seen coming to the Valerian on top of the cliffs on the east side of Hilbre. As Saturday was forecast sunny but breezy I took the opportunity to go across to the obs to do some maintenance work and try and see one of these amazing moths. Unfortunately the stiff breeze meant they didn't show as well as on previous occasions and it was hard getting a good shot with the 500 mm lens.

As well as the Hummer I also found a pair of mating Buff-tips on the Obs fence and numerous migratory Silver Y moths were flying around. Another Buff-tip was found on the Obs balcony.

They're amazing looking moths and cryptically camouflaged to look like birch twigs although they also closely resemble a discarded cigarette end!

Its just as well there were plenty of invertebrates to keep me occupied as birds were scarce with only the resident Linnets and Meadow Pipits being obvious.

I also managed to find a Linnets nest with two beautifully marked eggs.
All in all a very pleasant day with plenty of work done and some interesting sightings.

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