Monday 29 July 2019

An influx of migrants

On the day that our new leader and his Home Secretary announce that they are are going to strengthen our immigration laws a tidal-wave of migrants from Africa arrived, via Europe, onto our shores overnight.

Even Boris can't stop these migrants however - painted lady butterflies - millions of them.

Painted Lady Butterfly
A typical scene this morning
In a short walk at Druridge this morning we counted over 250 of them. Other observers counted similar numbers up and down the coast. This is the third and most impressive arrival of painted lady butterflies this summer. What's also amazing is that we witnessed a mass movement of the same species over Athens in April - thousands passing through the city centre.

Today was a good day for butterflies at Druridge with at least eleven species noted.

small skipper
a beautiful 'blue' female Common Blue
Migrant moths were also noticeable with diamond back moths, silver Y's and a yet-to-be-identified moth all over the dunes and grasslands.

Diamond back moth
There were hundreds of these in the dunes this evening...
Whilst we were photographing some of the hoverflies a couple of visitors showed us a photo of a hummingbird hawkmoth they had just photographed and we soon relocated it - a patch first for me and only my third in Northumberland.

Hummingbird hawkmoth - new for the patch
Some hoverflies from today
Rhingia campestris - sometimes known as the 'Heineken hoverfly'
Pellucid hoverfly - Volucella pellucens
 Female Syrphus sp. possibly ribesii
female Platycheirus sp
male Eristalis sp. possibly E. tenax

Most of this stuff still needs identifying...

One of the 'picture-winged flies'
Crabro cribarius  - female
Tenthrado sp
Orthops campestris
Spider - underside
Same spider from above
Grasshopper Sp
Back to Birds...
Wader numbers were much-reduced from what they were on Friday. Today there were two wood sandpipers, one common sand, five black-tailed godwits, two ruff and greenshank of note. On Friday there were 10 common sand, one wood sand, one green sand, one little ringed plover, 27 black-tailed godwit, four knot, ten snipe, two ruff, whimbrel and a the first returning golden plover of the autumn.

We had hoped to try to ring some storm petrels tonight but the sea was still boiling after recent northerlies, loud enough to drown-out or speaker for sure. We did go and check the volume out though and had ten Med gulls in the beach roost including a juvenile.