Ticking over

The final Saturday of July turned up a good variety of species at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire.

The highlight was a hoverfly we rarely encounter on site. Helophilus trivittatus was only recorded twice prior to 2012. However, Doug Fairweather found the third a week ago, and this weekend we found the fourth, which in cool conditions, allowed for a few photographs.

The lights overnight attracted almost 80 species of moth. The biggest species haul of the year so far, but only 350 individuals in total.

Two new species added to the list – Caloptilia rufipennella and Blastodacna hellerella pictured below.

The second Dioryctria abietella was trapped, the only previous record being in 1994.

Birding wise, 4 Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus and a single Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos has become the norm for counts during autumn migration over recent years. However, a flock of 7 full-summer Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa circled the marshes before flying south, suggesting birds still look in!

A bright afternoon encouraged a few dragonflies onto the wing with 11 species encountered. Good diversity, but numbers remaining low.

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