Early August traditionally sees birds both arriving and passing through Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire as migration continues. This Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus on D reservoir one of the increasing number starting to appear. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos and Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus are just some of the waders moving through in small numbers, whilst gulls are starting to become more evident – especially Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus graellsii drifting south, occasionally dropping onto the reservoirs briefly before continuing their movements – short vis mig periods (when time has allowed) have picked up double-figure counts over the opening two weekends of the month. For recent bird news, check out the official Tophill Low NR website
Small numbers of Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa are still on the wing around the site, as Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta totals are slowly increasing. Presumably the latter species is made up of individuals that emerged locally and the bigger numbers will come later in the month. Twelve species can still be seen on the wing, though Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, still flying on August 9th, are proving harder to find as they reach the end of their flight season.
Red Underwing Catocala nupta appeared on the wing on a typical date taking the year list to 361 species. August has continued to prove productive trapping wise with the second Dusky Sallow Eremobia ochroleuca of the year recorded on the 8th, while both Bulrush Wainscot Nonagria typhae and Twin-spotted Wainscot Archanara geminipuncta are starting to appear in small numbers.
Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria is a species which has proved elusive in recent years at Tophill Low NR. 2013 saw three individuals attracted to light at the tail end of the species’ flight period, so this one trapped on August 8th may suggest numbers are starting to increase.
Moths rare and scarce in Tophill trapping history have also been taken at light. A Pine Hawk-moth Hyloicus pinastri trapped on August 1st was the second site record, an Ear Moth agg. Amphipoea oculea agg. trapped on the 8th was the first trapped since 1998, while Pebble Hook-tip Drepana falcataria on the 2nd and 9th were the fifth and sixth records since 2004 and first since 2008.