Thu 13/05/17

Pebble Hook-tip moth Drepana falcataria
Pebble Hook-tip moth Drepana falcataria

We took a trip out to Northward Hill nature Reserve in Cliffe in company with the Birkbeck Ecology and Conservation Studies Society today. Didn’t see (or hear) any nightingales of course, but there was a pretty persistent cuckoo in the distance, (which we saw briefly as it flew in a low trajectory in the distance). We also briefly heard the bubbling call of a female cuckoo at one point too, which fortunately the experts on the walk were able to identify – it’s pretty unusual to hear that apparently. I spotted a small moth fluttering nearby and our son caught it in mid-flight – here it is on his hand. I recognised it as a hook-tip moth (duh), but it turned out to be a pebble hook-tip as it happens.

It only remains for me to document the bird life – some ponds in the distance were infested with waders that I am reliably informed by those with good binoculars to be black-tailed godwits; whitethroat song abounded everywhere – again, I am told that we heard lesser whitethroat as well. Other calls included the aforementioned male and female cuckoos and one short burst of cetti’s warbler. Near to the car park is a bird feeder with a screen through which common garden birds could be seen, as shown here – chaffinches, goldfinches, a greenfinch, a great tit and some dunnocks.

A swan rises gracefully over a backdrop of black-winged stilts
A swan rises gracefully over a backdrop of black-winged stilts

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