Saturday, 27 June 2015

Six-spot Burnets emerge on Chapel Green, Rocklands

The most favourable day for insects so far this year: a mostly sunny morning, with temperatures pulling above 22°C by midday. Over the last weeks or so, Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae caterpillars have been leaving off feeding on the Bird's Foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus to climb up the stems of taller grasses to pupate. Today there were several caterpillars, three pupae and the first adult of the year.

The Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra has just come into flower and, in addition to the burnets, there were single of several species of butterfly: Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola, Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Small Tortoishell Aglais urticae.

Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus

After seven spikes in 2014, the Bee Orchids are absent this year. However, a Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii - a new species for the green - compensates.

Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Neotropical Birding 16 is being distrbuted

Our Spring issue is a little tardy this year to match the lateness of the season...

Welcome to issue 16 of Neotropical Birding! 

We're straight into the thick of it in this issue with Alex Lees' regular Splits, lumps and shuffles column, which once again trawls the murky depths of Neotropical systematics and taxonomy. This issue includes a sobering image of two recently-described and likely extinct Brazilian furnariids. How many taxa are we losing before we have time to catalogue them?

Fortunately, our Globally Threatened Bird, the Endangered Speckle-chested Piculet Picumnus steindachneri looks set to escape their fate and may turn out to be more widespread than previously suspected. Woodpecker nut Gerard Gorman has photographs.

Our first Identification Workshop focusses on at-sea Identification of Black and Markham’s Storm Petrels. The latter is a Data Deficient species, the conservation status of which is confounded by identification challenges. Its true status is only just becoming clear and happily it may turn out to be of minor conservation concern. Steve Howell is our guide, and provides our cover photo of the coveted Markham’s Storm Petrel. A very different identification pitfall is the result of pollen staining, as illustrated by mysterious Euphonias in French Guiana.

The LSU team that achieved last year's Peru Big Day record provide a blow-by-blow account of what it is like to be Birding at the Cutting Edge.

Our compilation of recent published and unpublished records, Neotropical Notebook, is collated for the last time by Guy Kirwan. His team of collaborators are Dušan Brinkhuizen, Diego Calderón, Bradley Davis and Jeremy Minns.

NBC continues to raise money to finance projects that conserve Neotropical Birds. Jez Bird tells us about this year's award winners and the continuing benefits of projects financed in the past in NBC Conservation Awards Update. Your contribution to NBC helps Award recipients give something back to the Neotropical birds we all enjoy.

We round off the issue with a Book Review of one of the most exciting bird books of the past year: the first volume of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.

Happy Neotropical birding!

Christopher J. Sharpe, Senior Editor

Neotropical Birding 16: contents

Sharpe, C. J. (2015) Welcome to issue 16 of Neotropical Birding. Neotrop. Birding 16: 2.

Lees, A. C. (2015) Splits, lumps and shuffles. Neotrop. Birding 16: 4–15. [resume of recent publications on taxonomy and systematics concerning multiple taxa] E-mail: alexanderlees at btopenworld dot com

Gorman, G. & Sharpe, C. J. (2015) Speckle-chested Piculet Picumnus steindachneri. Neotrop. Birding 16: 18–21. E-mail: gerard at probirder dot com

Howell, S. N. G. (2015) Identification of Black and Markham’s Storm Petrels off Peru. Neotrop. Birding 16: 22–26. [Halocyptena (= Oceanodroma) melania, Oceanodroma markhami].

Deville, T., Pelletier, V., Claessens, O. & Ingels, J. (2015) Euphonias using pollen make-up: an identification pitfall. Neotrop. Birding 16: 27–31. [Euphonia minuta, Leiothlypis peregrina] E-mail: tanguy.deville at gmail dot com

Seeholzer, G., Harvey, M., Lane, D. & Angulo, F. (2015) LSU Peru Big Day 2014. Neotrop. Birding 16: 33–42. [specialities of Alto Mayo region, NE Peru] E-mail: seeholzer.glenn at gmail dot com

Kirwan, G. M., Brinkhuizen, D., Calderón, D., Davis, B. & Minns, J. (2015) Neotropical Notebook: published and unpublished records. Neotrop. Birding 16: 43–62. [resume of recent records concerning multiple taxa] E-mail: gmkirwan at aol dot com

Bird, J. (2015) NBC Conservation Awards update. Neotrop. Birding 16: 63–67. [Amazona
vinacea, A. oratrix
] E-mail: jezbird at gmail dot com

Sharpe, C. J. (2015) Book review: HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated
Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1. Neotrop. Birding 16: 68–69. E-mail: neotropical.birding at neotropicalbirdclub dot org html PDF



Sunday, 7 June 2015

Norfolk moths: Rockland St. Peter garden, 6 June 2015

After a relatively warm (18°C) and intermittently sunny day, completely clear skies all night, with temperatures of 13.0°C when I turned on the MV light at 21h45 and 9.7°C when I turned it off at 04h00. A light ESE air. Waning gibbous moon.

It took me half an hour to record the catch. A May Highflyer had settled just below the light, while a Privet Hawk-moth was resting on cut branches alongside the trap.

Macro-moths (23 moths of 12 spp.):-

Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 2
Hydriomena impluviata May Highflyer 1
Sphinx ligustri Privet Hawk-moth 1
Calliteara pudibunda Pale Tussock 1
Spilosoma lubricipeda White Ermine 3
Agrotis exclamationis Heart and Dart 5
Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Discestra trifolii Nutmeg 1
Rusina ferruginea Brown Rustic 1
Oligia strigilis agg. Marbled Minor agg. 1
Charanyca trigrammica Treble Lines 5
Diachrysia chrysitis Burnished Brass 1