Thursday, 17 July 2014

T's And P's Again....

....with other birds noted, and a smart looking caterpillar seen.

The pair of Common Tern were still present on Conder Pool on Tuesday and are certainly breeding if not pretending to. The male was feeding the female fish and she was making tidy the nest she sits on. Two Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank, a Little Grebe, and 2 Little Egret were also on the pool, whilst at least 10 Common Sandpiper were in the creeks, and 3 Reed Bunting and a Grey Wagtail were upstream from the A588 road bridge.

At Cockersands, the pair of Ringed Plover and three chicks were all still on Plover Scar at high tide with around 14 days to fledging if luck prevails. Also of note on a wander, excellent views of a Sedge Warbler, with a Reed Bunting, a Whitethroat was accompanied by two juvenile, 4 Snipe in the ditch where I've seen a single bird on three previous visits, and a 'few' Sand Martin hawking over the harvest fields. 

The Caterpillar. 

The Vapourer Caterpillar. Pete Woodruff.

As I walked down the drive at home on Tuesday I spotted a caterpillar on the Lady of Shallot Rose about which KT was not best pleased. 

It was The Vapourer Orgyia antiqua which has a steel grey hairy body with red spots, four creamy 'shaving brushes' and assorted hairy horns, all of which make it an easily recognisable caterpillar. It's food plant is almost any deciduous tree or shrub, it is common in many urban areas where it is often seen as a pest....I think it's a brilliant little creature pest or not.

The Vapourer. Ian Kimber. 

The male Vapourer is a Tussock Moth of the family Lymantriidae, the adults of which have no proboscis, they don't feed, and are therefore granted only a short life. Only the male Vapourer has functional wings and flies mainly by day, the females wings are reduced to nothing more than minute flaps, and she rarely moves from her cocoon after emergence and usually lays her eggs on the cocoon itself. 

Thanks to Ian Kimber at UK Moths for the image of the male Vapourer moth.


Richard Pegler said...

We get Vapourer caterpillars every year in our front garden, I think that they're fabulous - just don't try to pick one up or you'll regret it! Best regards - Richard

Juan Garcia Espinosa said...

Waoo, precious pictures, and interesting contribution jeje
A hug from Spain (My new blog: hope you like it;))