Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Clancy's Rustic - Moth Gold!

I've finally struck a little bit of moth gold in the form of Clancy's Rustic!

Just to give you a bit of background Clancy's Rustic was first discovered in the UK in 2002 at Dungeness, Kent by Mr Sean Clancy and the vernacular name Clancy's Rustic was thus created. Since then and like a lot of continental moths its range has very slowly started to creep further north and is now annually recorded in small numbers along the south coast and through Kent but records for Essex (VC17/18) have remained very scarce, so much so that there has only a been handful of previous records (13) and these were generally coastal - That was until I discovered this beauty in the moth trap this morning!

A quick email to the Essex moth recorder and bingo my suspicions were confirmed and the 14th record for Essex and the furthest West (inland) were in the bag.

And to add to this little episode...I remember meeting Sean Clancy on a couple of occasions whilst staying at the Ob's at Dungeness as a spotty teenager in the late 1980's and I would stand and wonder (open mouthed at times) as Sean and a small band of Lepidopterist followers would empty the moth trap, quickly identifying an array of largely bland, brown and grey moths - And now, all these years later I'm the one identifying these bland, brown and grey moths and one just happened to be Clancy's Rustic.

Macro Moth, VC18
Clancy's Rustic - Woodford Green 9th September 2020
14th Record for Essex




Saturday, 5 September 2020

Birding In the Shadow of Canary Wharf

I don't say it very often but today was a really good day birding the patch, from the moment I stepped onto the Flats at first light and picked up Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher on Alexandra Lake until I left at midday, Wanstead was alive with passage migrants.

It's always hard to be 100% accurate with numbers as you're often repeatedly seeing the same birds just in slightly different areas but to briefly summarise I would suggest there were 4+ Common Redstart, 5 Northern Wheatear, 4 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat a sprinkling of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff and let's not forget a bonus calling Greenshank - all this just a stones throw away from Canary Wharf!

Not bad for a urban East London patch that does occasionally still surprise me - the only thing missing was that marque sighting which would have been the cherry on today's cake...oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Canary Wharf, London
Common Redstart with Canary Wharf in background
Wanstead, London
Canary Wharf - Same photo just a different focus and subject!