Archive for September 28th, 2005

28th September 2005, Wednesday

Wormwood pug larvae

The picture below shows a nearly full-grown caterpillar of a wormwood pug moth, Eupithecia absinthiata among ragwort flowers. The current purge of ragwort must be having a serious effect on this and many other invertebrates that use the plant. At least the wormwood pug has alternative foodplants (such as wormwood and mugwort).
It is interesting how the pattern on the caterpillar resembles the dark markings around the ragwort bud, providing a very efficient camouflage, though this won’t help much if its foodplant is pulled up and burnt.
Wormwood pug larva

28th September 2005, Wednesday

Pett Level

With the passing of the Equinox, the overhead rush of Meadow Pipits and Siskins has diminished, but they are now joined by Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Pied Wagtails. This morning, there were 3 Tree Sparrows moving along Wickham Cliff, but whether these were passing through or locally returning birds is hard to say. Of course, Woodpigeons are always going over.
There are still plenty of Chiffchaffs, and in our garden a wandering Nuthatch has been calling.
Along the canal, a couple each of Stonechat, Kingfisher & Cetti’s Warbler.
Raptors were Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Hobby & Merlin (speeding through a tight ball of Starlings over the Pools.
A true signifier of the turning season is the arrival of Brent Geese: my first was on the 24th.