Monthly Archives: July 2017

Baby blackbird caught in a thunderstorm – must have been terrified so sought shelter underneath a car.

The heavy rain meant Ernie the racing pigeon left us after more than two weeks – even though he had firmly decided that he was free to wander into our kitchen whenever he wanted.


Nice little Ruby Tiger in the moth trap this morning. Only the second one we have caught in the garden. Close inspection shows rich red colouring on the thorax and subtle crimson on the rear wings.
Also a Dusky Sallow, which took at least half an hour to identify!

The UK Little Owl Project Blog might be a bit of a mouthful but it’s worth a look.

Their main page allows you to log sightings of Little Owls and we’ve just seen one – for the first time in ages – sitting/sunbathing in the middle of the lane coming north out of Brailes. Naturally it took flight as the car approached. We have seen them much nearer Kineton in the past, but not for many years.

There’s now a new red blob on the map near Brailes.


Ernie the pet racing pigeon has settled in nicely… and now wanders into the kitchen when the door is open. Likes to be hand fed and in four days has so far only made two short flights – up onto the roof and back. Maybe he is fattening himself up before a long haul flight to France or Belgium?

(Not sure why he’s called Ernie – I wasn’t here when he arrived)

This dumpy moth is called The Drinker – not strong cider or a craft beer, but simply the dew that gathers on long strands of grass in ditches and below hedgebanks. And it’s the caterpillar, not the moth, that sups it up – on a still night it’s gentle chomping can actually be heard. The caterpillar is large, hairy and carries some bright colours amidst its dark fur. Haven’t seen one for quite a while (the last one was near Nottingham Hill this side of Cheltenham) and this is the first moth in the trap for a two or three years. I always think it looks a bit like a hedgehog.

Patches of oak trees are good places to spot Purple Hairstreak butterflies at the moment – saw one yesterday with wings closed but perfect views of its delicate patterning. Binoculars were helpful!

Also went out looking for White-letter Hairstreaks by the scraggy elms on the Ettington by-pass. No luck though.