We can't help but think that autumn is just around the corner as, despite the fact that it's still pretty quiet at the moment, a few birds are starting to move away from their breeding grounds. Yesterday we saw a small passage of Swifts, as well as an Arctic Skua, two Sandwich Terns and another Arctic Tern, whilst today a few Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs had arrived. Although there has been a distinct lack of rarities and scarcities (this month last year saw White-throated Sparrow and Greenish Warbler) it's nice to have a bit more diversity on the morning census!
An adult Arctic Skua headed past the South End this morning and kept spirits high that something good may be lurking around the corner... (c) Richard Brown
...there wasn't, but we probably take these fantastic birds for granted! The West Coast Chough have fledged three chicks that were colour ringed at the beginning of the month. The juveniles already show the black glossy plumage of the adults but their yellowish bills, paler legs and clumsy flight easily sets them apart. (c) Richard Brown
The Puss Moth Caterpillars have all pupated now, and have each made a fantastically disguised chrysalis adorned with chewed up bits of bark and wood. There are seven in total on this chunk of dead wood. (c) Richard Brown
Close-ups of the pupae show just how camouflaged these little critters are. They will now over-winter in this state, emerging as adult Puss Moths in May 2012. (c) Richard Brown