Showing posts from October, 2023


This autumn has, so far, been underwhelming on the birding front. Sky-watching has failed to produce any notable movements, with thrush and finch numbers very low. My combing of the local fields and hedgerows has uncovered a lack - even a silence - of avian presence. It is, it must be said, depressing. What exacerbates this dearth of birdlife is that social media reveals that, elsewhere in the country, there are birders filling their boots with large numbers, variety and rarity. At times like this I am reminded that 'comparison is the thief of joy', so it is best to try not evaluate your own, albeit small successes, against what is going on elsewhere - there lies disillusionment, disappointment and madness. It is also a truism that such successes elsewhere are often localised, and increasingly only happening when weather conditions are ideal, which does not happen all that often. So, my local birding experience is not going to be anything other than a regular diet of mediocrity

Wonder of the day (and night)

Merveille du Jour is an uncommon enough species of moth which enables it to retain a certain aura. Not quite annual here in Banstead, anytime I record it is a joyful thing. No further words needed, just enjoy this mint green humbug of a moth...

Moth people

With so little to blog about as far as birds are concerned, and with my botanical hat seemingly put away for the rest of the year, it falls upon the lepidoptera to once more provide the subject matter for this latest post. Last time up it was all about my early mothing memories, but what I neglected to mention was the part that people played in nurturing and encouraging my interest. This will put that right. First up is Sean Clancy. As my last post mentioned, it was his actinic trap set up in the moat at Dungeness that was the spark that set alight my early interest in moths. Sean was a little younger than me, and was somebody that I had first met birdwatching at Beddington SF (when he was just 13 years old) in the company of a school-teacher of his, one Barry Banson (of more later). Sean's regular appearances at Dungeness often coincided with mine, and we soon became good friends, taking birding trips together. I knew of his interest in moths, and although I had had my own moments