Monday, 11 April 2016

On leucism and a murder mystery

The past couple of weeks have provided some interesting bits and pieces with the leucistic Hebrew Character pictured above probably the most noteworthy. The moth was trapped overnight on the 30th March and apparently completely lacked any black pigmentation. Hebrew Character is a moth which exhibits many variants however I was unable to find any reference to one quite like this in my limited literature. A Red Kite over the garden on the 1st was followed by another over the A27 near Firle on the 6th, and reminded me that I had forgotten to mention the garden highlight of the year in my last post which was a flock of Pink-feet calling over the garden on the night of the 25th while I was checking the moth trap!
On the bird front things have been ticking along quite nicely. The last wintering duck are still holding on with the best being 2 Pintail and 20 Shoveler on the 1st, and 13 Gadwall on the 10th's WEBS count. The Wheatear pictured above was in the field at the end of White Dyke, which is now my traditional first Wheatear of the year field, on the 2nd when there were also 2 Golden Plover on Down, and 4 Shelduck. Levels highlight though was the return of the Yellow Wags with 2 on Down Level on the 10th.
On a more disturbing note the picture above was taken on the early morning of the 10th. I would not usually publish an image like this but it is the fourth dead Mute Swan that I have encountered in the past three weeks. All the others had been fully predated with only feathers, head, and wings remaining however this bird was still predominantly whole. From what I have managed to glean these are most likely fox kills however four in such a relatively short time would appear unusual...