Monday, 3 August 2009

Portuguese Man of War

There was a ringing session at Colyford Common this morning, but I couldn't make it today due to ' free taxi service duties'. Instead I went to Branscombe Beach, on a bit of a whim really, coz normally I wouldn't go anywhere near the place in August. I figured that the fresh southerly wind would keep all but the most determined holidaymakers away and I was right.There were only about half a dozen cars in the car park when I arrived. On getting out of the car a woman rushed up to me and exclaimed " There's a very poisonous jellyfish on the beach, and it's alive!" My first thought was ' What's the fact that it's alive got to do with anything, it's not like it's going to crawl up the beach and go on the rampage around Branscombe!' What I actually said was, " Is it a Portuguese Man of War?" She said it was and I said " Great! Whereabouts?" She looked at me as though I was mad, but gave me directions. I sensibly resisted the urge to say that a Portuguese Man of War isn't actually a Jellyfish, but a Siphonophore, because nobody likes a smart arse! ;-)

Anyway I'd never seen one before so was thrilled to see this one ( and give it a little investigatory poke) even though it had inevitably lost most of the length from its tentacles. It was quite a large one, the float being five or six inches across. I'm not sure if any have been seen this far east before?

A Stranded Sailor.
I'd love to see one in the water, probably not while I'm swimming though.

The moth trap was on at Bun's again last night and although it had to be brought in early due to heavy rain, the catch was very good, with 80 moths of 26 species. Four new for garden species included this unidentified one, which is probably one of those large micros, because I can't find it in any book.

Small Brown One
(It was about 13-15 mm long, the leaf in the photo is huge)

The other new for garden species were these three:

Scorched Carpet

A pretty moth with a not so pretty name, The Blood Vein.

One that nearly got away.
A tatty male Four Spotted Footman, who did a disappearing act as soon as we opened the holding box this morning, fortunately Bun relocated him on the curtains late this afternoon.

Dingy Skipper,
I haven't seen one of these for a while, this one was at Branscombe this morning.

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