Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Day 10 - Dull & Boring - hardly!

Hi All.

Large Yellow Underwing Caterpillar
(Noctua pronuba)
First an update. Back on day 3 I posted this image of a big caterpillar that I found on our allotment. I was finding it hard to identify but I found a very helpful website -Wildlife Insight - and Steve there helped me out. Our little friend it seems is most likely a large yellow underwing.

Turns out they're quite common but the caterpillars vary in colour a lot and can fade as they get ready to overwinter. The moths have a wingspan of 5-6cm so they're pretty big compared to most moths I see. Found these sites with more pics and info of the moths and caterpillars.

Wildlife Trusts - large yellow underwing
UK Moths - large yellow underwing

Ok. Now to today's subject. I caught this little fella on our bird table this morning. It was quite early and dark so sorry if it's a bit blurry.

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

 This is a Dunnock. They look a little like a sparrow and I often get the two mixed up. They aren't the most colourful of birds but have finer features than the sparrow. Now, you might think this is not a very exciting bird but you'd be wrong. This species has travelled a long way from its original home because it is from the Himalayas. They also have interesting and complex social and breeding behaviours which are well explained at the websites linked below. Partly this behaviour seems to involve females having more than one partner to ensure a good food supply for their chicks. Here's a few links I found:

BBC Nature - Dunnock
RSPB - Dunnock
BTO - Dunnock

So this little brown bird leads an interesting life.