Welcome to my world..............

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A cracking night at Brimham

I arrived at Brimham Rocks, a millstone grit oasis of moorland just west of Harrogate, about 2100 to have a walk round to look for suitably sheltered spot out of the cool breeze.  I eventually decided on the top end of the upper carpark, although it certainly did not feel that it was going to be too successful.  I should not have worried, as about midnight I had a Lunar Thorn on the sheet, which was only my third ever, second Yorkshire the previous being also at Brimham.  An hour or so later, I had a couple more which made me concerned I was making a tremendous blunder, but no I was certain of their ID on the limited material I had on me, clearly showing the deeply scalloped trailing edge to the wing, and proper wing pattern.  The night ended with six of the little beauties, with two potted and the rest placed on the parking meter and took a snap with the phone in poor light.
Four Lunar Thorns

A better shot a Lunar Thorn, Brimham Rocks

In addition, of the 228 moths of 41 species, Ancylis myrtillana was a new moth for me, and 17 Glaucous Shears were good to see.  Several micros still defy identification, but will keep trying!
Ancylis myrtillana

Foxglove Pug

Glaucous Shears

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The fantastic weather continues.

Days like these make you happy to be alive, with the trees and fields looking at their peak under cloudless skies.  Thursday night saw a visit to the east end of Sessay Wood, and had similar numbers to two days previous.  The highlight was a small tortrix which I am sure is Pammene obscurana, specimen retained and which I sent to HEB to gen.det. it (too small for me to have a go!).  Harry confirms it as a female obscurana, and there have been about four previous records in Yorkshire, including another of mine nearby at Pilmoor.  Also of note was an Epinotia demarniana (I have had these regularly in this area), and four Orange Footman.
Pammene obscurana (gen. det.)
This photo taken through plastic cover so moth could not escape before confirmation, hence not as sharp as one would like.

Last night was spent at Staveley NR, the first time I have trapped there at this time of the year.  It started off a beautiful calm evening, but after midnight the temperature dropped, and a cool easterly wind picked up making it feel rather chilly.  On checking the traps after just over 3 hours they were bereft of any numbers so decided to call it a day.  Little of note trapped, although Eyed Hawk-moth always good to see, and ten Rustic Shoulder-knot were my first for the site, as was a late Powdered Quaker.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

What a difference a few days makes...

Having been out trapping only for a few hours since the last batch of half decent weather at the end of March, I have been out for the last two nights in the Pilmoor area.  Tuesday night was a harsh reminder of why I don't enjoy trapping at Pilmoor in early summer, being eaten alive by the Noseeums, which have obviously benefited from the monsoon that was April.....  Still, putting that to one side, I caught 116 of 35 species, including several notables: a first for VC62 a Lobesia reliquana, a 6th County record of Ancylis laetana, a new 10k square record for Seraphim and the 12th VC62 record of Orange Footman, of which 8 of the previous records are mine.

Last night was spent nearby at Low Wood, Sessay, where the trapping was nearly as good but no sign of the dreaded biting bugs.  With about a 100 moths of 30 species, with notables including a new one for me, Epinotia subocellana, a couple of scarce Monopis weaverella, and a couple more Orange Footman to add to the list.  Perhaps the most interesting event of the night was the noise of munching coming from a big old oak, and at least 30 larvae that descended from the tree on to the sheet, which by the end of the night was covered in larval droppings that pattered down like raindrops.  I would expect the larva to be of Green Oak Tortrix, but am not as yet convinced.

Lobesia reliquana

Ancylis laetana


Monopis weaverella

Larvae sp, yet to be identified. 
Epinotia subocellana

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Getting fed up now.....

For one who does not have the luxury of a garden bigger than a garden bench surrounded by street lighting, the lack of reasonable weather to get me out trapping overnight is completely depressing.  If it had not been for the huge amount of text to enter onto Yorkshire Moths, I think I would have been tearing my hair out by now.

Having said all that, it is great to have many summer migrant birds in, the pick being a Blue-headed Wagtail at Allerton tip, a silent Cuckoo flying over at Minskip on Friday, then yesterday at Nosterfield NR a pair of superb summer-plumage Black-necked Grebes and a Knot.  An hour today spent walking round some pools near Whixley looking for a new trapping site, found several Orange-tip butterflies, and an Anthophila fabriciana or Nettle-tap as it is sometimes known (on checking Yorkshire Moths, a new 10km square record).  A site with with good potential.

Let us hope that the weather improves in the next week or two....

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

End of April round-up

What a dreary month, with nothing but rain, and when it wasn't raining it was windy or cold.  The only mothing attempt was on Saturday 28th April when rather than an attempt to catch loads of moths was more of an effort to avoid 16 teenagers having a 'party' at the house.  Fearing the worst and avoiding the loud music (?) I set up a light at Sessay Wood.  Just the 5 moths, so hardly a success, but did avoid the havoc going on at home.

Very few migrants around, a few Swallows, and Chiffs and Willows, but to be honest, I have spent most of the days avoiding the weather and working on the Yorkshire Moths website.  It is coming on a treat, and am getting a good amount of positive feedback.  The photo resource now stands at 1782 photos, representing 1071 species, and although most are of adults, there are 22 larva and 72 leaf mines, cases and webs.

Another couple of weeks work to get all of the accounts in, and will then need to look at the next project.....Dorset?