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

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

What a fantastic night...

With the forecast looking great, I thought I would give Staveley Nature Reserve a whirl, having sought the necessary permissions.  A super site, although a bit of a trek with all the equipment.  Having set up two traps in the wood, and the MVB over the sheet in the open area, I settled down to savour the last rays of sunlight on a beautiful warm and still evening.
Dawn at Staveley
It turned out to be a busy night with about 1000 moths of just over 100 species, including several new micros for me.  A pick of the best photos follows:
Epiblema foenella
female Ghost
Eyed Hawk-moth and Elephant Hawk-moth
A pyralid which was new for me was Phlyctaenia perlucidalis of which I caught four, but as a moth was only first discovered in the UK in the Huntingdon fens in 1957.  It is still a scarce species with a mainly south-eastern distribution, but does occur in very small numbers in Yorkshire.
1380 Phlyctaenia perlucidalis

  Coleophora species (Coleophora sp.)  6
0014  Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli)  3
0016  Gold Swift (Hepialus hecta)  3
0161  Leopard Moth (Zeuzera pyrina)  1
0937  Agapeta hamana  82
0946  Aethes rubigana  2
0970  Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana)  2
0977  Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (Archips podana)  1
1063  Celypha striana  17
1076  Celypha lacunana  16
1083  Marbled Orchard Tortrix (Hedya nubiferana)  1
1175  Bramble Shoot Moth (Epiblema uddmanniana)  6
1183  Epiblema foenella  1
1197  Eucosma campoliliana  1
1201  Eucosma cana  9
1219  Lathronympha strigana  1
1290  Chilo phragmitella  1
1293  Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)  235
1301  Crambus lathoniellus  2
1334  Scoparia ambigualis  13
1336  Eudonia pallida  3
1345  Brown China-mark (Elophila nymphaeata)  14
1354  Small China-mark (Cataclysta lemnata)  2
1376  Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata)  5
1380  Phlyctaenia perlucidalis  4
1392  Udea olivalis  1
1405  Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)  2
1428  Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella)  2
1458  Thistle Ermine (Myelois circumvoluta)  4
1640  Drinker (Euthrix potatoria)  10
1653  Buff Arches (Habrosyne pyritoides)  2
1654  Figure of Eighty (Tethea ocularis)  1
1669  Common Emerald (Hemithea aestivaria)  2
1682  Blood-vein (Timandra comae)  2
1702  Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata)  1
1708  Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata)  2
1713  Riband Wave [non-banded form] (Idaea aversata ab. remutata)  6
1726  Large Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe quadrifasiata)  2
1727  Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)  2
1757  Spinach (Eulithis mellinata)  1
1758  Barred Straw (Eulithis pyraliata)  8
1765  Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata)  1
1776  Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria)  14
1777  July Highflyer (Hydriomena furcata)  23
1825  Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata)  1
1860  Green Pug (Pasiphila rectangulata)  3
1862  Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)  1
1887  Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)  3
1904  Scorched Wing (Plagodis dolabraria)  1
1906  Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)  2
1922  Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)  4
1931  Peppered Moth (Biston betularia)  3
1941  Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata)  6
1947x  Engrailed/Small Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata/crepuscularia)  1
1955  Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria)  1
1956  Common Wave (Cabera exanthemata)  1
1961  Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata)  6
1980  Eyed Hawk-moth (Smerinthus ocellata)  1
1981  Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi)  9
1991  Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor)  9
1992  Small Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus)  1
1994  Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)  5
2008  Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina)  1
2028  Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda)  1
2030  Yellow-tail (Euproctis similis)  1
2050  Common Footman (Eilema lurideola)  8
2060  White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda)  1
2061  Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)  1
2064  Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa)  2
2069  Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae)  6
2077  Short-cloaked Moth (Nola cucullatella)  2
2089  Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis)  47
2098  Flame (Axylia putris)  21
2102  Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)  6
2107  Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)  3
2120  Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica)  1
2122  Purple Clay (Diarsia brunnea)  1
2126  Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum)  1
2128  Double Square-spot (Xestia triangulum)  50
2134  Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa)  17
2155  Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae)  1
2160  Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea)  5
2173  Lychnis (Hadena bicruris)  2
2193  Clay (Mythimna ferrago)  5
2198  Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura)  34
2205  Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Mythimna comma)  1
2305  Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara)  1
2314  Dingy Shears (Parastichtis ypsillon)  8
2322  Light Arches (Apamea lithoxylaea)  7
2330  Dusky Brocade (Apamea remissa)  4
2337x  Marbled Minor agg. (Oligia strigilis agg.)  6
2340  Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula)  22
2381  Uncertain (Hoplodrina alsines)  35
2382  Rustic (Hoplodrina blanda)  19
2410  Marbled White Spot (Protodeltote pygarga)  1
2434  Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)  4
2442  Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)  6
2450  Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita)  2
2474  Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis)  23
2477  Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)  5
2489  Fan-foot (Zanclognatha tarsipennalis)  4

Saturday, 18 June 2011


In addition to my interest in natural history, I have always been fascinated by maps.  I have spent hours pouring over OS Explorer maps, and with the fantastic Google Map resource, you can zoom in and identify good areas of habitat, and potential trapping sites.  Being fairly new to Yorkshire, it took some time to find good sites close to home, and was spurred on by the maps in the Yorkshire lepidoptera reports which initially just identified those squares with less than 100 species, and more recently gave the total of both micro and macro moths for each square.   In 2009, I focused on the three 10km squares running up the west end of the North Yorkshire moors (SE47,48 and 49), which was rewarded with good records of Devon Carpet (new to Yorkshire), and Red-necked Footman (first for over 100 years).  In 2010, three more squares targeted, one near Hovingham, and two on the norther side of the NY moors, two were increased to well over 100 and the third just snook in at 99 species.  This year, nine squares identified as needing some recording effort, which unfortunately are some distance from home, so will have to be extremely good weather to make the effort worthwhile.
...I'm just trying to figure out how to attach a map....

Friday, 17 June 2011

Another 10km square bites the dust...

Following the theme to target under-recorded 10km squares, especially those with less than 100 species, it was the turn of Scarth Nick wood in NZ40 on the northern edge of the North York Moors.  Unfortunately it was cool and rather breezy, and with only 48 moths of 21 species, but probably all the species were new for the 10km square.  A quick check shows the number of species for the square is now 112.  On top of all that, as an added bonus, a Grey Scalloped Bar was a new moth for me.
Grey Scalloped Bar
0018  Map-winged Swift (Hepialus fusconebulosa)  2
0970  Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana)  1
1451  Pyla fusca  1
1722  Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)  1
1727  Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)  7
1776  Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria)  2
1873  Welsh Wave (Venusia cambrica)  1
1954  Bordered White (Bupalus piniaria)  1
1969  Grey Scalloped Bar (Dyscia fagaria)  1
2008  Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina)  1
2061  Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)  8
2098  Flame (Axylia putris)  1
2102  Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)  1
2107  Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)  1
2118  True Lover's Knot (Lycophotia porphyrea)  2
2120  Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica)  6
2122  Purple Clay (Diarsia brunnea)  1
2138  Green Arches (Anaplectoides prasina)  1
2163  Broom Moth (Melanchra pisi)  2
2302  Brown Rustic (Rusina ferruginea)  6
2442  Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)  1

+ 2 pug sp not counted in total
Welsh Wave

Thursday, 16 June 2011

..followed by a good night in the woods

Following the visit a couple of days ago to Low Wood and Sessay Wood, Pilmoor, the warm humid night of Tuesday was too good to miss, and I spent the night with 3 traps split between the two woods.  The total numbers were only 262, but 66 species, including a good crop of micros.  As with all micro hauls, I took loads of photos to assist in identification, some of which have only just been resolved, including several new ones.
Tischeria ekebladella

Blastobasis adustella

Aleimma loeflingiana

Ancylis laetana
All of the above are micros, which by definition means small.....none are more than 1cm long, and the first one is no more than 5 or 6mm in length!
Oh, and the highlight of the early hours of Wednesday was hearing a Cuckoo, a bird that I just had not heard so far this year, something I had only commented on the previous evening, following an item on Springwatch.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A cracking walk in the woods

Although I have been to Pilmoor Wood quite a few times already this year, the nearby Low Wood is equally as interesting but this is the first visit there this year.  There has been a bit of clearance since the last visit, but many mature trees of oak, ash, beech and especially birch remained.  Plenty of bracken in its first flushes, and a walk with the net through the wood produced a few interesting insects.  Strangely, even at 17 degrees, although a little breezy, not one butterfly was seen at all.  In addition to a couple of the colourful long-horn moths Nemophora degeerella, there was this attractive beetle, and a micro-moth later identified as Epinotia demarniana, probably only the third VC62 record, all of them mine, and all in the same vicinity, and confirmed by Charlie from the photos.
Leptura maculata

Epinotia demarniana
Having sussed out a handful of good trapping sites, I noticed a moth on the windscreen, which I photographed, and eventually had it identified as Cydia fagiglandana by Charlie, ironically I could not match it to the pic on UK Moths, which just happened to be his photo!  A look at others sites, confirmed this identification was correct.  Another new one for me, so thanks again Charlie!
Cydia fagiglandana
Spending so much time scouring the vegetation looking for micros, and being fooled on numerous occasions, I  feel I should invest in the companion volume by Whifton and Cleeler, on the Moth-like Bird-droppings of the British Isles.....

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Birch Mocha - the first one

Following the one earlier in the week at Pilmoor, I looked up the photo of the one I had at the same site in 2009, and was surprised at the brightness of the colours in comparison.  For no other reason than interest, I add the photograph.
Birch Mocha

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

See the light

A cool  night at Pilmoor, the old railtrack running through the birch woods east of Boroughbridge.  Still, it kept the biting midges at bay, but the most significant insect of the night was two glowing female Glow-worms among the long grass.  
female Glow-worm
These were the first I had seen for some years, and on checking the internet found the details of the Glow-worm recording site, and duly submitted my record.  I had a response this morning suggesting it was a significant record, the nearest  previous record being at Strensall Common in 2005.  The site can be found on www.glowworms.org.uk   
Glow-worm distribution from NBN 
Of course, the main purpose of the visit was to trap moths, and numbers were kept low by the cool temperatures but did include only my second Birch Mocha.
Birch Mocha
Also, trapped was the rather beautiful pied Apotomis turbidana, another of those bird-dropping type moths, but at least gave an opportunity to test out the Clifton and Wheeler guide.
Apotomis turbidana
0970  Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana)  4
1092  Apotomis turbidana  1
1334  Scoparia ambigualis  31
1392  Udea olivalis  1
1648  Pebble Hook-tip (Drepana falcataria)  1
1677  Birch Mocha (Cyclophora albipunctata)  1
1727  Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)  9
1764  Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata)  1
1776  Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria)  11
1887  Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)  1
1906  Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)  2
1947x  Engrailed/Small Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata/crepuscularia)  2
1961  Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata)  2
1994  Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)  1
2006  Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma)  2
2007  Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula)  1
2008  Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina)  1
2011  Pale Prominent (Pterostoma palpina)  1
2040  Four-dotted Footman (Cybosia mesomella)  2
2060  White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda)  1
2061  Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)  6
2089  Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis)  3
2102  Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)  3
2128  Double Square-spot (Xestia triangulum)  1
2199  Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens)  1
2302  Brown Rustic (Rusina ferruginea)  4
2305  Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara)  1
2326  Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata)  1
2337x  Marbled Minor agg. (Oligia strigilis agg.)  1
2340  Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula)  1
2450  Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita)  1

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

One of my favourate plants

Had a great walk around the Staveley YWT reserve this afternoon, dodging the showers on what seems to be a typical summer day these days.  You stand a chance with dark grey clouds, but I am amazed how some seemingly innocuous clouds manage to disgorge so much rain when one is so far from cover.....
Still, never mind when you see such beauties as this Bee Orchid, one of three in flower seen, and managed a handful of shots before the battery expired....just one of those days.
Bee Orchid, Staveley YWT NR

Monday, 6 June 2011

I was only there yesterday...!

Within 90 minutes of the release of the news of the White-throated Robin, I was on my way to Hartlepool, only having been there Sunday on a casual day out.....not the most impressive of places I admit.  I had commented, that it had attracted a few birds in the past, and some of the other place-names in the area were famous sites that had featured numerous times in rare bird reports.
So, we were fortunate to get there early with only a few birders present, but there were some that still insisted in standing right in front of me and Raine.  Glad to have seen it, with so few there, and to leave before the LGRE's and Bagnells et al arrive....
White-throated Robin
..and again
No pictures of the one today, but an excuse to drag out these shots of a Turkish one several years ago.  Only two previous British records, a one-day male bird on the Calf of Man on 22nd June 1983, and a female quite rightly suppressed on Skokholm due other sensitive breeding species there on 27th-30th June 1990. 

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Make it four new micros.....

Still struggling with some more of the micros from Kilburn and this rather worn one needed a bit of manipulation in photoshop to draw some of the subdued colours out.  Having done so, it is a little more obvious, and can now be identified as 1217 Eucosmomorpha albersana.
1217 Eucosmomorpha albersana

Friday, 3 June 2011

Three new micros...

After such a warm day, the evening bode well for a good catch.  At Kilburn, three traps set up in differing habitat.  The 160MVB over the sheet, was probably the best, although it attracted probably a 1000 of a tiny micro, in such numbers it looked like a cloud of soot under the bulb.  Indeed there were so many of this particular micro, that they climbed all over other moths disturbing them.  Still can't work out what they are.  Any thoughts?
micro sp.... one of a thousand!
The other new micros that I could identify were the following, apologies for the poor photos.
0719  Ethmia quadrillella
1102  Endothenia nigricostana
1268  Cydia coniferana
Of the 370 odd moths of at least 80 species, the other highlight was catching three Red-necked Footman, which has probably only been recorded ten times in recent times, following the first which I caught 3 years ago, and at least half of the records are mine.