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

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Blast from the past....

Just going through a few old slides that I had copied on to digital format some years back, and thought them worth a view.  Brings back some fond memories from the early 1980's.
Parrot Crossbill, Holkham woods, Norfolk
This was a mega weekend spent in Norfolk over the New Year, with Somerset birders Dave Paull, the late Alan Bundy and I cannot remember who the 4th person was.  I do vaguely recall that it was an extremely boozy weekend, and recollections are rather hazy, but I think we saw Red-breasted Goose and Parrot Crossbill, which at least I could prove with the photo.....
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Cheddar Reservoir
This Buff-breast was one I found on my local patch at Cheddar Reservoir, and one of a good number of waders I found there over the years.  These included Marsh Sandpiper, two Wilson's Phalaropes, at least six Pec Sands, Temminck's Stint, Red-necked Phalarope, American Golden Plover...those were the days.
Ipswich Sparrow, Portland
This was the one at Portland, which did not seem to provoke much interest for several days, but I did manage to see it, and get reasonable views.  Still a good bird to have seen...
Wilson's Phalarope, West Huntspill, Somerset
This was one found on a tiny sludge pit on the Huntspill river by Brian Rabbitts, giving great views in such an unsavoury place.
Terek Sandpiper, Ladies Mile, Limassol, Cyprus, April 1983.
It was my dear old Dad who actually found this one.  My good mate Andy Pay and I was scorching the area looking for raptors, and Dad mentioned several times that there was a wader with an upturned bill among all those 'Dunlin' .... every time we looked all we saw were the flock of Marsh Sandpipers, and presumed he must have seen a Greenshank.  After another foray on to the sand-flats, he insisted he had seen it again, and then we spotted it...a Terek Sandpiper among the Marsh Sandpipers!   Turned out to be about the 6th record for Cyprus, and one that Dad never let me forget.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A few moth pics

This last week has been pretty grim for mothing, with some extremely heavy showers, and more latterly, cool nights.  A brief respite on Thursday night after a cool and cloudy day, gave way to what turned out to be a cloudless and cold night - down to +6 by 0500.  Still, I spent the night at Pilmoor, concentrating on the southern end of the main track, and ended up with about 260 moths of at least 52 species.  Not exceptional at all, and no great surprises, but still a few moths new for the site and photo opportunities.  Looking at recording effort over the last 4 years, July has not had as much effort as some other months, maybe due to being away for part of this time, the dire weather for the 'summer' month, or perhaps even a slight onset of apathy after busy Junes....I suspect a combination of all three!
Udea lutealis
Scalloped Oak
Dotted Clay

Thursday, 14 July 2011

and another three micros!

Oh for the wonders of digital photography!  I am sure in the old days, any unidentified moths just had a pin stuck through them and kept until they were identified.  With modern cameras, it is especially useful for us lepidopterists, in taking loads of record shots of those you can't immediately put a name to, and then scouring the internet and books to identify them at leisure.  In doing this, I have added three more micros to the catch at Aldwark the other night, moths I have not seen anywhere else.  Ok, the pictures aren't great, but then again they were only taken for record purposes, and each confirm the records, adding dots to the distribution maps.
0636  Denisia similella

0866 Brachmia blandella

1113 Eudemis profunda 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

...and a new pyrale

Much cooler last night, and the first visit to Aldwark wood of the year.  Still managed several new moths including this pyralid, a small grey thing with eight raised tufts, and a colourful pine-feeding tortrix.  I don't know how I missed the pyralid down south in Dorset but on checking, it has limited distribution, on the wetter areas to the east of the county.  In Yorkshire, spreading from the south, but remaining scarce in the northern half of the county.  Slender Brindle is also a scarce moth in the county, and one of several over the last couple of weeks.
0760 Exoteleia dodecella

1211 Rhyacionia pinicolana

1358 Evergestis pallidata

2335 Slender Brindle
Not too many moths, but not a bad nights work with three new species, and several new for the site!

Monday, 11 July 2011

A new Wainscot

I have avoided Pilmoor during late June and July over the last 3 or so years due to the dreaded biting insects.  However, I decided to give it a go last night, and lo and behold the no-see-ems were nowhere to be seen, just the odd mozzy, but not even enough to get the jungle-strength repellent out of the bag.  The effort paid off, with around 1200 moths of 100 odd species, including some notables.  Two small noctuids looked interesting and turned out to be Mere Wainscot, good for the county, and last recorded in this area back in 1968.  
Mere Wainscot

Mere Wainscot
Mere Wainscot is a National scarce B species with a scattered distribution, mainly centered on Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire area.
Mere Wainscot distribution courtesy of BC NMRS (orange pre-2000 records, blue post-2000)
Highlights from the rest of the list included the following:
0424  Bird-cherry Ermine (Yponomeuta evonymella)  1
0762  Athrips mouffetella  2
0946  Aethes rubigana  1
1089  Apotomis semifasciana  1
1726  Large Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe quadrifasiata)  8
1732  Shaded Broad-bar (Scotopteryx chenopodiata)  10
1777  July Highflyer (Hydriomena furcata)  106
1789  Scallop Shell (Rheumaptera undulata)  1
2040  Four-dotted Footman (Cybosia mesomella)  84
2087  Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum)  1
2176  Antler Moth (Cerapteryx graminis)  1
2225  Minor Shoulder-knot (Brachylomia viminalis)  5
2268  Suspected (Parastichtis suspecta)  1
2313  Angle-striped Sallow (Enargia paleacea)  2
2349  Mere Wainscot (Chortodes fluxa)  2
2410  Marbled White Spot (Protodeltote pygarga)  1
0762 Athrips mouffetella
Still working through a few micros, so still likely to add to the list.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Third night on the trot

With the weather still holding, I dragged my weary carcase out for another night out, this time at Kilburn woods. The temperature held up, but rather breezy, and with 3 traps out, managed another reasonable haul.  What was probably most notable was the number of micros that ended up in the fridge at home, still trying to work out what they are.  One new tortrix for me, a Ptycholomoides aeriferanus, only first discovered in the UK, in Cambridgeshire, in 1951, and the range has expanded to include Yorkshire.
Ptycholomoides aeriferanus
So, that was one I could put a name to, and here are some shots of a couple of Argyresthia sp., only 6mm long, with their curious tail-up stance, and another one of those bird-dropping moths thingies.
Argyresthia sp.

Argyresthia sp.

tortrix sp.
Another highlight, was several flocks of Crossbills flying around over the trapping site, giving reasonable if distant perched views.

A quick summary of catch at Kilburn (W) on 4 Jul 2011

  Argyresthia species (Argyresthia sp.)  4
  Cnephasia species (Cnephasia sp.)  4
0410  Argyresthia brockeella  7
0460  Ypsolopha parenthesella  1
0970  Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana)  18
0971  Pandemis cinnamomeana  14
0977  Large Fruit-tree Tortrix (Archips podana)  2
0987  Ptycholomoides aeriferanus  2
1011  Pseudargyrotoza conwagana  2
1032  Aleimma loeflingiana  11
1033  Green Oak Tortrix (Tortrix viridana)  4
1076  Celypha lacunana  14
1083  Marbled Orchard Tortrix (Hedya nubiferana)  7
1092  Apotomis turbidana  3
1136  Epinotia immundana  2
1168  Gypsonoma sociana  3
1293  Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella)  5
1302  Crambus perlella  3
1334  Scoparia ambigualis  52
1344  Eudonia mercurella  8
1356  Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)  2
1392  Udea olivalis  4
1405  Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)  1
1640  Drinker (Euthrix potatoria)  3
1682  Blood-vein (Timandra comae)  1
1702  Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata)  2
1708  Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata)  1
1713  Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)  6
1713  Riband Wave [non-banded form] (Idaea aversata ab. remutata)  47
1727  Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata)  8
1738  Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)  3
1758  Barred Straw (Eulithis pyraliata)  4
1768  Grey Pine Carpet (Thera obeliscata)  1
1776  Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria)  1
1777  July Highflyer (Hydriomena furcata)  4
1802  Rivulet (Perizoma affinitata)  2

1803  Small Rivulet (Perizoma alchemillata)  2
1817  Foxglove Pug (Eupithecia pulchellata)  2
1856  Larch Pug (Eupithecia lariciata)  5
1860  Green Pug (Pasiphila rectangulata)  2
1887  Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)  6
1893  Tawny-barred Angle (Macaria liturata)  25
1906  Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)  11
1931  Peppered Moth [melanic form] (Biston betularia f. carbonaria)  1
1937  Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria)  2
1941  Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata)  109
1947  Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata)  3
1955  Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria)  1
1956  Common Wave (Cabera exanthemata)  1
1958  Clouded Silver (Lomographa temerata)  1
1961  Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata)  23
1962  Barred Red (Hylaea fasciaria)  1
1981  Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi)  5
1991  Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor)  1
1994  Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)  1
1997  Sallow Kitten (Furcula furcula)  1
2007  Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula)  1
2008  Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina)  1
2030  Yellow-tail (Euproctis similis)  6
2050  Common Footman (Eilema lurideola)  4
2060  White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda)  1
2089  Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis)  7
2098  Flame (Axylia putris)  3
2102  Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)  4
2107  Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)  80
2120  Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica)  1
2128  Double Square-spot (Xestia triangulum)  7
2138  Green Arches (Anaplectoides prasina)  3
2150  Grey Arches (Polia nebulosa)  3
2160  Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea)  2
2302  Brown Rustic (Rusina ferruginea)  1
2305  Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara)  2
2312  Olive (Ipimorpha subtusa)  1
2314  Dingy Shears (Parastichtis ypsillon)  1
2318  Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina)  1

2321  Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)  50
2327  Clouded Brindle (Apamea epomidion)  1
2337x  Marbled Minor agg. (Oligia strigilis agg.)  71
2340  Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula)  2
2343x  Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.)  7
2345  Small Dotted Buff (Photedes minima)  2
2381  Uncertain (Hoplodrina alsines)  11
2382  Rustic (Hoplodrina blanda)  2
2410  Marbled White Spot (Protodeltote pygarga)  1
2434  Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis)  2
2442  Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)  9
2443  Plain Golden Y (Autographa jota)  3
2477  Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)  3
2489  Fan-foot (Zanclognatha tarsipennalis)  1

Monday, 4 July 2011

In search of Wainscots...

The attraction of a couple of new Wainscot species meant a night out at Staveley again, but this time at the end in the reed-beds.  As the previous night, the temperature dropped quickly, and being a 'damp' site, seemed chillier than it actually was.  Only fair numbers of Smoky Wainscot, and just one Southern Wainscot, my first up here, but the actual highlights were a Gothic and a Blackneck, again my first in Yorkshire.  I had forgotten how beautiful the Blacknecks were, and typically when trying to photograph them this morning, that was the one that shot off before I could get a shot!
Chilo phragmitella


Southern Wainscot

Southern Wainscot (top) and Smoky Wainscot
The site has plenty to offer, although it is quite a long walk with a fully loaded barrow of equipment, but certainly deserves more effort in a couple more weeks, when the Wainscot species are at their best.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A record count of Four-dotted Moths

Not a bad night but cool after midnight, getting down to +8.  I chose Sessay wood near Pilmoor, the 2nd time I have trapped here, and ran 4 traps, all different bulbs and wattages.  The highlight of the night was the incredible count of Four-dotted Footman, 103 in total, amounting to nearly 20% of the total catch, and more than 5 times the previous County record.
Four-dotted Footman
The rest of the catch amounted to 75 odd species, with some families surprisingly absent or few in number, but had only my second ever White Satin Moth, and a new site for the Nb status Angle-striped Sallow.  Not a bad haul.
Angle-striped Sallow
Argyresthia brockeella

Grey Poplar


White Satin Moth
As an addendum to this, my record of five Minor Shoulder-knot seemed to generate interest, so I add a picture of one of these, a very local and declining species in Yorkshire.
Minor Shoulder-knot