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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Trapping at Pilmoor, VC62, 30 Jul 2016

Following on from last weekends effort I chose the old railway line at Pilmoor for last nights trapping. Another good night, although smaller numbers and fewer species there were some quality moths to be seen with 480 of at least 70 species.  Probably the best of the night was a Mere Wainscot which is a very scarce moth in central and eastern England, rare in Yorkshire and my 4th for the site, and probably the most northern records in Britain.
Mere Wainscot

Mere Wainscot
By far the commonest species were July Highflier (76), Lesser Swallow Prominent (62) and Dingy Footman (53) and a good selection of others including Minor Shoulder-knot.

The next four photos are micro-moths and mainly less than 10 millimetres, although the Catoptria margaritella is a little larger and a stunning grass moth..
Argyresthia goedartella

Catoptria margaritella

Eudonia truncicolella

Red-barred Tortrix
And now a couple of the larger moths known as macros, although the last could be mistaken for a micro moth.
Minor Shoulder-knot
Small Dotted Buff
There were a couple of pugs that have defied identification, as were the Cnephasias and one or two small Tortrix.  Surprisingly there were no Four-dotted Footman, normally fairly numerous in this area but it is getting towards the end of the flight period.  It will not be long before some of the autumnal moths start to put in an appearance, and numbers generally will start dropping off.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Trapping at Hood Hill, near Sutton Bank, N Yorks, 23rd July

After a moth-free week in Croatia, just not possible in the resort and actually few moths seen in the car headlights, I was determined to spend Saturday night out locally in Yorkshire.  The weather was just right, calm and only high cloud, and the temperature still +24 degrees at 2200, dropping no lower than +14 by dawn.  I chose a new site just below Sutton Bank on the southern fringes of the NY Moors, at Hood Hill, part of the wooded ridge near Kilburn. Not a bad night at all with 826 moths of 110 species identified, of which one was new, and a further two were new for me in Yorkshire and a further two tortix are awaiting final identification.

The first new record for me was a Batia lunaris, a species scarce in VC62 with only single figure records reported.   
Batia lunaris
The first new for Yorkshire was Dingy Shell, a species I have not seen for 10 years since leaving Dorset, and fairly local in Yorkshire, so a count of nine was of note.  This photo was taken with my phone and composed so as to show the moths characteristic wings closed stance as well as a bit of the habitat in the background.
Dingy Shell
The second new Yorkshire one was the micro-moth  Cherry Fruit Moth which was quite common with 33 counted, obviously a Cherry tree in the close vicinity!  
Cherry Fruit Moth
Diamond-back Moths were still in evidence with ten counted.  A full list of the night's catch will be added shortly once any outstanding identifications are resolved.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Croatia 2016, update

More early morning wanderings on the peninsular, more of the same with the addition of Hoopoes, Lesser Whitethroat, and Olivaceous Warbler, presumably Eastern H. pallida.
Red-backed Shrike, juvenile

Tawny Pipit
Butterflies continued to be hard to nail down, but a selection of shots were obtained.
Painted Lady

Painted Lady, underside

Small Copper

Southern White Admiral

Southern White Admiral

Wall Brown

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Croatia, 2016

Sunrise, Istria
After a slow start with the first birds that I haven't already had in the UK this year seen 3 days into the break, it was a very pleasant morning on the nature reserve on the Premantura peninsular, Istria. Nothing rare, but fantastic views of Bee-eaters, Golden Orioles, Red-backed Shrikes, Lesser Grey Shrike, Cirl Buntings, Red-rumped Swallows, Tawny Pipits, Melodious Warblers, Sardinian Warblers, and the first Turtle Doves heard for some years.

The one field that held livestock was a magnet for insect-eating birds.  The large flock of hirundines was mainly Swallows, House Martins, a few Common Swifts and Red-rumped Swallows, and at least two Pallid Swift were picked up initially on call, then seen well.  Several Nightingales were heard grunting in the undergrowth and one made a poor attempt at song.
Butterflies were fairly plentiful but were extremely mobile.  I managed to catch up with a few and included several new ones.
Balkans Blue, underside

Southern White Admiral, topside

Southern White Admiral, underside
Near the entrance of the reserve was a tiny almost dried out stagnant pond.  The several dragonflies were standard fayre, and with the exception of the Darter it was almost like being in England!
Broad-bodied Chaser, male

Broad-bodied Chaser, male

Emperor, female ovipositing

Scarlet Darter, male
Hopefully a few more to follow.