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Monday, 23 April 2018

Spring has sprung

The fabulous weather of the last week puts a completely different complexion on everything.  Singing Willow Warblers, Blackcaps have joined the Chiffchaffs that have been here a couple of weeks, Sand Martins on the River Ure and Swallows in small numbers.

Three weeks into April and two more new moths: the first was a tiny micro attracted to my living-room TV screen on 10th March.  I potted it and had great difficulty in getting it calm enough to photograph but eventually got a couple of record shots; obviously a Mompha and looked a ringer for bradleyi and has been accepted as such by Harry the micro CMR.  Only first recorded (or at least identified) in the UK in the early 1990's and rare in Yorkshire.
Mompha bradleyi
The second new moth was a very rare resident only found in a small number of coastal sites in North Wales, Lancashire and the extreme west of Scotland.  Following a visit to my daughter I visited a known site near Heysham on 14th April and spent a brief search of the salt-marsh.  I was lucky enough to find a fine male, the females are wingless.
Belted Beauty
A couple of dry and not too cold weekend nights in April tempted me out trapping at Pilmoor, VC62,  with reasonable success for spring moths: 284 of 20 species on 6th and 246 of 19 species on 14th, the highlights being two each of Semioscopis avellanella and Red Sword-grass.

Red Chestnut

Red Sword-grass
Brindled Pugs

Brindled Pugs

Clouded Drab

Twin-spotted Quaker

Water Carpet f.piceata
The last is a micro likely to be either Eriocrania sangii or semipurpurella, and would need genitalia examined to be sure.
Eriocrania sp.