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Monday, 23 July 2018

Brafferton Spring, VC62

Brafferton Spring is a private site with lockable access and a part-owner that is keen to establish what wildlife occurs there, especially on his patch.  It is located in VC62 close to Pilmoor and Sessay, This site is an area of old woodland which is thought to have been clear-felled around the time of WW2 as many of the trees are of a similar age.  It is mixed deciduous and conifer trees, with a few small areas opened up to reveal glades and developing under-storey.  It differs from the nearby Pilmoor site in that it does not have any heath or rushy pools, but there is a brook running along the south side of the woodland and man-made pools used for fishing at an adjacent site. 

It is still early days in the moth recording effort and well over 260 species have been identified so far; this should rise significantly when a full year of recording has been achieved.  There have already been a number of good records reflecting the mix of vegetation on site.

The first photo is of Lathronympha strigana, not especially rare and its patchy distribution may simply reflect recording effort; a subtly beautiful micro-moth with its silver markings on the orange base colour.  
Lathronympha strigana
Tawny-barred Angle moths caught in good numbers here but this is an example of the much scarcer dark form nigrofulvata.
Tawny-barred Angle
This micro-moth was a new one for me and described as rare in the county.  It is only 6mm long and the only representative of its family.
Schreckensteinia festaliella
Since this species returned to the county in 2009 I have had it fairly regularly on the slopes of the North York Moors; this is the first I have had at a lowland site.
Red-necked Footman
The next is very rarely recorded in Yorkshire and this may well be new to VC62.
Epinotia signatana
 This pine-loving and strikingly colourful micro is described as a rare resident in Yorkshire.
Rhyacionia pinicolana
Mere Wainscots are a scarce southern species, but there is a small population in our area being the most northerly in the country;  I have had eight now at three local sites.
Mere Wainscot
This very striking little micro feeds on fungus on hazel and is very rare in Yorkshire.  It may be just the 2nd VC62 record since the first in 1868.
Nemapogon clematella
 The next is a scarce resident in Yorkshire.
Acrobasis consociella
Only first identified in the UK in 2001, and Yorkshire 5 years later, it is still a rarity up here and is likely to be recorded with more regularity.
Dioryctria sylvestrella
A Wax Moth, quite large for a micro, but with this and Lesser Wax Moth recorded here it would indicate the presence of bee hives or wild nests in the area.
Wax Moth
Not my finest selection of photos as some done in poor light on site using my iphone, but needs must...  Looking forward to adding even more exciting moths to the site list.