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Monday, 27 August 2018

Pied Shieldbug

I saw this one at Pilmoor back on 3 June and the significance of the record was not really understood until I checked the latest version of the Shieldbug Atlas.  It is easily the northern-most record and what a cracking insect it is!
Pied Shieldbug

Provisional atlas of shieldbugs and allies - March 2018 version 1.1 
produced by Tristan Bantock for the Terrestrial Heteroptera Recording Scheme.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Some days out and about

During July I took the opportunity to spend a bit of time out and about visiting sites I would not normally go to.  In a week off in the 2nd week of July I visited a very breezy Fen Bog on the North Yorkshire Moors to see Large Heath and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, and also Keeled Skimmers.
Keeled Skimmer

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
The following day I headed south into Lincolnshire armed with a map and directions for a completely different site, something I didn't realise until I arrived at Chambers Farm Wood and couldn't make head nor tail of it.  With no site directions or anyone to ask I walked off into the wood and found a likely clearing and lucked in on at least two tree-top Purple Emperors, at least five White Admirals and dozens of high-flying Purple Hairstreaks.  There were probably hundreds of Ringlets along the rides, and a casual search of a Field Maple provided a mine of an Ectoedemia louisella, a new moth for me.
Ectoedemia louisella

Purple Hairstreak (with damaged wing)

White Admiral
Later that same week I attended a Field Studies Centre course at Preston Montford on Fly Family identification and managed to see a new moth, a Meal Moth!
Meal Moth
At the end of the month I had the opportunity to visit Slapton Ley in Devon through work, and spent the night trapping at the north end of the reed-beds.  Despite competition from an almost full-moon, numerous ships with lights in the bay and Start Point lighthouse, I still managed a reasonable nights catch.  What a beautiful morning, two young Hobbies flying around over the reed-bed, a singing Cirl Bunting in a distant hedgerow and a few Sedge and Reed Warblers chuntering away in the reeds.  
Slapton Ley, Devon
The moth highlights at Slapton included one new micro Homoeosoma sinuella (a poor phone photo), a Phycitodes maritima based mainly on small size, and Webb's Wainscots and Eupoecilia angustana both of which I had seen before at Gunwalloe in Cornwall in 2010. Migrant Silver Y's were in evidence and at least half of them were of the very small form dwarfed by the others. 
Homoeosoma sinuella

Phycitodes maritima

49.111 Eupoecilia angustana
The next two are the same species, Webb's Wainscot, and show the extremes in the dark markings, the lower more uniform one had a beautiful pink dusting to the wings.  A Notable B species found mainly in reed-beds especially along the coast from Yorkshire and East Anglia, Kent along to Cornwall, North Somerset and South Wales.
Webb's Wainscot

Webb's Wainscot
A successful month with a handful of new species seen.