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Monday, 8 July 2019

Two new macro-moths

This is something that doesn't happen too often these days, two new macros.  Off the back of delivering a vehicle to Carlyon Bay in Cornwall I had enough tacho hours to get back as far as Somerset.  Calling on my local knowledge I aimed for Shapwick Heath where I used to do some bird ringing back in the 1990's. I parked up and walked to my proposed site to find that the willow sprigs planted all those years ago and kept to no more than 10' by regular cutting were now a veritable forest!  It really wasn't suitable for moth trapping close enough to parking, so I opted to try Godwins peatworks on nearby Westhay Heath with ample parking and where I also ringed some birds.  On arrival a Great White Egret feeding on an open pool was an excellent omen.  I put a single Robinson trap out 100m up a drove with reed-beds on one side, willow scrub and a open water on the other.  It proved a reasonable night with modest numbers and species, 94 moths of 39 species, but did include some interesting species; there were a good selection of China-marks and Wainscots as might be expected from such habitat.
Elophila nymphaeata (Brown China-mark)

Archanara dissoluta (Brown-veined Wainscot)

Chilodes maritima (Silky Wainscot)
The commonest moth was another Wainscot, of which there were 15, and one was potted for photographing and identification.  On checking it soon became evident they were Obscure Wainscots, another new one for me and according to the Somerset Moth Group website not showing any dots for the County.  I have since learned that the moth does occur in Somerset with some frequency and the absence of dots on the map is a result of name changes within MapMate.  
Brown-veined Wainscot (left) and Obscure Wainscot (right)

Obscure Wainscot
There was only one pug which looked very small, nondescript and had an orange 'waistband'; it was clearly a Haworth's Pug, another new one for me.
Haworth's Pug
A successful visit to a County where I started moth trapping all those years ago but not seriously enough to have recorded my Blackford gardens catches in Mapmate.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Second half of June

A bit of a catch up with several visits to new sites and a new moth at Sun Beck.  A bout of dog-sitting on the weekend of 22/23rd June gave me the opportunity to have a stroll round Formby Point in Lancashire.  Several new plants were seen including Hound's-tongue Cynoglossum officinale  and Japanese Rose Rosa rugosa, and a number of amorous Dune Chafer Anomala dubia.
Cynoglossum officinale (Hound's-tongue)

Ononis repens (Common Rest-harrow)

Anomala dubia (Dune Chafer)
Three new plants were identified in the carpark at work in Roecliffe: Weld Reseda luteola, Golden Melilot Melilotus altissima and Great Lettuce Lactuca virosa.

Friday night and at last a nights trapping at Sun Beck Wood, Brafferton Spring. 189 moths of 53 species, two new for site, and by far the best was an adult bagworm moth with very few records in the north of Yorkshire, a Taleporia tubulosa.
Taleporia tubulosa
Another botanic walk with the Wild Flower Society at Swillington Ings east of Leeds added a handful of new species on what was the hottest day of the year so far.  Photographically it was a bit of a nightmare and I struggled to get any photos of any value.  Docks were well represented with Greek Dock Rumex cristatus, Water Dock Rumex hydrolapathum, Golden Dock Rumex maritimus, and Marsh Dock Rumex palustris.  A very rare rush Great Soft Rush Juncus pallidus, originally from Australia and New Zealand, at one of its very few sites in the northern hemisphere, an escapee /introduction.  One of the scarcer flowering plants was the diminutive Lesser Centaury Centaurium pulchellum.
Alder Beetles

Pilosella aurantiaca (Fox-and-Cubs)
Finally a late morning walk in the wind at South Gare near Redcar on Sunday was a revelation although not conducive to macro photography.  For what is mainly a man-made site in an industrial area the array of plants was outstanding.  There were some naturalised garden plants growing wild here, such as Sweet William Dianthus barbatus, Common Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus, Cypress Spurge Euphorbia cyparissias and the rather exotically named Elephant-eared Saxifrage Bergenia cordifolia.  A scarce plant found was Purple Milk-vetch Astragalus danicus.
Astragalus danicus (Purple Milk-vetch)

Bergenia cordifolia (Elephant-eared Saxifrage)

Euphorbia cyparissias (Cypress Spurge)

Lagurus ovatus (Harestail Grass)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)