BT has been upgrading the lines on our hill-side and we have only just got our internet connection back. Interesting moths this week include Bordered Beauty, Flounced Rustic, Lime-speck Pug, Gothic, Chevron and only the third Northern Spinach we have had here.
20th July - Bilbrook, Minehead
1397 - mecyna asinalis .
We found this moth on the window and knew we didnt recognise it, so outside with a pot we went. We were very pleased to find something we had not seen before. Looks great when magnified. We were just starting to get some decent numbers and varieties in the trap when the monsoon started, with an average of 100 moths in 30 varieties, including male and female ghost moths, which is also a new species for us.
Langport 28 July 2009
At the other end of the scale from my Eyed Hawk larva there were 3 nice micros in the trap this morning. The Apple Leaf Miner Lyonetia clerkella
is very common but quite beautiful. The Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner Cameraria ohridella
is again beautiful but it has made a real mess of a couple of trees by the Westover bridge in Langport. The Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta plumbella
is widespread around here inthe hedgerows and on some planted Spindles in the field below the house.
263 Lyonetia clerkella
366a Cameraria ohridella
430 Yponomeuta plumbella
Langport, 25 July 2009
While I was thinning apples in our garden today I noticed this fine Eyed Hawkmoth larva - common but beautifully camouflaged. It's fully grown so it looks as if there will be 2 broods this year.
Mature Eyed Hawkmoth Smerinthus ocellata
First Rosy Minor for my Frome garden list last night.
Jack Astley had a surprising visitor to his garden last night in the form of an Antler Moth. Though these sometimes turn up away from their more usual moorland habitat, it is fairly rare to get them in a suburban garden.
A second Rannoch Looper was captured by Peter Tennant on the fifth of June. 2009 is going down as a mega year for new species for Somerset. May it continue well into the autumn. I finally processed a good photograph of Cloaked Carpet caught at Hurlestone. The ones I get in my garden on infrequent occasions are invariably brown but these from Hurlestone were mint fresh and have a lovely green sheen to the scales.
I also include a photograph of Ian's recently caught Small Mottled Willow.
Small Mottled Willow
Kent Black Arches
On 13th July Pam Campbell trapped what appeared to be a Kent Black Arches in Holford. I agreed with her ID and Bill Urwin has now confirmed the ID from the specimen. This seems to be a first county record. It's resident on the Dorset coast but had travelled some distance for a non-migrant!
I have just received some moth records from Michael Barry, the highlight of which was a Rannoch Looper on 3rd June. I see that Portland had the first Dorset record the following day and there have been an unprecedented number appearing elsewhere but it is believed that this was the first Somerset record.
- From my point of view the last two nights have been very poor but last night did include my first genuine macro migrant of the year, a Small Mottled Willow.
Sunday 19th July 2009 - Blue Anchor
An interesting evening in my garden despite a strong wind. 40 species including what I believe is a White-point. Also a Fern which is new to me.
LATER: Unfortunately the White-point turns out to be a Clay!!.
Early July in Langport
Sorry to be a bit late posting this but I've been away teaching photography.
Early in the month I had my best ever garden catches - 96 species on 30th June, 106 species on 1st July, 122 species on 2nd July. Nothing outstanding although a few firsts for the garden on the macro side, such as Brown Scallop.
The micros have been interesting - thanks once again to James McGill for identifying many of them and confirming the few I felt confident about!
The best of these was 851 Dichomeris alacella
- the only other records are 2, by James, from Taunton.
851 Dichomeris alacella
640 Batia lunaris
946 Aethes rubiganaMarasmarcha lunaedactyla
1445 Pempelia formosa
1441 Oncocera semirubella
1439 Trachycera advenella
518 Coleophora mayrella
246 Tinea semifulvella
Despite very heavy overnight rain there was a reasonable catch last night. It included firsts for the year of Purple Thorn, Small Phoenix, Bordered Beauty and my first ever Grey Arches.
Is anyone else getting a noticeable number of very small examples of different species this year? I've had some absolute dwarf examples of Uncertain and Ingrailed Clay recently and I remember Ian remarking on having had some smaller than usual species.
Spent yesterday on Shapwick Heath with Mark Parsons looking for Argent and Sable larvae. We did very well, finding them in all the compartments we surveyed. One of the larvae was only first instar but most were last instar and several spinnings were vacated. Mark was responsible for an interesting pieces of "bycatch" in the form of Lesser Cream Wave.
Robin Clatworthy and I joined Mike Ridge at Hurlestone on Sunday night. Mike produced one Devonshire Wainscot among the usual run of species. I bravely carried all my gear up to the Hurlestone Point watchtower and along the cliff path there to sample the real hardcore cliff species. Quite what Scarce Silver Lines was doing up there I'm not sure but it seemed quite at home along with Crescent Dart.
Robin and I did Berrow Dunes on Monday night, getting quite a few Shore Wainscot and Southern Wainscot, White Line Dart and a probable Ash Pug.
Lesser Cream Wave
Found this pug today in a damp meadow on the Levels. Wings normally held up at a shallow angle, wingspan about 16mm. This is a ropey photo taken down a microscope. Not really sure about the id.
I was surprised to find a worn Crescent Dart in the trap this morning. Peter also caught one in Wiveliscombe a few years ago so they do sometimes stray inland.
News from the East
A good few days in early July brought some new moths to my humble actinic trap in a Frome garden. Some seem new to ST74. Lilac Beauty, Small and Common Emeralds, Peach Blossom, Small Fan-foot, Coronet, Small Rivulet, Dot Moth etc. A neighbour also introduced 3 Puss Moth larvae from a site over the border near Westbury but I guess this doesnt count!
A much quieter night last night which coincided with me being up and able to check the trap before the sparrows were up for their breakfast. This led to me finding several good moths around the trap including my garden's first ever Clay Triple Lines.
Went out today with Butterfly Conservation looking for larvae of Argent and Sable. Several spinnings were found on Bog Myrtle and Birch and even one on Sallow. The larvae were a mix of ages, with the one pictured below being probably last instar. Hopefully many will survive the winter and provide us with another good showing next year.
Argent and Sable larva in a spinning on Birch.
Scarlet Tiger is appearing in my garden quite frequently at present with 11 to light the other evening.
Both Hornet and Lunar Hornet Clearwings are being found at present. Chris Iles discovered several exit holes of presumably Hornet Clearwing in Poplars in VC6, so far we have no records of Hornet Clearwing for VC5 or VC6 so it would be nice to find. The picture below is of one I caught up with in Norfolk at the weekend. It prefers Black Poplar so if you have any nearby, an early morning check may well reveal one of these beauties resting on the trunk having just emerged.
doug miller westonzoyland
Catch up time again, first a little helper in the moth trap today "Great Tit" luckely it was after had recorded the contents, new for my recording site Large Emerald and Beautiful Carpet, the odd Silver Y 2 Dark Sword Grass on the 2 July Humming Bird Hawk Moths most warm days first Garden Tiger on the30th June then 3, 2 and 1 a Privet Hawk Moth on the 2 July only about 5 over 20 years recording at home 2 Turnip on the 2nd July migrants ? Elephant Hawk Moths have had a very good spell with 14 the most on the 2nd July,on the Pyralid side Meal Moth Corn Borer, Orthopygia glaucinalis and Calamotropha paludella being the more unusual.
Hummingbird Hawk-moth seen today on Little Solsbury Hill, Bath, around some of the exposed limestone outcrops near the top. Also Scarlet Tiger in the valley to the north - the first adult I have seen in Somerset since 2006 - and a couple of Silver Y moths about.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - min temp 14 degrees
In mid-April I reported on the number of Scarlet Tiger larvae feeding on Comfrey in Hestercombe gardens. Yesterday I was delighted to see that they have bred successfuly with many adults flying in the gardens and I have had reports that they have been seen in Wellington.
2nd July - Carhampton Community Orchard
Unfortunately the rain caused an early end to this event, but we did get 38 species including a few uncommon ones for the area before we were forced to pack-up just after 11.30 pm.
Coronet, Drinker, Elephant Hawkmoth, Iron Prominent, Lesser-spotted Pinion, The Miller, Pretty Chalk Carpet and Small Seraphim were the pick of the catch.
I have just checked my totals for last night and it was my most productive night ever for different macro species. I had 89 different types and 598 individuals. Despite the lack of migrants this year appears to be heading for one of the best for a while from my observations. It was especially pleasing to see large numbers of less usual moths like 16 V Pugs and 23 Buff Arches.
- Is it possible that the lack of migrants here, despite what appears to be good conditions, is that they are still suffering on mainland Europe from the last two years and there is no surplus to migrate at the moment?
I finally got round to processing some of the moths from the SMG Hurlestone trip last weekend. Some very nice moths. Also a photograph of the Lappet from last night.
73 species at home last night. Heart and Club, Lappet, Broad barred White, Marbled Beauty, Common Emerald, Sandy Carpet, Orange Moth and eleven Elephant Hawkmoths among the highlights. The promised rain barely materialised with us. Only 2 Diamondbacks and 2 Rush Veneers on the migrant front.
What a beautiful and recognisable moth the Ringed Border is.
- It was another excellent night here with very large numbers of moths. They included only my second ever records for Blackneck, Barred Red and Slender Pug as well as firsts for the year in Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Phoenix, V Pug, Lilac Beauty, Small Blood Vein and Small Angle Shades.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 17 degrees
Well done Robin - a great record!
We had our best night of the year here with over 80 species. New for the year were True Lovers Knot, Clay Triple-lines, Dark Spectacle, Gothic and O.glaucinalis. Also a Coronet of the dark variety coronula and another Peppered Moth of the intermediate variety insularia.
Robin Clatworthy does it again!!!
Last night, Robin managed to get a first for the British mainland, in the form of Ringed Border. This species has been caught previously in the Channel Islands. A beautiful moth that I hope makes more regular appearances over here.
I have had some excellent catches in recent nights here in South Somerset but they seem to pale behind Peter's catches in the west of the county. I have never seen, let alone caught in my garden, half of the species that Peter is catching.
My firsts for the year recently include Muslin and Rosy Footman, Dunbar, Small Emerald, Scarce Silver Lines, Poplar Kitten and my first Garden Tiger since 2006. I was very pleased to see the latter moth as it was the only species that failed to appear in 2007 that didn't reappear last year. However one individual is still a long way awy from the 48 I recorded in 2005.
30th June - Blue Anchor
A good night in my garden, 63 species + a few micros still to sort. Having caght my first Lime Hawk on Friday at Bossington, I had another in my garden last night. I checked the photos to make sure it was a different moth!!
Also new for the garden - Broom Moth, Cypress Carpet,Lilac Beauty, Lychnis, Scarce Silver-lines and True Lover's Knot. Also found Light Arches and Ruddy Carpet neither of which turned up last year.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - min temp 17 degrees
A series of hot and sticky nights with 60 to 70 species in the garden trap. New for the year include Pinion-streaked Snout, Sharp-angled Carpet and conveniently for comparison in the same trap a Cloaked Carpet!
Also Lilac Beauty, Scalloped Oak, and the intermediate variety of the Peppered Moth - insularia. I was also pleased to see what I regard as a West Somerset special - the Double Line.
Langport 30 June 2009
A very warm and humid night and a good garden catch - 254 individuals (plus lots of escapees) of 93 species, with 5 or more micros still to be determined.
New for the year - Small Scallop, Swallowtailed, Brussels Lace, Buff-tip, Short-cloaked, Dingy Footman, Rosy Footman, Poplar Grey, Sycamore, Dun-bar. Migrants - Diamond Back (10) Rush Veneer (1) and Dark Swordgrass (1).
Lots of Silver Y nectaring on Salvia
but none in the trap.
Sadly also 3 Harlequin Ladybird larvae in the garden (now defunct!).