Whitefield, Wiveliscombe- Min temp 6 degrees
Several Holly Blues in the garden yesterday and in the trap FFY a Muslin Moth.
I was amazed to see a Hummingbird Hawk-moth nectaring on primroses on Saturday morning 24h March in a garden near Frome. I guess it must be a very early migrant.
Hardly worth the effort - only 10 moths in two traps & all of them the usual suspects, BUT I found a Pale Pinion at the kitchen window, only the third record here, and the first for 2 years, so it could have been worse.
After a run of very poor catches i was supprised to find a Muslin Moth in the trap this morning.
Butleigh 26th March
Small numbers of 10 species in trap, including first Tawny Pinion and Pine Beauty
National Moth Recording Scheme
If I appear to have been in hibernation over the last month or so it's because I have been sorting out our macro moth records for submission to the national scheme - the last submission was in 2007.
I have just submitted 688,834 records to Butterfly Conservation so there should be a few more Somerset dots on the national maps.
Since copying these records from MapMate I have received around 30,000 more records and will get these into the systenm as soon as possible - sadly they woon't go into the national scheme until next year but will soon appear on the website maps.
East Lydford, 26/3/12
A chilly night, so only 25 moths, (22 of which were Orthosias) 8 species in all. New for the year were 1 each Shoulder Stripe, and Dotted Chestnut, with an Early Grey making up the numbers. Things will hopefully get better soon.
Whitefield, Wivelscombe - Min Temp 6 degrees
The sunny weekend produced a delightful show of Orange Tips, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells which encouraged us to put the trap in a nearby wood for the first time this year. We were rewarded by catching 14 species including FFY Nut Tree Tussock and an Engrailed.
Ian, my sixth butterfly was Speckled Wood - my earliest ever, and a possible Large White which I decided not to count. In terms of butterflies, I think its probably going to be another early year - with Green Hairstreak reported in Cambridgeshire and green veined white, orange tip and large white also seen! Around us, peacocks are putting on a particularly good show, and I spent some time photographing one yesterday.
I used extension tubes, and the second photo is taken with flash (the built in one on the camera), it was strange to see how the flash lit up the butterfly's face, giving it a completely different colour.
p.s. to blog of 23/3/12.
My UFO turned out to be a very pale Diurnea fagella. Thanks to John Bebbington for confirmation. As this is only my second ever record of this moth, and the previous one was in April 2006, it's hardly surprising that I couldn't remember it !!
What was your 6th species of butterfly, William, assuming your first five were Peacock, Small T., Brimstone, Comma and Small White?
A reasonable night here last night. About 60 moths from of 10 species but no firsts for the year. Not bad considering I had a frost on the trap despite the minimum temperature only being shown as 3.7C last night.
Butleigh Friday night, 23rd March
Good variety of species, 11 Hebrew Characters, Quakers-13 Small, 1 Common, 2 Twin-spotted and first Powdered, 3 Clouded Drabs, 2 Early Greys, 1 Chestnut, first Dotted Chestnut, 1 Oak beauty, 1 Early Thorn, 1 March moth and first Shoulder-stripe.
East Lydford 24/3/12
I don't think I can compete ! Only 27 moths, 6 species last night. The usual Orthosias - 14 Hebrew Characters, 4 Small Quakers, 3 Common Quakers and 3 Clouded Drabs, plus 2 Early Greys and a Tawny Pinion - the first for 3 years, and only my second ever here.
Having given myself a pat on the back for seeing 6 species of Butterfly yesterday (though not a Red Admiral and only 1 Comma), I put the trap out, not expecting a great deal due to the clear conditions. However, my endeavours were rewarded with 64 moths of 13 Species. New for the year were Brindled Pug (1), March Moth (7) and Satellite (1) - the latter being new for the garden as well.
1852 Brindled Pug, and 1917 Early Thorn
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 5 degrees
Only twelve species but they included FFY Early Tooth-striped and Brindled Pug.
Clevedon 23 March
A very early Knot Grass was on the garage wall next to my trap this morning.
Bishops Hull 23rd March
Last night I potted a micro which was at the living room window. I thought it was probably an Agonopterix but wasn't sure which and so posted a picture on to the ukmicromoths newsgroup. There it was identified as 0714 Agonopterix yeatiana.
(Not sure about the bluish background to the photo, it should be grey!; the white balance on my Coolpix 4500 seems to have a mind of its own).
Weston, Brean and Berrow
Last nights spell of warm air moving up from the Med certainly showed in the moth trap results. A Small Eggar came into the trap early on and a
came in around mid-night. Agonopterix yeatiana was caught early on in the week.
Berrow highlights were Small Eggar the night before mine plus Acleris umbrana the same night.
Brean last night prodcuced 9 species of macro with highlights of 2 Red Chestnut and a Mottled Grey.
East Lydford 22/3/12
Another night for the Orthosias - 10 Small Quakers, 6 Hebrew Characters, 4 Common Quakers, 1 Clouded Drab and 1 Powdered Quaker (first this year). In addition, 1 Early Thorn and a UFO - watch this space. Not a lot.
The moth numbers here in the south of the county are very encouraging too. Last night I had my busiest night of the year so far with 137 macros of 13 species. Leading the way were Hebrew Characters with 41 and Small Quakers with 39. 6 Twin Spotted Quakers equalled the most I've had before of this species whilst 2 Satellites were the first time I have not had this species as a singleton since 2004. The latter species, along with Dotted Chestnut and Tawny Pinion were my other firsts for the year.
I have caught both Tawny Pinion and Pale Pinion every year until last year when I didn't record either species so it was pleasing to see at least one of them back again this year.
Already this month I have caught 437 moths in only 7 trappings. This is more than any other previous March total apart from 2011 when the start of the year was also very encouraging but sadly wasn't carried through the summer.
I hope our president enjoys the atlas as much as I did.
New Atlas presented to Keith Brown
Robin Clatworthy and I went to see our President, Keith Brown, to present him with a copy of the new Macro Moth Atlas for Somerset.
Keith, who sadly has not been too well recently, was delighted with his Atlas, which was signed by all the Committee.
Keith with his copy of the Atlas
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees
I agree Paul, as it gets warmer moth numbers are increasing rapidly. We had FFY 100 moths in the trap of 11 species. Leading the field was Small Quaker with 36.
East Lydford 20/3/12
What a difference a few degrees make. Although only in the low 40Fs there were 45 moths of 8 species - mostly Orthosias, 15 Small Quakers, 14 Hebrew Characters, 4 Common Quakers, 4 Clouded Drabs and 2 Twin-spotted Quakers, plus 3 Early Greys, 2 Early Thorns and the customary drowning White-shouldered Housemoth (rescued alive this time). Also (for the benefit of any Coleopterists reading this) a very handsome Sexton Beetle (Necrophorus humator) with its characteristic red-clubbed antennae. Beautiful beast - when placed on some soft ground, it dug itself in in about 10 seconds, clearly pleased to be released !
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 2 degrees
The cold nights continue but we did have 35 moths of 11 species including FFY a Powdered Quaker.
East Lydford 18/3/12
A fairly sharp frost effectively put paid to any hopes I had of finding many moths - 1 Dotted Border & 2 Small Quakers were the sum total in two traps. Never mind. Still, no more drownings this time.
We had two FFY at an actinic light in a window - Diurnea fagella and the hibernator Pale Pinion.
Garden Moth Scheme Langport, VC6, 16-17 March 2012
Min temp 7˚C.
I looked at the trap at 2330 and there was literally nothing. However despite heavy rain later, there were 34 moths in the trap this morning.
Early Moth 1
Double-striped Pug 1
Early Thorn 1
Early Grey 2 (FFY)
Common Quaker 7
Hebrew Character 14
Clouded Drab 2
Small Quaker 3
Powdered Quaker 1 (FFY)
Oak Nycteoline 1 (not GMS)
And an Emmelina monodactyla on the kitchen window (not GMS)
Berrow 14th March
A Dark Sword-grass was caught at Berrow on 14th March. Hopefully the start of many more migrants to come this year.
East Lydford 14/3/12
Yet another cold foggy night - even fewer moths - 2 Small Quakers, 1 Common Quaker and 1 Hebrew Character.
Not even a Caddis or a drowned W-s H M this time.
East Lydford 12/3/12
Another foggy night, another poor catch - only 3 Hebrew Characters & 2 Small Quakers, but TWO large and handsome Caddis flies - all is not lost.
p.s. another White-shouldered House Moth in the rainwater butt - are they suicidal by nature ?
East Lydford, 11/3/12
I think the fog we had last night meant that the moths got a bit lost. Only 12 in total, including 6 Hebrew Characters, 1 each Common Quaker, Clouded Drab and Twin-spotted Quaker, plus an Oak Nycteoline and two White-shouldered House Moths all drowned in the rainwater butt near the trap. Clearly these 3 took a wrong turning somewhere. Pity. The last four mentioned were all firsts this year.
Also a very large and handsome Caddis fly lurking in the trap.
Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to put the trap out this year, so I was exspectant when I did so last night. I was not dissapointed, with a good range of species, and decent numbers. New for the year were Early Thorn (5), Oak Beauty (4), Early Grey (6), Common Quaker (11), Hebrew Character (4), Small Quaker (9), clouded Drab (2), Twin Spotted Quaker (3) and Chestnut (1).
1917 Early Thorn
1930 Oak Beauties
1917 Early Thorn
A good night last night with my earliest 3 figure catch ever. 116 macros from 12 species including 47 Hebrew Characters and 34 Common Quakers. Firsts for the year were Small Quaker, Early Grey, TwinSpotted Quaker, March Moth and Red Chestnut.
East Lydford 9/3/12
A mild night, with a bit of dampness in the air, and a nice crop of moths. 15 Hebrew Characters, 5 Common Quakers, 5 Small Quakers, 1 Early Thorn, 1 Grey Shoulder-knot, and firsts for the year 1 Oak Beauty, (first here for 3 years),1 Early Grey, and 1 Clouded Drab. I'm a happy bunny !!
Manor Road, Taunton - 9 March
A cloudy and slightly warmer night last night resulted in the best catch this year in my garden.
Skinner 40W actinic
1 Light-brown Apple Moth, 8 Common Quaker, 4 Hebrew Character, 1 Early Thorn and 1 Clouded Drab. The last two being firsts for the year.
Garden Moth Scheme, Langport, VC6, 9-10 March 2012
A fairly ordinary catch, minimum temp. 9˚C. One moment of excitement - a fine Oak Nycteoline which I initially thought was a micro species new for my garden.
Dotted Border 1, Common Quaker 3, Hebrew Character 6, Chestnut 1, Oak Nycteoline 1.
2423 Oak Nycteoline Nycteola revayana
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 6 degrees
A warmer night brought 16 moths of eight species including new for the year a Twin-spotted Quaker.
As I was writng this new SMG member Paul Jennings brought in a moth he caught at Milverton last night - it was a Red Sword-grass.
Bishop's Hull 8/3/12
Overcast with min. temp. 8.4degs.
Single Small Quaker and Common Quaker in the trap this morning and an Oak Beauty on the patio.
Red Sword-grass from Westonzoyland
Doug Miller took this fine specimen on Tuesday night - his first in over 20 years of trapping, and the first for 10km square ST33. As you can see from the accompanying map it's not all that common in Somerset.
2241 Red Sword-grass Xylena vetusta
from Westonzoyland ©John Bebbington FRPS
Distribution map for Red Sword-grass in VCs 5&6 ©Somerset Moth Group (updated from distribution map in our new Atlas - Doug's new record is in the large red circle)
East Lydford 7/3/12
Another cold night, another full moon, so not a lot. 5 Hebrew Characters, and 1 Small Quaker - that's all folks.
p.s. a Dotted Border on the inside of the bathroom window this morning, That really is all.
Incorrect telephone number
Apologies but I gave an incorrect telephone number for Mike Ridge when I set up the Moth Nights page - now corrected.
Not much last night 1 Hebrew Character and 1 Small Quaker in trap,
2 Dotted Borders at kitchen window
I received my copy of the Atlas a couple of days ago and I must say how good it is. The amount of work that John has put into it must have been enourmous. I love the historical distribution maps and the flight period graphs which are easy to understand and very informative. When you see your own dots on the maps it makes the recording seem so worthwhile and has encouraged me to be even more proactive this year. The atlas will be a real boon to anybody with an interest in Somerset wildlife and urge anybody who has not got a copy yet to get one as soon as possible. Well done and thank-you, John.
East Lydford 4/3/12
A cold night and nearly full moon, so I expected only a small number of moths, and that's precisely what I got - 2 Hebrew Characters, one in each trap. However, there was a very fresh Early Thorn on the inside of the kitchen window this morning, the first record this year. Not sure how it got there, but it's now back outside in the bushes, awaiting a night out with its friends.
Langport, VC6, 2-3 March 2012
The Summer Garden Moth scheme started last night; otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to put the trap out. However, there was a reasonable catch this morning.Agonopterix alstromeriana
1, Emmelina monodactyla
1, March Moth 1, Early Moth 1, Dotted Border 1, Early Thorn 1, Common Quaker 3, Small Quaker 4, Hebrew Character 15, Clouded Drab 2, Chestnut 1.
Later in the morning a male Brimstone butterfly nectaring on Lungwort in the garden and, in the field below the house, Small Tortoiseshell and 3 different Bumblebee species nectaring on Plum blossom.
East Lydford 29/2/12
Lots of moths, not much variety. 19 Hebrew Characters, 3 Pale Brindled Beauties & 2 Small Quakers (first this year). All 3 PBBs were outside the trap, all the others inside - funny old world.