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current posts

 
Thu 31st May 2012 22:07 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 30/5/12 addendum
Another 7 moths to add to the catch, but nothing special (i.e. no FFY or rarities), but it keeps me fit climbing up to the skylights if nothing else.
link
Thu 31st May 2012 11:57 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees

The drop in temperature over the last four nights has not increased the moth numbers but we have had FFY singles of Buff Ermine, Yellow Barred-brindle, Coronet, Pale Shouldered Brocade, Shoulder Striped Wainscot, Common Wainscot, Cream Wave and Bright-line Brown -Eye.

link
Thu 31st May 2012 11:10 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 30/5/12
Another interesting catch, but only 1 Hawk-moth (Lime) this time.  44 moths of 25 species so far (plus escapees to be caught this evening as usual - they hide in the room where I open the traps, and re-appear at dusk in the skylights, which makes them relatively easy to catch).  New for this year were Lychnis, Willow Beauty, LIght Emerald (2), Scorched Wing, Sharp-angled Peacock, Common Marbled Carpet, Common Carpet, Dusky Brocade, & Vine's Rustic.

Also another Black Sexton Beetle, but still no May Bugs.  A 16-spot Ladybird came into the house yesterday. As far as I can remember this is the first one I have ever seen - they are very small (3 mm) so maybe that's not so surprising !!  We regularly get the 2-, 7-, and 22-spot ones, and the occasional Harlequin, so it's nice to see a different one for a change. I just hope they are as good as the others at eating aphids - there are plenty around at the moment.

link
Wed 30th May 2012 11:51 by Paul Bowyer
News from Weston
Macros have been poorly represented so far since the end of the cold snap and still to get going here in Weston despite rather good conditions. The only interest has come from the micros with 100+ T.acroxantha on 25th May. Carnation Tortrix Cacoecimorpha pronubana was new for the garden on 26th May. 2nd garden record of Argyresthia cupressella was a surprise so perhaps this one is becoming established in the area. Migrant wise I have recorded singles of Plutella xylostella and Udea ferrugalis on 28th and 29th respectively plus 2 Painted Lady.
link
Wed 30th May 2012 09:54 by Ian Mathieson
6 Silver Ys last night is more than I have had on any night since 2010.  Firsts for the year included Grey Pine Carpet, Burnished Brass, Mottled Rustic, Mottled Pug, Light Emerald and Flame whilst Heart.
link
Wed 30th May 2012 09:44 by Paul Newman
Easy Lydford 28/5/12 addendum
Only 8 more moths to add to the main record - nothing special, but included 3 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella (makes a change from the White-shouldered sort - and what an enormous name for such a small moth !!) plus 2 Pale Mottled Willows, both of which species were the first this year.
link
Tue 29th May 2012 16:20 by John Bebbington
Berrow Dunes, 20 May 2012
Robin Clatworthy and Mike RIdge trapped at Berrow on 20th May - results on the 'Moth Nights - Results' page
link
Tue 29th May 2012 12:10 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 28/5/12
An interesting night - nearly 50 moths of 27 species (plus a few still to be rounded up this evening) including 4 Hawk-moths , (2 LIme, 1 Eyed, both FFY, and 1 Poplar) and other FFY Scorched Carpet, Celypha lacunana, Small Square-spot, Bright-line Brown-eye, Cinnabar, Pale Prominent, Spectacle, and Blood-vein. I think the bats may have missed out this time, as the Hawks would have made a tasty meal for them - maybe they took the hint and went to the ponds, but I somehow doubt it.

I had a House Martin came into the kitchen this morning (29th), flew round, chirped, and flew straight back out again - looks as if we may have missed out on a potential nest-site !!  Probably just as well, as I suspect they might be a bit of a health hazard in a kitchen - the HSE would not be impressed. They're more than welcome to use the outbuildings alongside the swallows if they want.

p.s. Not trying to upstage your Lychnis, John !!

link
Tue 29th May 2012 00:27 by John Connolly
Manor Road, Taunton 27th May
My first Lychnis of the year flew in through an open bedroom window last night.

The Lychnis
link
Mon 28th May 2012 20:52 by John Bebbington
Great Breach Wood, 18 May 2012
Mike Ridge and Robin Clatworthy trapped at Great breach Wood on 18th May - the first public meting since 1st April. 144 individuals of 34 species.

Full details on 'Moth Nights 2012 - Results' page.
link
Mon 28th May 2012 10:02 by Nigel Cottle
Bishops Hull 26/5/12
Saturday night was the best night of the year so far with 31 moths of 19 species including Brimstone, Flame Shoulder, Angle Shades, Heart & Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Muslin Moth, Hebrew Character, Cabbage Moth, Bright-line Brown-eye, Lychnis, Turnip Moth, Knot Grass, Vine's Rustic, Mottled Pug, Tawny Speckled Pug and a Silver Y.
link
Sun 27th May 2012 21:18 by Ian Mathieson
I finally reached my 100th macro species of the year last night with a Cypress Carpet. I have trapped this regularly since its first VC5 appearance in 2003 but failed to get it last Autumn so it was good to see it again. Also new for the year were Lime-speck Pug, Gold Spot, Cinnabar and Shears.
link
Sun 27th May 2012 12:52 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 26/5/12
There were only 24 moths in two traps/rain butts/walls (in spite of the warmth and small amount of moonlight), comprising 14 species. However, included in these were FFY Poplar Hawkmoth, Pebble Prominent, Sycamore and Buff Ermine.

I blame the bats for the low numbers - they were out in force last night. I just wish they would concentrate their energies on the thousands of midges flying over the ponds and stay away from the traps, but I suppose a moth makes a more substantial meal for less effort.

link
Sun 27th May 2012 12:35 by Dave Ayling
Blue Anchor, Friday 27th May 2012
23 species, best so far this year, including a first for garden Syndemis musculana. FFY included Dog's Tooth, Common Marbled Carpet, Small Magpie, Spruce Carpet, Pale Tussock and Ruddy Carpet which used to come regularly to the garden but hadn't been seen since 2010. Ruddy Carpet
link
Sun 27th May 2012 11:55 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 13 degrees

An excellent night with 38 species including FFY - Flame, Knot Grass, Smoky Wainscot, Garden Pebble and Small Magpie.  The outstanding item was a Great Prominent which we have only had six times in fourteen years. I was also delighted to receive a copy of Phil Sterlings "Field Guide to the Micro moths of GB and Ireland"which I strongly recommend.

link
Sun 27th May 2012 11:26 by John Connolly
Manor Road, Taunton, Friday 25th May
By far the best night this year with 78 moths of 23 species. My highest ever catch of 27 Tachystola acroxantha, two firsts for my garden 247 Trinea tinotella and May Highflyer and ten FFY Silver-ground Carpet, Green Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Oak-tree Pug, Least Black Arches, Heart & Dart, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Marbled Minor Ag., Treble Lines and Vine's Rustic. Also had the first sedge flies of the year which must come from the stream over a hundred yards away, a couple of May Bugs and a couple of Shield Bugs. I agree about the number of moths which come to the trap and then fly off. I get lots of moths doing this to my 40W actinic and netting them often turns up something different.
link
Sun 27th May 2012 09:14 by Doug Miller
doug.miller
Numbers still very low however a first for my site was two Orange Footmen, also in the trap Lampronia fuscatella this is supposed to fly in the afternoon.
link
Sat 26th May 2012 21:34 by Peter Tennant
whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 14 degrees

Over 23 species including FFY - a lovely fresh Puss Moth, Shuttle-shaped Dart and a Common Wave. Trapping in a local wood for only the second time this year we had over thirty species including our FFY Buff Tip, Spruce Carpet, Small Phoenix, Spectacle, Barred Umber, a remarkable 40 Orange Footman and 14 Scalloped Hazel.

link
Sat 26th May 2012 18:35 by Ian Mathieson
Had a fantastic visit to Cerne Abbas this afternoon where butterflies abounded. To the right of the giant, where it was slightly less windy, you could stand and count 3 dozen Martsh Fritillaries flying at a time. There were hundreds, possibly thousands there. Also flying with them were good numbers of Adonis Blues along with numerous Common Blues, Grizzled and Dingy Skippers with a smaller number of Brown Argus. Although the site claims to hold Duke of Burgundy I've never seen it here before despite what looks like perfect habitat.
The only moth I saw was a Forester.
link
Fri 25th May 2012 22:16 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 24/5/12 addendum
I rounded up the "escapees" this evening - nothing spectacular - 3 more Green Carpets, 2 Silver-ground Carpets (FFY) 1 more Red Twin-spot Carpet & 1 more Ringed China-mark.  Total for the night now 42 of 22 species (moths), plus a Black Diving Beetle and a Caddis Fly (presumably these were heading for the pond and got lost)
link
Fri 25th May 2012 21:30 by Chris Iles
Small Yellow Underwing
It looks like a good year for this diminutive day-flier, which I am finding on new sites and in slightly higher numbers than usual (twos instead of ones...) on existing sites.
link
Fri 25th May 2012 20:10 by William Langdon
25/05/12
Finally - the moths are coming 73 moths of 31 species, new for the year were Cream Spot tiger (1), Shuttle - Shaped Dart (3), Flame (1), Rush Veener (1), Brown House Moth (1), Pebble Prominent (1), Heart and Dart (1), Chinese Character (1), White Pinion Spotted (1), Eulia Ministrana (1), Common Marbled Carpet (1), Lunar Thorn (1), Poplar Grey (1), Least Black Arches (1) and Sandy Carpet (2). Green Carpet were the most numerous with 21 individuals and the May Bugs reached 27.

1015 Eulia Ministrana

1015 Eulia Ministrana

link
Fri 25th May 2012 15:26 by Ian Mathieson
Definitely a good night at last. It is always encouraging when you can see the moths flying around the trap as you walk to inspect it last thing at night. I stayed with the trap a little while last night catching and potting some of the moths before they reached the trap. I find this always increases the variety of the catch as I am convinced there are large numbers of moths that fly around the trap for a bit before disappearing.
Last night I recorded 122 macros of 49 species. Despite the variety there wasn't a single Heart and Dart. Firsts for the year were Common Swift, Figure of Eighty, Oak Hook-tip, Maiden's Blush, Sandy Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Foxglove Pug, Clouded Silver, White Ermine, Chocolate Tip, Sallow Kitten, Lime Hawk Moth, Alder Moth, Sycamore and Middle Barred Minor.
Paul, all the May Bugs are over here. I had 30 last night. That's a lot of buzzing and scrabbling in your trap!
link
Fri 25th May 2012 12:30 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 24/5/12
Nice warm night, new moon, so quite a few more moths - might have been even more, but the bats were out as well !!  35 moths of 21 species (so far - escapees to be rounded up from the skylight this evening). There must have been a mass exodus of Ringed China-marks from our pond - I saw several when walking around the pond looking for newts and other pond-life after dark, and there were 8 more in the traps as well. Also new for this year - Green Carpet, White Ermine, Chinese Character, Burnished Brass, Diamond-back (first since 2009), Eudonia angustea, Syndemis musculana, Small Waved Umber, Marbled ? Minor (agg), and Rustic Shoulder-knot.

Also for the interest of any entomologists out there, a Black Sexton Beetle (Necrophorus humator) and a Scorpion Fly, plus several thousand dead midges and small flies. Quite a collection, but no May Bugs yet - I live in hope.

Finally, a Speckled Wood in the garden this morning - FFY

link
Fri 25th May 2012 10:19 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 15 degrees

At last a proper nights mothing with over sixty moths of 30 + species (a number of pugs awaiting ID). FFY Alder (2), Red-Green Carpet, Lunar Thorn, Lychnis, Shears, Clouded Silver, Grey Birch (2), Poplar Grey, Tawny-barred Angle, Scalloped Hazel, Small Square-spot, Straw Dot and Treble Lines.

link
Thu 24th May 2012 11:35 by Paul Jennings
Mount Farm Milverton
My first post,18 moths of 14 species including FFY Poplar Hawk Moth Iron Prominent Grey Dagger and Coronet. At Wiveliscombe much smaller catch but did get Garden Carpet and LBAM. Seem to be getting a lot of Cockchafer in the trap also. Paul Jennings.
link
Thu 24th May 2012 09:54 by Ian Mathieson
50 macros from 27 species last night with firsts for year in Lobster Moth, Silver Ground Carpet, Poplar Hawk Moth, Cabbage Moth and Willow Beauty. As predicted by Chris a week ago Green Carpet was the most numerous with more last night, 8, than on any night last year.
Although trapping seems quite quiet I was encouraged to see that I am averaging 35 moths a night in May compared to the 2003-2010 May average of 41 so it does not appear to be as bad as I thought. Last May the average per night was 109 so compared to 12 months ago it is poor but that was an exceptional start to the year. The forecast for the rest of the month appears very good and hopefully moth numbers will respond.
link
Thu 24th May 2012 09:51 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 11 degrees

25 moths of 15 species including FFY - Heart and Dart, Marbled Minor (agg), a melanic Clouded Bordered Brindle a Least Black Arches and one Peach Blossom.

link
Thu 24th May 2012 06:59 by John Connolly
Manor Road, Taunton
Trapped on Monday night and last night with a slight improvement in catches over the last few weeks but still not great. Eleven moths of eight species both nights. New for year on Monday were Tachystola acroxantha, Eudonia angustea, Common Marbled and Garden Carpets and last night Syndemis musculana, Bee Moth, Flame Shoulder and Pale Mottled Willow.
link
Wed 23rd May 2012 17:41 by Dave Ayling
Blue Anchor 22nd May
19 moths, 15 species last night. Unusual mix of moths that I would normally have seen earlier in the year and some that I would expect now. e.g. a very fresh looking Clouded Drab, a Common Quaker and 4 Hebrew Characters in very good condition and an equally fresh looking Lychnis along with Ingrailed Clay, Marbled Minor, Treble Lines and Silver-ground carpet.
link
Wed 23rd May 2012 12:18 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 10 degrees

21 moths of eleven species including two FFY - Lobster and Mottled Rustic. The latter appears to be earlier than usual.

link
Tue 22nd May 2012 23:13 by Sue Davies
ButLeigh
Small nos but some new species- first Scallped Hazel here too, Mullein,Trebble Line, Common Pug, 4 Muslins, Flame Shoulder, Brimstone and a Heb Char.
link
Tue 22nd May 2012 11:58 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 21/5/12
Again a small catch - 9 singletons, but they included first this year Peppered Moth, Garden Pebble, Red Twin-spot Carpet and Flame Shoulder, and (a new species for this site) a Scalloped Hazel, plus Muslin Moth, Common Swift and Garden Carpet, and the obligatory White-shouldered House moth (Wot, no Hebrew Characters ?) Yesterday we had a Holly Blue in the garden, the first new butterfly species for 6 weeks - things are looking up.
link
Mon 21st May 2012 21:19 by Sue Davies
Polden Way Day Fliers
Walk along Polden way in warm sunshine, lots of Adela reamurella, Plume moth- Porrittia galactodactyla larvae munching their way through Burdock, very fresh Silver Y and Burnet Companion on Gilling Down and Small White Wave in one of the clearings- lovely. 0150 Adela reamurella SD121514 Porrittia galactodactyla larva on Burdock SD12
link
Mon 21st May 2012 15:07 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees

16 moths of 9 species including . as no doubt Paul will be interested to know, a White-shouldered House moth. Also FFY - Light Brocade, V-Pug, and a Setaceous Hebrew Character- no doubt the first of many as we had over 1500 individuals last year.

link
Mon 21st May 2012 06:02 by John Bebbington
Slight improvement in Langport, moths from old bee nest
Garden moth scheme, 18 May 2012
A better night here - 22 individuals of 16 species including several ffy*. Light Brown Apple Moth 1, *Common Swift 1, *Chinese Character 1, *Red Twin-spot Carpet 1, *Broken-barred Carpet 1, *Purple-bar 2, Double-striped Pug 1, *V-pug 1, Brimstone 2, Lesser Swallow Prominent 1, *Pale Tussock 1, *Least Black Arches 2, Shuttle-shaped dart 2, *Rustic Shoulder-knot 1, Hebrew Character 1, Mullein 2

I trapped at Playses Orchard in Hambridge for the local Watch group on 19 May - poor catch, 13 of 8 species
Common Swift 2, 385 Anthophila fabriciana (Nettle Tap) 1, 1342 Eudonia angustea 2, Green Carpet 2, Brimstone Moth 1, Muslin 4, Treble Lines 1.

Moths from old bee nest
Last year (2011) we had a nest of the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum in one of the nest boxes in our garden. When I cleaned it out in November there was a mass of what appeared to be moth cocoons in the bottom of the box.They have just begin to hatch and so far we have had one 648 White-shouldered House-moth Endrosis sarcitrella and three 1428 Bee Moth Aphomia sociella.
link
Sun 20th May 2012 16:41 by Jane Durham
this being the first time I've sent anything in, I don't wish to sound too pleased...but here in Minehead I had 30 of 19 species yesterday and 28/19 today (26 different species over the 2 days)) after an extremely thin time as for everyone.  but still I've not had one white-shouldered house moth, in water-butt or trap.  I'm not aware of ever having seen one.
link
Sun 20th May 2012 09:41 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 19/5/12
Not wishing to be too competitive Sue, but I had 1 White-shouldered Housemoth in my MV trap last night, AND 6 in the rainwater butts this morning !! Otherwise a poor night's catch again, just 2 male Muslin Moths, 1 Common Swift (ffy) and two wings of a Swallow Prominent. (What happened to the rest of it I have no idea).  Something of a mixed bag, you might say.
link
Sun 20th May 2012 09:27 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe- Min Temp 9 degrees

Only 12 moths of 11 species including three FFY - Pebble Prominent, Brown Silver-line and the light form of Clouded Bordered Brindle.

link
Sat 19th May 2012 23:18 by Sue Davies
Butleigh
Trapping improving- a little. Thursday night, just 1 Hebrew Character, 2 Muslin, 1 Cabbage and 1, 1342 Eudonia augustea

1342 Eudonia augustea SD12

Friday- 1 Heb Ch, 1 Clouded Drab, 3 Green Carpets, 1 Com Marbled Carpet, 1 Brimstone, 2 Common Swifts, 1 Iron prominent and 1 Argonopterix arenella and for Paul-one White-shouldered House-moth in the shed.

017 Common Swift SD12

link
Sat 19th May 2012 18:39 by Chris Iles
In the last month I have moved house to Holcombe and have made a slow start to moth-trapping on a new site, as much due to time commitments as the poor weather.  Last night finally produced more than one moth - 1 Garden Carpet, 1 Knot-grass and 1 Mottled Pug.  The first two moths were particularly fresh and well-marked. 

Epiphyas postvittana, at least, is common here; I am disturbing them regularly whilst gardening.

On Wednesday whilst looking for dragonflies I disturbed a number of Green Carpet, not something I come across every year by day.  Perhaps they are on course for a good year?

A Diamond-back this afternoon up on Stoke Camp where I am starting a monthly bumblebee transect.  Only one bumblebee in evidence, but encouragingly it was the relatively scarce cuckoo-bee Bombus barbutellus.

link
Sat 19th May 2012 14:19 by William Langdon
19/05/12
A Night that didn't really live up to expectations, despite the excellent forcast. 26 moths of 20 species. new for the year were Tawny Marbled Minor, Flame Shoulder, Diamond Backed Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Green Carpet, Treble Bar and Mullein, Mullein was also new for the garden - long awaited as I have often found their handsome cateerpillars. The relatively good number of moth species was probably due to the fact I made a conscious effort to photograph some of the micros of which there were 6 species, all apart from 2 (light brown apple moth and Diamond Backed Moth) remain unidentified. However, with the imminent arrival of Richard Lewington's Micro Book, they shouldn't remain a problem for long. Away from the moths, another visit to thurlbear this time shorter (around 45 minutes) yielded excellent numbers of grizzled skipper (around 20) - I think their emergence had been put off by the rain, and more of the same as well as my first Small Heath of the year. Shapwick Heath on the levels was also good today for butterflies, with Orange Tip (c.15), Brimstone (c.10), Small Tortoiseshell (1), Small White (2) and suprisingly, 1 Six - Spot Burnet.

2221 The Mullein

2221 - Mullein - extraordinarily well camoflauged.

link
Sat 19th May 2012 11:04 by Ian Mathieson
51 moths of 20 species. FFY Peppered Moth, Treble Lines, Common Pug, V-Pug, Swallow Prominent, Herald, Vines Rustic and Rustic Shoulder Knot. We also had our first two May Bugs of the year.
I have now seen 63 Species this year. This time last year I was on 121. This is easily the slowest start I've ever experienced.
link
Sat 19th May 2012 09:59 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees

16 moths of eleven species - FFY - Waved Umber, Scalloped Hazel and Common Pug. Also our first May Bug !

link
Fri 18th May 2012 17:14 by John Bebbington
New micro species for Somerset
Robert Homan has found and verified what appears to be a new species for Somerset - 36a Ectoedemia heringella, which mines in the leaves of Holm Oak Quercus ilex. The mines were in Royal Victoria Park, Bath on 16th May.

This species is fairly new to Britain, the first specimens having been found in London in 2002.

There is a photo of the adult on the UK Moths website. Well done, Robert!
link
Fri 18th May 2012 13:36 by Paul Newman
East Lydford, 17/5/12
You're doing well, Peter - all I got last night were 2 Hebrew Characters, 1 in each trap (MV & Actinic). I assume the cold wind kept the beasties at home - very sensible of them.
link
Fri 18th May 2012 09:28 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 7 degrees

Only 9 moths of seven species of which three were FFY - Mullein (2), Silver Ground Carpet and Poplar Hawk.

link
Fri 18th May 2012 07:06 by John Bebbington
Insect Photography book
I've just had an advance copy of my book on insect photography - due for release on 16th June. A long-term ambition realised!

Details on the Crowood Press website at

www.crowood.com/details.asp?isbn=9781847973788&t=Insect-Photography---Art-and-Techniques

link
Thu 17th May 2012 18:48 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6, 16-17 May 2012
Another poor night although the minimum temperature wasn't too low at 7˚C.
1 each of 5 species: Light Brown Apple moth, Garden Pebble, Muslin, White Ermine (ffy) and Hebrew Character.
link
Tue 15th May 2012 09:58 by Dave Ayling
link
Tue 15th May 2012 09:58 by Dave Ayling
Blue Anchor 12th May
At last I managed to get my trap out in the garden. First time this year. 8 moths, 7 species - Flame Carpet, Red twin-spot Carpet, Common Quaker, Silver Cloud, Brindled Beauty, Pale Mottled Willow and 2 Hebrew Characters.
link
Mon 14th May 2012 20:35 by John Bebbington
SANHS
I now have the great honour of being President of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (SANHS) for the year 2012 - 2013.

SMG is an Associated Society and I'd like to strengthen the links between us. The new SANHS website is up and has a wealth of information as well as as a full calendar of events - I have put a new link in our 'links' page.

SANHS have also offered to publicise our Atlas to members and I have already had the first order.

`i will ask SANHS to publicise Mike Ridge's moth nights.
link
Sun 13th May 2012 10:15 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 12/5/12
Yet another poor night last night - 7 Hebrew Characters and 1 Muslin Moth. Not even a White-shouldered House moth in the water butts !! 

Unlike William's excellent list of butterflies (Thurlbear is a super place to see them), I've still only seen 6 species here all year. and no new ones since 10th April. I'm beginning to feel quite deprived.

link
Sat 12th May 2012 20:47 by William Langdon
11/05/12
Having been unable to put the trap out for the best part of the month, I managed to sneak it out on friday, in the end it wasn't a magnificent night, with Muslin (2), Red Twin Spot Carpet (2), Dark Barred Twin Spot Carpet (1), Spectacle (1) and Brimstone (6) firsts for the year. Today, I visited Thurlbear Quarrylands, butterflies were on the agenda and Dingy Skippers (c. 14) were very much in evidence, as well as Grizzled Skipper (c.8), Duke of Burgundy (4), Green Hairstreak (1), Speckled Wood (1), Holly Blue (4), Brimstone (1), Small White (1), Green - Veined White (1) and Orange Tip (2). Moths here were Adela reaumurella in good numbers, Small Yellow Underwing (1), Silver Y (1) and various micros to which I am yet to attach an ID.

1906 Brimstone WL 2450 Spectacle WL 2

1906 Brimstone and 2450 Spectacle

2450 Spectacle WL

2450 Spectacle

link
Sat 12th May 2012 09:10 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wivelsicombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

After a couple of warmer nights when we had FFY - Green Carpet I had hoped for the first good GMS night for some time but it was not to be. We had a colder night and only five moths in the trap with one FFY - a Lesser Swallow Prominent

link
Sat 12th May 2012 07:49 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6, 11 May and GMS 11-12 May 2012
A much better day in terms of weather yesterday but still very little on the wing - two Peacock and one Speckled Wood, two Large Red Damselflies and a single Adela reaumurella in a sheltered lane, one Scarlet Tiger larva on my allotment.

150 Adela reaumurella male

GMS night was very poor - min temp 3˚C and only 4 moths; Muslin 2, Shuttle-shaped Dart 1, Hebrew Character 1.
link
Fri 11th May 2012 11:55 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 10/5/12
At last some moths !!  19 of 9 species, 4 of them new this year - Brimstone (2), Swallow Prominent, Garden Carpet & Common Pug.  Nice to have something to report

P.S.  5 more White-shouldered House-moths in the rainwater butts today (11/5) - they can't seem to help themselves. Still, there must be a lot of them to be able to sustain these losses.

link
Fri 11th May 2012 11:21 by Ian Mathieson
Another night when there were less moths than expected. It did include three firsts for the year. These were Minor agg. but probably Marbled Minor, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Yellow- Barred Brindle.
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Thu 10th May 2012 09:20 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 12 degrees

I had hoped the warmer temperature would improve the catch but increased wind and rain put paid to that. We had only four moths in the trap but two were FFY - Flame Shoulder and Oak Nycteoline.

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Wed 9th May 2012 10:06 by Ian Mathieson
A reasonable night in comparison to others recently. About 50 moths from 19 species including 2 Silver Ys and firsts for the year in Ruby Tiger, Light Brocade and Shuttle Shaped Dart.
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Wed 9th May 2012 08:57 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp up to 8 degrees but still wet.

Nineteen moths of eight species including FFY - White Ermine and Iron Prominent

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Wed 9th May 2012 08:12 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 8/5/12
The worms are safe today - I got moths.  3 Hebrew Characters and a Pale Prominent - hooray !!
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Tue 8th May 2012 11:41 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 6 degrees

Only four moths of three species including one FFY - Lunar Marbled Brown.

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Mon 7th May 2012 10:28 by John Bebbington
UPDATE ON MOTH NIGHT MEETINGS - PLEASE NOTE!
The date of the Shapwick meeting has been changed from 26 May to Saturday 2 June at the request of Natural England.

The National Moth Night meeting on 22 June will be at Batts Combe Quarry - full details on the MOTH NIGHTS 2012 page.
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Mon 7th May 2012 09:54 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees and very wet

Six moths of three species so the miserable season continues On this day last year we had 25 species in the trap!

Ian. you had better follow the advice we were given some twenty years ago when visiting the Farne Islands in the tern nesting season - "Wear a Hat"

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Sun 6th May 2012 22:17 by John Connolly
Re. Buzzard
Hi Ian

I'd never heard of this either but when I did an internet search for "buzzard attacks runner" it turned up lots of cases all over the place. They reckon it may be defending young as gulls do and some birds seem to do it to more than one person. Looking at some of the pictures I think you may have got off quite lightly.

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Sun 6th May 2012 12:43 by Ian Mathieson
I realise that this is not a moth record but it is wildlife related. Whilst out running this morning I was crossing a field near my home in Norton Sub Hamdon when I felt a blow to the top of my head which caused me to stumble forward and drew a minute amount of blood. I looked around and saw a Buzzard flying away and land in a nearby tree. When I set off again it flew straight at me and only stopped a metre or so away from my wild gesticulations. It repeated the unprovoked attack another three times despite a well aimed stone. I continued my run but flinched every time a Blackbird or Dunnock flew past me. I have heard of Arctic Skuas and Arctic Terns acting like this and have been dive bombed by Herring Gulls in the past but I have never heard of this behaviour from a buzzard and would appreciate any comments from others who may have had a similar experience.
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Sun 6th May 2012 08:38 by Ian Mathieson
Only 6 moths yesterday but they did include two annual firsts in Mullein and Streamer.  I was pleased with the Streamer as I thought I may have missed out on it this year because of the poor catches in April.
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Sat 5th May 2012 22:40 by Paul Newman
Thank you John - all contributions gratefully received - I need all the help I can get !!
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Sat 5th May 2012 17:38 by John Bebbington
Looking to help Paul ......
Blackbird male with worms
A helping hand!
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Sat 5th May 2012 15:57 by Paul Newman
East Lydfrd 4/5/12
What a waste of time - not one moth last night. I'm going down the garden to eat worms.
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Sat 5th May 2012 10:12 by John Bebbington
Garden Moth Scheme Langport, VC6, 4-5 May 2012
Again, if it hadn't been Garden Moth Scheme night I wouldn't have bothered to trap. Min. temp. 5˚C, 6 macros of 6 species.

Red Twin-spot Carpet 1, Brindled Beauty 1 (ffy), Muslin 1, Shuttle-shaped Dart 1 (ffy), Hebrew character 1, Angle-shades 1.

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Fri 4th May 2012 21:55 by John Bebbington
Images from Mark Fletcher
Mark Fletcher, who joined the Group in February, has sent me some images of Feathered Thorn eggs and larva and of a Green-brindled Crescent larva - rarely seen.

Feathered Thorn eggsHatched Feathered Thorn eggs
Eggs of Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria just before and after hatching

Feathered Thorn caterpillar
Larva of of Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria

Green-brindled Cescent caterpillar 1Green-brindled Crescent caterpillar 2
Larva of Green-brindled Crescent Allophyes oxyacanthae

All images ©Mark Fletcher 2012
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Fri 4th May 2012 09:16 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 7 degrees

A very wet night with only three moths including one FFY - a Herald

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Thu 3rd May 2012 19:23 by Nigel Cottle
Micro Bishops Hull 3.5.12
This morning I potted a micro at the dining room window. It turned out to be 747 Chrysoesthia sexguttella which, according to this website, is occasional and very local in Somerset; a pleasant surprise after recent poor catches.

747 Chrysoesthia sexguttella

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Thu 3rd May 2012 15:15 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6, 2-3 May 2012
i had not considered putting the trap out last night until I heard of a Striped Hawkmoth caught in Kent!

No such luck here however, but a reasonable catch. Red Twinspot Carpet 1 (ffy), Common Pug 1 (ffy), Mottled Pug 1 (ffy), Scorched Carpet 1 (ffy), Brimstone 5, Poplar Hawk 1 (ffy), Flame Shoulder 3 (ffy), Mullein 1, Hebrew Character 5, Powdered Quaker 5.
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Thu 3rd May 2012 09:41 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees

We, like Ian, had despite the rain a better nights mothing than we have experienced since March. Although we had only 30 moths of 13 species they included FFY Pale Prominent, Small Phoenix, Peppered Moth, Brimstone Moth and A.hexadactyla.

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Thu 3rd May 2012 08:33 by Ian Mathieson
At last a decent night's weather turned up a decent number of moths although it was horribly wet when I was inspecting the traps this morning. 73 macros of 23 different species with 11 annual firsts. These were Garden Carpet, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Green Carpet, Waved Umber, Scalloped Hazel, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Pale Prominent, Chinese Character, Flame Shoulder, Silver Y and a quite early Dog's Tooth.
Yesterday amongst a much smaller catch I also recorded my first Bright-line Brown-eye, Pebble Prominent and Lunar Marbled Brown.
After a below average year last year Brimstones have started well here with the 19 I recrded last night more than I caught on any single night last year.
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Wed 2nd May 2012 10:47 by Nigel Cottle
Bishops Hull 1.5.12
First time I have run the trap since 13th April! Only four moths of three species: two Hebrew Character and single Garden Carpet and Muslin Moth (latter two both FFY).
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Wed 2nd May 2012 08:52 by Paul Newman
East Lydford 1/5/12
The first time I've felt it worthwhile putting out the traps for a week - first up the battery was flat on the 12v Actinic - not a promising start !!  However, I reached the dizzy heights of 9 moths in the MV trap this morning - 4 Hebrew Characters, 3 Muslin Moths (all males as usual), 1 Clouded Drab and 1 Early Grey - none new this year. Best catch since 8th. April - so it could have been worse (but not much).

Like John, I saw a few butterflies out and about in the sunshine yesterday - Brimstones, Orange Tips and an unidentifiable White (too far away). Our ponds are filling up nicely afer all the rain, so I'm quite happy about the wet weather (probably the only person in the UK who is). Lots of Slow-worms and a Grass Snake out as well. Spring must be here (well maybe).

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Wed 2nd May 2012 07:05 by John Bebbington
Langport, VC6, 29 April -1 May 2012; Hardington Moor 1 May 2012
I have been away in Derbyshire for a week - dire weather most of the time and only two lep records (a Common Footman larva and Firethorn Leaf Miner). I put the trap out on Monday night (it was fine when I went out to camera club) and despite the torrential rain had 14 moths - Brimstone 9 (ffy), Mullein 1 (ffy), Garden Carpet 1 (ffy), Light Brown Apple Moth 4 (ffy), Angle Shades 1 and another Silver Y.

My wife ran a field day for her Langport Botany Group at Hardington Moor NNR yesterday - we arrived at 0930 in mist and rain but by 1030 the sun was out and we had a super day. No moths but there were Brimstone, Green-veined White and Orange-tip butterflies flying in the afternoon.

Back to grey skies this morning (Wednesday)!
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Tue 1st May 2012 10:38 by Peter Tennant
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 10 degrees and very wet.

After two nights when I did not put the trap out - we had 2 inches of rain in 36 hours - I felt I must try as the temperature was rising.  I was rewarded, if that is the right word, with six moths of four species including FFY Common Marbled Carpet.  Even better - our House Martins are back some ten days later than usual.

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Tue 1st May 2012 09:09 by Ian Mathieson
What a miserable month April turned out to be. After a record breaking March when I recorded 752 Macros from 12 trappings last month I only recorded 133 from 9 trappings. This is my lowest ever April total with only 2008 coming close when I had only 151 from 13. Last year I caught 712 moths in April. With only 31 different species this is my worst start since 2003. By the end of April last year I was up to 73 different species.
This all sounds depressing but as the years nearly always sort themselves out in the end its possible we have some fantastic nights in front of us!
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