East Lydford 30/1/13
Presumably a bit too much wind for any moths to venture out and visit my traps last night, and we had some rain in the early hours as well. Never mind, it's good to feel that it might be worthwhile trying. Hopefully things will improve - we're all optimists I think.
I did not put out the trap last night because of the strength of the wind but, like John I had my first ever January Hebrew Character. This was attracted by an actinic light in a window.
Found a single Agonopterix alstromeriana in the living room this evening, just prior to putting out the traps for the first time for almost 3 weeks. We'll see if there's anyone out there (if the weather holds).
Langport, VC6, 29-30 January 2013
I had to tie the trap down again last night and again only one moth - a Hebrew Character. This is the earliest date that I have taken this species.
Norton Sub Hamdon
I put my trap out last night and despite the wind and rain I recorded a Pale Brindled Beauty and 2 moths that I first thought were late, well marked Winter Moths. On further examination I think they may be Mottled Greys. This would be my first record, only the second record for ST41 and the earliest Somerset record but it was seen on Portland on 4th January. I have the moths in the fridge and hope to take them to the Oracle at Merriott before giving a conclusive answer as to their id.
Langport, VC6, 28-29 January 2013
The wind was so strong, even in the most sheltered part of our garden, that I had to tie the trap down. One moth this morning - another Dark Chestnut! Hundreds of midges, fungus gnats etc. and a few Yellow Dung Flies in addition.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 5 degrees
At actinic light in a window our first moth since January 8th a Dark Chestnut.
Norton Sub Hamdon
I put the trap out for the first time since the start of the month over the weekend. Despite wet and windy conditions I recorded 2 Dark Chestnuts, the first time I have recorded this moth as anything but singletons.
Across the Pond
Managed to escape before the snow. A real treat to see some Butterflies. This Long-tailed Skipper stopped just long enough for a snap today.
Hooray !! A moth !! This time a White-shouldered House-moth (Endrosis sarcitrella) in the bathroom, rather that in the rainwater butt, like the many I found last year. To save it from dying from hypothermia in the snow, I'm planning to release it in the morning. Then it can find its own destiny.
Possible website developments
Mark Yeates, our Webmaster, has just sent me details of a new site which he has developed for the Yorkshire Moth Group.
This is at http://www.yorkshiremoths.info/
- do have a look. I personally think that it's excellent.
If you click the 'Species' button in the toolbar you will see what has been done for a species by species page.
A nice feature of this is the species accounts at the bottom - which are proving very popular and useful.
If the group could write up similar short summaries he could do a similar thing for the SMG.
Also, any other ideas always welcome.
Jane & Ian,
Lesser Redpolls are uncommon resident breeders in and fairly common winter visitors to Somerset. During winter the Avalon Marshes usually host most of the large flocks but they can be found in small numbers all over the county, mostly feeding in Alder trees.
Minehead 3 January
Ian, we had about 6 redpolls here in the garden on the grass underneath niger seeds for a few weeks early last year. I've not been aware of them before. What's changed?
Norton Sub Hamdon
With little mothing going on at the moment I have turned to observing the birds in my garden more closely hoping that one or two of the dozen or so Hawfinches which are in the churchyard in the village at the moment fly my way. I have recently put up a few feeders including a niger seed feeder. I have not yet seen the Hawfinches here but I have been very surprised to see the niger feeder used almost immediately by Redpolls. I reckon there are at least 4 individuals but possibly many more. This is a bird I have never even seen in Somerset before let alone in my garden and find it hard to believe that they have been around all the time without my noticing them.
Butterfly Conservation's e-moth Newsletter
I have received a copy of the January 2013 e-moth from Zoe Randle at BC. If anyone would like me to email them a copy please contact me.
East Lydford 14/1/13
No trapping until the weather improves, but I disturbed a solitary Agonopterix heracliana in the log store this afternoon - probably trying to get some sleep among the firewood (not in itself a bad place, but risky). At least this one got away before being burned.
Just 2 Hebrew Characters in the trap this week- normal service has been resumed.
East Lydford 9/1/13
Still no moths in the traps, but a solitary Agonopterix heracliana paid us a visit in the early evening at the kitchen window.
Having read Chris Iles' blog of 13 December I looked at some Teasel heads at Westover in Langport (just in VC5) and found several larvae. I've collected some of the heads in the hope of getting adults - they are a very attractive bird-dropping Tortricid.Endothenia gentianeana
larva in Teasel head
East Lydford 9/1/13
Found two inch-long Drinker larvae this morning, hibernating on two separate apple trees, about 4 - 5 feet above ground. We suspect they climbed up to escape the waterlogging which took place in the orchard a few weeks ago. According to Jim Porter's textbook, they would normally hibernate close to the ground, in leaf litter or tussocks. We have plenty of tussocks, but they got very wet. It might be worthwhile checking all the trees to see if there are any more, but they're very hard to see against the twigs.
Langport, VC6, 8-9 January 2013
A wet but mild night brought an improvement - as well as hundreds of midges and fungus gnats, a Pale Brindled Beauty and a Hebrew Character in the Robinson trap.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 7 degrees
At our actinic light in a window one Winter Moth and, a surprise for us in January, one Spruce Carpet. I see Jane Durham reported one from Minehead last week.
East Lydford 6/7 & 7/8 January
For your next assignment - two nights times two traps equals no moths. Discuss.
No, don't bother.
Given the relatively mild conditions, and a waning moon, there ought surely to have been something ? Apparently not - not even any midgy things !!
Langport, VC6, 6-7 January 2013
There have been rumours of Saharan dust in the upper atmosphere so last night I put the trap out by the house wall (which acts as a pale reflector).
Four moths (by far the best for a long time) - two Agonopterix
, one of which escaped and the other is still to be identified - a Mottled Umber and a very unseasonal Cypress Carpet. Simply out of season or a migrant?
Cypress Carpet Thera juniperata
Langport 6-7 January 2013
Where Are They?
Three nights trapping at home and only one Common Quaker to show for it. Hope this is not going to set a trend :-)
Kilve, 5 January 2012
A really pleasant walk in the sun along the coast at Kilve produced one surprise - a Peacock butterfly.
Langport, VC6, 4-5 January 2013
Winter GMS again. T min 9˚C, mild with light mizzle around midnight. A single Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria
Friday night Butleigh
Another Mottled Umber, Hebrew Character, Chestnut and a Grey Shoulder-knot. Mystery micro from Wednesday-verdict 1047 Acleris schalleriana
East Lydford 4/1/13
Only the one moth in the traps this morning - a Spring Usher. This is only the fourth record of this species for this site, (previously two in 2007 and one last year), and by 4 weeks the earliest in the year. Quite a nice surprise.
Butleigh Thursday night
As it was mild and damp- put trap out again- rewarded with Mottled Umber, Hebrew Character, Chestnut, 2-Agon.heracliana and an Acleris sparsana.
Bishop's Hull 3/1/2013
Ran the trap for the first time since mid-November and was rewarded with zero moths.
East Lydford - Addendum to the addendum of 2/1/13
The missing micro finally appeared - Agonopterix heracliana - mystery solved.
Minehead 3 January
5 trapped: Amblyptilia acanthadactyla; Dark chestnut; Common quaker; Double-striped pug and Spruce carpet. As Paul says..a bit early (or late for Spruce c)? It's just so good to find anything in the trap again
Butleigh Wednesday night
First moth of 2013 in the trap- an Acleris umbrana, also an Oak Nycteoline, FFG, and an as yet unidentified Agonopterix. Not a bad start to the year!
Addendum for 2/1/13 - East Lydford
The missing micro from this morning stayed missing, but I did find a Winter Moth lurking instead - how exciting is that ?
Langport, VC6, 2-3 January 2013
Min. temperature 11˚C, one 6w actinic trap (nothing) and one 125w MV which yielded a single Strawberry Tortrix Acleris comariana
. Not a brilliant start to the year's trapping!
2 Common Quakers, Angle Shades and a Mottled Umber were trapped last night. A good start to the year.
East Lydford 2/1/13
My first moth of the year, Acleris sparsana, is also a first for this site. There was another micro in the trap, but it escaped into the "moth room" - I hope to be able to identify it later on (if I can find it). Watch this space. Also in the MV trap were a small Caddis fly, a couple of dung flies, and numerous midgy things.
We saw several newts (Smooth & Palmate) in our ponds last night, as well as numerous Backswimmers and assorted mini-beasties - seems the mild weather is making things active. Snowdrops also starting to show above ground. Isn't this all a bit soon ?
A Happy New Year to all in SMG
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe = Min temp 8 degrees
With the rise in temperature I had hoped for a good start to the year but we had nothing in the trap and just one Winter Moth at an actinic in a window.