I have not caught a moth in my trap for weeks, but spirits were raised today by sightings of Orange Underwing flying high around the canopy of Silver Birch around 1pm today. There was a cold easterly breeze, but the bright sun was enough to bring them out.
Garden Moth Scheme week 5, Langport, VC6
Cold but cloudy last night, T min 1˚C. 1 Common Quaker, 2 Hebrew Character (correction to this morning's posting).
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min temp 3 degrees
GMS night - very wet and no moths
Under the Microscope...
Yesterday (21/03/13), I had the chance to look at some butterfly and moths in real close up under a friend's microscope. It was great fun, and quite extraordinary to look at a butterfly or moth's wing at x300 and fill the frame with a single wing scale. I would highly reccomend an hour or two with a microscope and some moth or butterfly wings (all the ones I looked at were found in cobwebs) it gives a whole new perspective to these fascinating creatures. I also had a go at taking some pictures (without a great deal of sucess) down the microscope, shoving a compact up against the eyepiece - great fun!
2067 Jersey Tiger Wing
1598 Comma Wing
I put the trap out last night-not quite sure why... 3 Hebrew Characters, 2 Quakers, 2 Small Quakers and a lot of soggy egg boxes!
I trapped for only the 3rd time this month last night and recorded 4 Hebrew Characters. March 2013 has so far produced a total of just 9 Hebrew Characters and 3 Common Quakers. This time last year we were experiencing the best mothing of the year and by the same date I had recorded 445 individuals of 15 different species.
I have had Scarlet Tiger breeding on Comfrey in the garden for the last few years but have seen no signs of larva over the winter. In the local churchyard I can normally see hundreds of caterpillars on a sunny March day as they demolish their food plant. This year I can only find one or two caterpillars and the comfrey looks totally untouched.
John, I live about 20 minutes drive away from Felton Common and would be happy to do some trapping there. I have a friend who lives on the edge of the common, is on the Parish Council and is keen to help and learn more.
Bishop's Hull 20.3.13
Put the trap out for the first time in a fortnight; single Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab and March Moth scattered around the garden this morning, nothing actually in the trap.
I've had a request from Felton Parish Council for help with compiling a moth list for the Common. At present there are only six individual moth records for the site; the PC are putting together a funding bid and Natural England would like some info. on moths!
Is anyone in the Bristol/N. Somerset area willing to help by doing some trapping there?
Please let me know if you can help.
Scarlet Tiger caterpillars
I'm Liz and I joined the SMG about a year ago. For 5+ years I have had Scarlet Tiger caterpillars in the flower garden. They have used Forget-me-not as a food plant in the absence of Comfrey (only planted in last year). It is a very warm garden and has bare soil in the winter when the Forget-me-nots and other plants have died back. During the winter when attempting to dig a planting hole for a new plant I have in several occasions inadvertantly dug up a very small Scarlet Tiger caterpillar that was hibernating in the soil, maybe an inch or two down. (and suprisingly once when planting a pot of crocuses in the nearby lawn I found one that was about 3 or 4 " deep).
I have never seen them on the more overgrown and shaded Comfrey in the veg garden nor the Forgetmenots in the wilder area down there.
About 4 years ago I was having to take out about 10 or so adults that were trapped in the polytunnel each day for a week. They possibly may have developed un-noticed in there, but as there were no food plants at the time I thought they had just flown in.
This year unfortunatly I have only seen one caterpillar.
The Scarlet Tiger larvae at Combe Hay are out, munching away on their ornamental comfrey.
I've been wondering why some patches of comfrey support the larvae year after year, but others never seem to. Could it be something to do with bare ground nearby providing warmer conditions for the plant and the larvae? This has seemed to be the case at a few places I have found them. Does this fit with anyone else's observations?
Hodders Combe Lodge garden
Despite the weather last night 1Oak Beauty and several mosquitoes!
Langport, VC6, 15-16 March 2013
GMS night; very wet and windy, min. temp. 5˚C. Four moths;
Hebrew Character 2
Common Quaker 2
Also a Light Brown Apple Moth emerged in our living room - the larva had been feeding on Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis) leaves overwinter. Life on the edge!
LBAM larval damage to Drosera capensis - a carnivorous plant - leaves
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 4 degrees
GMS night. Very wet and no moths.
Hodders Combe garden
No trap last night but previous night 8th March saw 3 Small Quaker FFY, 1 Oak Beauty, 2 Dotted Border, 1 Hebrew Character and 1 Yellow Horned FFY
Combe St. Nicholas, South Somerset
Decided to run the trap last night for the first time this year. Just four moths - Clouded Drab and Grey Shoulder-knot on the wall by the trap and 2 Hebrew Characters in the trap.
Manor Road, Taunton
A bit of unexpected rain last night soaked the trap but still three moths showed up - 1 Early Grey, 1 Clouded Drab and 1 Dotted Border which I think is a first for my garden.
Much the same here, Small Quaker have put in an appearance-1,Com.Quaker-3,Clouded Drab-1, Hebrew Character-7, Early Moth-1, March Moth-1 Grey Shoulder-knot-2, Agon.arenella-1.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 5 degrees
GMS night - March Moth, Oak Beauty, Dotted Border 2, Early Moth and FFY Early Thorn 2
East Lydford 8/3/13
Only 2 Hebrew Characters this time, plus a singleton FFY Dotted Border. Things are on the move, but not very fast.
Garden Moth Scheme week 2 - Langport, VC6
Minimum temperature 6˚C.
March Moth 1,
Twin-spotted Quaker 1,
Common Quaker 5,
Hebrew Character 7,
Grey Shoulder-knot 1.
Norton Sub Hamdon
Unlike the rest of the county I am catching very little here. Last night saw 4 Hebrew Characters and a Common Quaker whilst the night before only gave me a single Hebrew Character. I haven't had a new first for the year since January and haven't seen a butterfly since mid February.
Whitefield, Wiveliscombe - Min Temp 8 degrees
After years of faithful service my computer crashed and its replacement has Windows 8 which will take a lot of time to master but thanks to Mark Yeats patient efforts I can now get back on this site. Thanks Mark!.
Recent new arrivals include a number of March Moths, Dotted Borders, A.heracliana and last night a Spring Usher and a Common Quaker.
East Lydford 6/3/13
More moths here last night than in any one night so far this year (and that's not a lot !!) - 6 Hebrew Characters and 1 Common Quaker. The odd thing is that there was only one of the HC s in the MV trap, all the rest were in the 12v actinic, the first time the actinic has had anything at all in it this year. Odd, I think.
Hodders Combe garden
Very similar to previous night but in addtion 1PalePinion and 1Dotted Chestnut.
Very different collection last night: 2 Hebrew Characters, 3 Common Quakers, 1 Clouded Drab, 1 Dotted Chestnut, 1 Agon.heracliana and FFG- 1 lovely Pale Brindled Beauty.
Langport, VC6, 6-7 March 2013
Not as good as previous night - 3 Common Quaker and 4 Hebrew Character in the trap this morning.
4 moths trapped last night here in Weston: Early Grey, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Chestnut
Hodders Combe Lodge garden
After no trapping in over 2wks i was rewarded with 9moths last night. Single Satellite,Clouded Drab, March Moth,Hebrew Character and Oak Beauty. Two Chestnut and two Grey Shoulder Knot. The Oak Beauty was especially a joy!
Bishop's Hull 5.3.13
After seeing at least four Brimstones and a Peacock at Ham Wall RSPB yesterday I was optimistic enough to put the trap out last night and was rewarded with single Oak Beauty and Common Quaker.
From rags to riches - Langport (VC6) 5-6 March 2013
At last! 11 moths in the trap last night, T min 8˚C. Oak Beauty 1, Small Quaker 1, Common Quaker 2, Hebrew character 7.
Let's hope that the continuing warm weather brings more!
Moths at last: 6 Hebrew Characters, 2 March Moths, 1 Early Moth, 1 Dotted Chestnut, 1 Grey Shoulder-knot, 1 20-plume Moth, 1 Agon.heracliana and 1 Acleris literana. Big improvement on nothing.
A little warmer last night but only two moths,a Shoulder Stripe and a March moth.
If you are wondering why your recently submitted records aren't showing on the website maps it isn't because they haven't been entered into the system, but because the 'schemes' software which sends them to the website has had a hiccup. I've had to restart it from scratch and at this moment it has still 1,201,320 records to process. This will take three or four full (24 hour) days! (I should say that it is fully automated and won't involve me in any more effort.)
I'm grateful to Mark Yeates for the time he has spent sorting the problem out.
A decent day at last!
I have put the trap out this evening more in hope than in expectation, but today's sun brought out some butterflies. A single male Brimstone and a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee in our Langport garden and a male Brimstone, a Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock outside Drayton village hall.
East Lydford 3/3/13
I thought that as the occasional moth was turning up in other parts of the County, I would have a go at trapping last night (the first time in over 2 weeks). Result ? still nothing !! Never mind, the forecasters are promising some slightly warmer weather soon - ever hopeful.
RE: Dotted Border
Yes, that's a male Dotted Border.
Southstoke, Bath 01/03/13
This came to an outside light and I believe it to be a male Dotted Border. A first for me and so would welcome confirmation from anyone.
..and John, that's compared with 7 species here last year for the start of GMS
Garden Moth Scheme ("Summer") 2013 - week 1
Nothing in the trap to start the scheme - T min 2˚C.
Late addition - I should have said that this compares with 9 species for GMS week 1 in 2012!
Just brought the trap in. A male Dotted Border was inside, the first to light here in 2013.