Monday, 22 July 2013

Pushing 300 in Oxon...

... but the downside is that we're about to be away for almost a fortnight on holiday. Still, the last few nights have continued to be highly productive - we nearly got up to 200 individuals on the 21st, with a catch of 195 (Uncertains, Agriphila straminella and Mothers-of-pearl accounting for a lot of those), and we've even had some butterflies to boost numbers (though interestingly not as many as Adam Hartley, in a slightly more urban location within a mile or two of us) - I was pleased to see Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper in the garden over the past couple of days, which I don't think I've seen there before.

A few species I remember from late July and August last year have started to show up - the afore-mentioned Mothers-of-pearl, Dun-bar, and various Footmen and Yellow Underwings: I'm especially fond of the Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, though it takes a long time to type.

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, 21st July

Dun-bar, 19th July
Several other big species have visited too, including a continuing steady stream of Poplar Hawkmoths, as well as a Small Elephant Hawkmoth; also our first ever Large Emerald clinging to the outside of the trap.

Large Emerald, 21st July
And as before, micros remain interesting to identify, and often quite spectacular in their own right:

Mompha propinquella, 15th July

Recurvaria leucatella, 20th July

So we've now hit a combined total of 288: 277 moths and eleven butterflies: I'm almost more surprised that we've a total of 197 moth species for July (might possibly hit 200 if tonight goes OK), which is more than my overall total for 2012 (although admittedly I wasn't then working at it as much as I am now).

Like Adam, I'm very much enjoying the fact that my son, a little older than his at nine years, gets much enjoyment from the moths: he's quite a dab hand at identifying them. I'm wondering about diversifying into wine rope trapping in August, but my experiments in that area so far have been singularly unsuccessful: if anyone has nay top tips, I'd be very grateful.

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