Saturday, 24 August 2013

Garden Gold - Whetstone Leics. Update

All moths are equal, but some are more equal than others .......

Gold Spot - a personal favourite and a spanking moth

I was pleased with that for another reason as well: Gold Spot first appeared in my garden back in 2003, with one/two in 2005-2007. There was a sudden upturn in 2008, a massive unexplained hike in 2009 and then an equally sharp decline in 2010 with no records in 2011 and 2012. Really good to see it again, with another couple last night.

Another one I was pleased to see this morning was Sallow Kitten, mainly as again I missed it in the early brood. Another smart moth, and the only kitten I get (no idea why Poplar hasn't turned up yet, Alder is rare in VC55).

Sallow Kitten

Last nights trap was very busy with 370 of 63sp. There was a clear upturn in Garden Carpet (18), Double-striped Pug (13) and Brimstone Moth (15) which are all in 2nd/3rd broods. Garden Carpet in particular seems to have two broods appearing in my garden with a bit of overlap. This year, no records between 19th - 31st July.

Garden Carpet - common in gardens ...

Bucking the trend though, my last Green Carpet this year was 5th July, and I should be seeing a few by now from the second brood but none so far. Seems odd with the really good summer weather in July, but perhaps explained by a later start to the year?

Meanwhile, Yellow-barred Brindle is doing very well - usually less than ten in the year, previous best was 13 in 2011, already up to 26 this year.

Yellow-barred Brindle (which is usually green)

I've also started thinking about species that I've missed this year, and it's always interesting how your mind remembers only the good bits until you look at the data. I was surprised that I'd missed Large Nutmeg this year as it is usually common in the garden. However on checking I've found that actually it isn't always common here; it had a good period in 2009 - 2011 but I'd completely missed the fact that it had dropped right off last year. Maybe not so surprising that I missed it and another one that I'll have to start hoping comes back.

Aside from the above, main highlight was the third garden Maiden's Blush (following singles in 2000 and 2008).

Maiden's Blush

That's probably enough wittering for now. I'm now up to 403sp., including an unexpected Common Blue upping the butterfly year-list to 11. Additions are:

Taxon Vernacular Date Added
392 Lathronympha strigana
393 Scrobipalpa costella
394 Cyclophora punctaria Maiden's Blush 18/08/2013
395 Polyommatus icarus Common Blue 19/08/2013
396 Diarsia rubi Small Square-spot 19/08/2013
397 Trichiura crataegi Pale Eggar 19/08/2013
398 Luperina testacea Flounced Rustic 20/08/2013
399 Batrachedra praeangusta
400 Plusia festucae Gold Spot 21/08/2013
401 Furcula furcula Sallow Kitten 23/08/2013
402 Atethmia centrago Centre-barred Sallow 23/08/2013
403 Cameraria ohridella

Pale Eggar

Centre-barred Sallow - usually the first sallow to appear in my garden and, hopefully, the start of a more yellowy flavour to the trap empying sessions

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