Thursday, 8 August 2013

The 200 Up in Oxford

Now that the GMC has been going for such a long time the field is really starting to spread out. Way off in the distance I see that some people have now topped 400. Back here in my little Oxford garden I'm really pleased finally to have made it to 200 so less than half the best totals. In the middle of the heatwave I was getting to the dizzying heights of 50+ catches (individuals, not species) with my record being 65 moths. Now that the weather is more moderate I'm back down to 20 to 30 moths a night. Still as long as there are one or two NFY in amongst them it keeps me and my seven year old son Luke happy enough. 

I am starting to wonder about a better trap. I currently use a home-made Heath trap with a 40W actinic bulb. Whilst I don't really want to start using an MV because of the neighbours, I am wondering how much better a proper Robinson trap might be.

We have a bumble bee nest under our shed in the back garden and since we run the trap nearby we often get quite a few of the bees in the trap the next morning. Luke has recently become more interesting in wrangling the bees rather than the moths - he likes having them crawling around on his finger and they are generally more cooperative than the moths. He's getting pretty good at identifying some of the moths and confidently ID'ed a Common Rustic agg this morning.

Anway, so what have been the new additions since I last posted I hear you ask. Well, here's the list

23/07/2013    Dingy Footman
23/07/2013    Mother Of Pearl
23/07/2013    Black Arches
24/07/2013    Common Wainscot
24/07/2013    Ypsolopha dentella
24/07/2013    Early Thorn
27/07/2013    Blastobasis adustella
27/07/2013    Ruby Tiger
27/07/2013    Metalampra Italica
27/07/2013    Lesser Common Rustic
29/07/2013    Spindle Ermine
29/07/2013    Straw Dot
29/07/2013    Southern Wainscot
30/07/2013    Leopard Moth
31/07/2013    Silver Y
31/07/2013    Engrailed
31/07/2013    Scalloped Oak
31/07/2013    Udea Lutealis
01/08/2013    Flame Shoulder
01/08/2013    Marbled Beauty
01/08/2013    Marbled Green
01/08/2013    Campion
02/08/2013    Agriphila geniculea
02/08/2013    Argyresthia bonnetella
03/08/2013    Apple Leaf Miner (Lyonetia clerkella)
03/08/2013    Currant Pug
04/08/2013    Bucculatrix nigricomella
05/08/2013    Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
05/08/2013    Pale Prominent
05/08/2013    Chequered Fruit-tree Totrix
05/08/2013    Bryotropha domestica
06/08/2013    Spectacle

The most interesting addition was the Metalampra Italica, which is a rare Italian micro that has recently (in the last 10 years or so) started colonising this country. Up until June there had been no records in the Upper Thames recording area but suddenly in July they stared appearing, with my record being only the third ever for the region.

In my last posting I mentioned that I couldn't think of any more butterflies that I might actually still get in my garden. Well I did manage one more in the form of a splendid Clouded Yellow which unfortunately flew off before I could get a photo. Still that brings my butterfly total to 15 now which is pretty amazing given the size and location of my garden.

Time for some moth porn!

Black Arches
Ruby Tiger
Metalampra Italica
Leopard Moth
Marbled Green
Pale Prominent

I've picked out some of the more photogenic moths for the photos though actually I'm really starting to get into some of the micros. They're fiddly little blighters but do make for great ID challenges. Thank heavens for expert advice on hand in the Bird Forum "Butterfly and Moth ID" forum.

Anyway, with my garden total now standing at 209 I'm wondering what end of year total I might achieve. I'm going to see if I can make it to 250 which would be a good total for my location.

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