Monday, 30 September 2013

More Bucks Moths...

Autumnal species have been trickling through my garden over the last week. Although most of my nightly haul has comprised of Large Yellow Underwing, Lunar Underwing and Common Marbled Carpet, I have managed to continue to attract new species, so:

319. Rush Veneer
320. Figure of Eight
321. Blair's Shoulder-knot
322. Large Ranunculus
323. Brown-spot Pinion (first ever for my garden)
324. Beaded Chestnut

Brown-spot Pinion
Figure of Eight

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Whetstone Leics. Slacking

Here's a well overdue update.

In September I have mainly been not trapping when the weather wasn't great, and not trapping last week when the weather was great 'cause I was working in France. Hence not too much going on to get excited about, and disappointingly when I have had the trap out I've missed out on anything like Vestal that has turned up in other Leics. gardens this year. Also starting to feel like having missed the best week in the month I'm maybe going to miss out on one or two expected species (Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Black Rustic, Frosted Orange all yet to appear in my garden traps this year, but trap is out again tonight and I still a chance). Pleased and slightly dismayed about last nights catch though; whilst I added nine species, a few of those were 'end of season' markers. Up to 425 now, with another couple of species new for the garden.

Taxon Vernacular Date Added
404 Tinea trinotella
405 Dichrorampha acuminatana
406 Cacoecimorpha pronubana Carnation Tortrix 26/08/2013
407 Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral 26/08/2013
408 Stigmella aurella
409 Eupithecia tripunctaria White-spotted Pug 26/08/2013
410 Ephestia parasitella unicolorella
411 Eudonia angustea
412 Prays ruficeps
413 Epinotia ramella
414 Phyllonorycter strigulatella
415 Omphaloscelis lunosa Lunar Underwing 10/09/2013
416 Pararge aegeria Speckled Wood 13/09/2013
417 Thera britannica Spruce Carpet 28/09/2013
418 Lithophane leautieri hesperica Blair's Shoulder-knot 28/09/2013
419 Allophyes oxyacanthae Green-brindled Crescent 28/09/2013
420 Agrochola lota Red-line Quaker 28/09/2013
421 Agrochola lychnidis Beaded Chestnut 28/09/2013
422 Hydraecia micacea Rosy Rustic 28/09/2013
423 Chloroclysta siterata Red-green Carpet 28/09/2013
424 Thera juniperata Juniper Carpet 28/09/2013
425 Xanthia aurago Barred Sallow 28/09/2013

Phyllonorycter strigulatella


Red Underwing

Vapourer, ex-larva

Green-brindled Crescent

Red-green Carpet

Red-line Quaker

Beaded Chestnut

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Spruce Carpet

Good day...

A month away means I am playing catch up and also enjoying a swathe of new, autumnal moths. Only a few additions but what beauts! 

Numerical update since my last post as follows... 

207. Sallow
208. Lunar Underwing
209. Blair's Shoulder-knot 

Some pics for your delight and pleasure:

Silver-Y - canne get bored of these! 

Lunar Underwing 


Blair's Shoulder-knot 
Keep on moth'ing moth'ers! 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Migrants at Galley!!

Haven't posted here for ages but thought I'd share a snap of one of two white-speck moths that were in the trap on Thursday morning. They are listed as scarce immigrants here in Ireland but have been recorded all around the coastline.  Nearly put them down as clay but checked the dates (would be late for clay) and studied them a little harder, before realising what they were. Also had c. 11 vestals in and around the trap - its been good conditions for them recently, with 66 trapped on tues night locally.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A few more in Bucks

September continues quietly on the moth front, with nightly catches in single figures, so there has been little opportunity to add any new species to my Garden Challenge list. However, the warmer weather this weekend has prompted me to run my MV light for a bit...

315. Lunar Underwing
316. Acleris emargana (NFG)
317. Red-Green Carpet
318. Oak Lutestring (lifer!)

Acleris emargana

Oak Lutestring

Friday, 13 September 2013

Quiet start to Autumn in Bucks.

Moth numbers have reduced dramatically recently in my South Bucks garden, with much colder and/or wetter nights.

I have been struggling to catch anything new for my challenge list, but I have had one or two things through, so a quick update:

308. Ypsolopha sylvella (lifer!)
309. Hypatima rhomboidella
310. Eudonia angustea
311. Pyrausta purpuralis (NFG)
312. Acleris sparsana
313. Blood-vein (NFG)
314. Centre-barred Sallow

Centre-barred Sallow

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A bit of history...

Well, it's been a very successful moth and butterfly season (so far!), and I am up to (I think) 406 species for the garden, with the addition of today's holly blue, whirled in and out by the wind.

I was looking back at my old notebook from 1986, when I was a callow youth of 17, I trapped pretty much right through the season in my parents' garden just three miles down the road from my current house. Now, obviously, comparisons are limited, partly by the differences in location, but also by the difference in traps - 12w actinic then, 125w Robinson type MV now. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that I have caught a lot more species this year, as well as being enabled to identify micros by the superb Parsons and Sterling. What is of interest, I think, is the moths which I recorded in 1986, but not this year. For those species, a gap in the records this year might represent a real decline in local abundance in the intervening 27 years.

Those species are:
  • Garden tiger
  • Double dart
  • Red chestnut
  • White pinion-spotted
  • Broom moth
  • Dotted rustic
  • Small dotted buff
  • Dotted clay
  • Gothic
  • Pale eggar
I'd be interested to know if these are species thought to have declined widely, or are more likely to be the result of a slightly different location, or a more local change in population. The 1986 trapping took place in a more mature garden with a row of splendid mature oaks. In 1986 I caught Merveille-du-jour on 6th October, so I'm crossing my fingers for that one!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Autumn slow-down

Despite the weather and temperatures not having changed significantly in the last week, the moths seem to be aware that it's September, and have decreased in variety and in overall numbers considerably. Where in early August we had 117 Mothers-of-pearl in the trap in one night, recent nights have had them reduced to fewer than ten, and the total number of moths on some nights considerably lower than 117. Notwithstanding, and in line with the change of seasons, new species are continuing to turn up, although not as frequently as they did over the summer: it was lovely recently to see our first Angle Shades of the year, and I was grateful to Peter Hall, one of Butterfly Conservations Upper Thames Branch's resident experts, who shows tremendous patience in correcting my misapprehensions, for pointing out that what I thought was a Lychnis was in fact our first Campion of 2013. I've also enjoyed regular appearances from Lime-speck Pugs: they make a nice change to the usual rule of greeting the appearance of pugs with a weary acceptance that a tricky ID challenge is in store. Anyway: we now have a total of 372 (358 moths, 14 butterflies), and despite the slow-down, I'm hopeful of making 400 by the end of the year.

Angle Shades, 1st September

Campion, 2nd September