Sunday, 26 December 2010

Pile of Carpets - Summer 2010

With the continuing coldness of winter, I have concluded that I will go through December with no moths at all this month. So I thought a chance to go through the images from the summer, before this blog began, and pull out some variety to remember the warmer times. To begin a short series of selections, here are a pile of carpets from June and July.

Common Marbled Carpet, the most frequent and numerous Carpet sp in the garden this summer with lots in June and a second generation around end September and early October.
This one is the paler form.

Common Marbled Carpet. This one is the darker form which was more regular than the pale.

Least Carpet (just two of these in July)

July Highflyer (seven of these - all in July)

Phoenix (five of these - 27/6 and four in July) showing resting position with the abdomen curled upwards

Common Carpet (not common at all in the garden )

Spruce Carpet which appeared in summer and again in October

Grey Pine Carpet appeared in June and October - not all grey as this one shows

Garden Carpet - the second most common with nearly as many visits as the CMC

Blue- bordered Carpet (a scarcer moth and from this group probably my favourite due to its beautiful blue hues) - occurred 25/6, 29/6 and 18/7

Broken-barred Carpet (another scarcer local species) - three in June

Monday, 1 November 2010

October quietly passes

Did not have the trap out for a while due to cold and being away for the half-term week (missing the Shore Lark in the meantime). In the last four nights however, despite the recent mild spell, things have been quieter than I had expected with just five moths trapped comprising:

Pale Mottled Willow x2
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Spruce Carpet
Yellow-line Quaker (garden first record 31/10)

taking the October total to just 27 species of which 21 were Noctuidae.
Still plenty of autumn fayre to pickup for the first time next year !

Yellow-line Quaker

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Second week of October

A couple of new ones this week though numbers have been low in general. Black Rustic has been the most numerous, a Chestnut, a few Blair's Shoulder-knot and four species of carpet, Garden, Common Marbled, Spruce and Grey Pine, with a few lingering yellow underwings and Turnip.
Illustrated are the two new ones for the list and a lighter form which I had not encountered before.

Green-brindled Crescent (garden first on 12th)

Brown-spot Pinion (garden first on 8th Oct)

Large Ranunculus (paler form than those I trapped in September)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Merveille du Jour - Oct 8th

Looking in the literature to see what might be around each month, there are a few moths which jump from the pages and on to the "hope I catch one of those in the garden" list. The Merveille du Jour is one of those and this moth duly obliged by finding its way into the trap before I went to bed on 8th Oct. I released it on to a leaf of an apple tree and tried to capture an alternative view of this very distinctive species.

Merveille du Jour (garden first on 8th Oct)

Friday, 8 October 2010

An early October selection

A few new ones have come into the garden in the last week. The tally for the year continues to climb almost daily and still a few of the more common autumn species have yet to appear. With some warm and dry nights forecast it's looking good...

Red-line Quaker (first on 6th Oct)

Rosy Rustic (first on 6th Oct)

Sallow (first on 5th Oct)

Red-green Carpet (first on 7th Oct)

Angle Shades (29th Sept, previously only in June and early July)
In addition, a few more Blair's Shoulder-knot and Black Rustic have been trapped over recent nights and thankfully numbers of yellow underwings have gone right down making the trap a more peaceful place for the remainder of the moths to rest for the night

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Autumn coming...Sep 28th

I have been anticipating new autumn moths for a couple of weeks now and nothing has arrived since a couple of Centre-barred Sallows at the start of the month. Tuesday night brought the following two similarly shaped species that were on the "hoped-for" list however so maybe some more will follow as the season progresses.
Black Rustic

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Large Ranunculus

One thing about the first year of looking at moths is that new species for the garden appear regularly as the seasons change and whether they are likely to be common or not is somewhat unknown for many of them. It is only when the season has changed and the number of records can be seen that a picture emerges. One new one that appeared on Monday night was Large Ranunculus, is this the first of many, first of a few, or the only one that might be trapped this season ? If there is only one in this season, will it appear next year or not ? Only time will tell and that just adds to the fascination.

Large Ranunculus (garden first trapped 20/9)
Rather a nice looking moth this one, presumably fresh

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Quiet mid-September

It's been quiet this week with a continuation of the various coloured underwings and rustics including an increased number of Lunar Underwings in a variety of forms. Just the one new species for the garden, hiding amongst the brown noctuids.
Green Carpet (garden first on 13th September)

Female and male Orange Swift

Lunar Underwing (from the palest to the darkest so far)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sep 10/11 - Lunar Underwing and mystery confirmed as a Square-spotted Clay

Another reasonable haul of over 60 macros on the last couple of nights , though take out the LYU's and thats just over 30. Included in these have been one new sp for the garden and a couple that have me a bit confused so I any comment would be most welcome.

Lunar Underwing (an expected addition to the list).

Earlier in the year, I got plenty of Uncertain and a few Rustic and more recently some Vine's Rustics every day but this one leaves me a little confused as the wing shape is different, clearly more straight and angled rather than rounded so any suggestions would be welcome as to its identity. (Feedback has been that this is most likely just another Vine's Rustic.)

Another one that has confused me. It is over a month since I last recorded Double Square-spot in the garden with up to four on some nights and its seems well past the season for another to appear. This slightly worn moth does not seem to resemble Autumnal Rustic which is the only one with this sort of pattern that seems to fit with the calendar.
Again any suggestions most welcome.
Responses back have confirmed that this is a worn Square-spotted Clay, rather uncommon in Beds and found in very few places in 2010.
Thanks !

Friday, 10 September 2010

Sept 9th - hoping for some moths that are not brown

Variety has come down a little since September started, presumably a seasonal effect but also had a few cold nights and some wet spells which cannot help. Being my first year of trapping though, there is no previous years to compare so I'll just have to keep it up a little longer!

Looking through the book, there are clearly some autumn specials to add to the list including a few with some autumn colour camouflage. Only the Centre-barred Sallow has yet been trapped though from the obvious "dead leaf" species.

In this selection a few others that seem to be around at the moment, competing for space in the trap with the LYU's. + an odd one out that I was fortunate to encounter in my parents garden at the end of August, but rare in Beds.

Centre-barred Sallow (first caught on 5th Sept)

Square-Spot Rustic - a well marked one, most are darker. (max 11 trapped on 7th Sept)

Copper Underwing (usually at least 4, but maximum of 15 on 17/8/10).

Only one moth so far seems to have been a Svenssons back in end of July.

Setaceous Hebrew Character (usually ones or twos)

Double-striped Pug (up to four of these one night, often on trap but less often inside)

Gold Spot that was found in my parents kitchen in Coventry, Aug 20th (rare in Beds)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Yellow Underwing sp. onslaught

Each night when I have put out the trap in the last few weeks, I have been confronted with a large number of yellow underwings. The four common species are generally all present but the lumbering Large Yellow Underwing is in the vast majority with a maximum count of 31 on the 5/6th Sept. To show the variety in the colouration, I have prepared a couple of montages.

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Large Yellow Underwing.
There have also been some virtually black ones but not got a good photo of one.
Not my favourite species !

Friday, 3 September 2010

An early September selection

Starting the new blog with a selection of images of moths caught in the first few days of September.
Old Lady ( at least two of these been around for last two weeks)

Red Underwing (opening up nicely in a pot)

Red Underwing returned to camouflage on a fence post

Lime Speck Pug

Dark Sword Grass (a garden first out the trap on 1st Sept)