I had left the trap in the shed for the nights of 6th and 7th due to continuous drizzle for about 48 hours but decided to get it out at 11pm last night (8th) as conditions had improved and Matt B had mentioned migrants over a pint earlier in the evening. My reward was a garden first and I think 11th or 12th for the county, and an otherwise empty trap - not complaining though !
Numbers are well down now to between zero and four macros and the odd micro each night in the last week. Surprise was a total of nine Juniper Carpets with a maximum of three on one night when I already had a fourth individual in a pot. Specialities of the season though still come along to add to the year list and there are a few more still to get so I will keep the trap out when it is not intending to chuck it down. Nothing new for the garden but all of these were caught last year in single figure numbers.
After a couple of zero catches during the almost freezing and very windy periods, the warmer evenings of the 21/22 October were welcome to keep the garden year list ticking along. A nice selection of October species trapped including a proper migrant and a garden first November moth agg.
Dark Sword-grass - first for year 22/10. A garden third as I had two last year in August and October
Feathered Thorn - new for year 21/10
November Moth agg. - garden first 21/10
Green-brindled Crescent - first for year 21/10
Juniper Carpet - three different individuals (one on 21st and two additional on 22/10)
Not too much happening at Wychwood Moths with a spell of windy weather, a weekend away and then a switch to clear moonlit cold nights so only single figure counts on the nights that I have trapped in the last week or so. One new for the garden though which filled a gap in the list that I was surprised to still have coming to the end of my second autumn of trapping. Had I been overlooking any of these before ? Maybe not as this was distinctive enough, and I have had only the one so far.
Beaded Chestnut - new for garden Oct 4th
Blair's Shoulder-knot - a regular October catch here. 15 last year, but only three so far in 2011
Common Marbled Carpet - nice to get a white marbled individual. Well over 100 of these caught here, but majority are dark and the nearly all the others are the "orange-panelled" form
Quietening down at Wychwood Moths, with average catches this week of just 19 moths of 11 species per night. Still potential for some new species for the garden for a while yet I guess, but this week just a couple of second time around moths both repeating last years trappings.
Brown-spot Pinion - 3rd Oct 2011, previously caught once on 8th Oct 2010
Red-green Carpet - 1st Oct 2011, previously caught once on 7th Oct 2010
After a couple of weeks anticipating, I have trapped one of the scarcer local Xanthia sp giving me the first garden tick of the autumn season. I have been getting steady catches of the regular species but this is the first "notable" for a couple of weeks for me.
Orange Sallow - garden first 25th Sept
The Sallow - new for year 25th Sept, last year I caught only a couple of darker individuals in October
Large Ranunculus - getting a few of these, this one a smart pale variation
Black Rustic - another regular at Wychwood Moths from mid-Sept onwards
Spruce Carpet - like many species, scarcer in 2011 than 2010
Like many other local birders, I took the opportunity to go outside the rare bird exclusion zone of Bedfordshire last week to sample the delights just over the border at Grafham. This large reservoir seems to act like an autumn shield, catching and deflecting any decent seabirds that are blown our way in a storm or potentially coming cross-country on favourable NE winds from the Wash.
My lack of bird pictures on this blog is mainly equipment related as I am usually only achieving record shots digiscoped with a compact camera but the millpond conditions and close encounters at Grafham when I visited enabled some reasonable images to be captured for a change. (Kodak DX7630 ad Opticron ES80 with 27xWW)
The Wychwood Moths garden list sneaked up by two last week thanks to a couple of moths that I took from the trap samples during July.
A particularly rufous looking minor that I collected was dissected by Andy Banthorpe and revealed to actually be a male Rufous Minor as I had hoped; unfortunately I cannot locate a photo I think I took at the time of collection. Previously in June I had collected a small sample of typical individuals and had equivalent numbers of Marbled and Tawny Marbled. So with the set complete, all of next years adults are safe from the freezer ! - was in the name of the scientific record as well as the list of course.
Similarly I collected a limited sample of five Common Rustic agg including two small and dark examples. Dissection revealed three male Common and two male Lesser Common Rustic.
Thanks Andy! 220 jumps to double Nelson 222 despite the windy and often damp nights and a trap that has felt a bit neglected by moths for the last week.
Snout - surprising first for year on 10/Sep
Lesser Yellow Underwing - a peak of variety and numbers in the last couple of weeks
Centre-barred Sallow - new for year 8th Sept, a handful so far
It's been a quiet week at Wychwood Moths with nothing around that attracts a "scarce" tag and none of the autumn specials yet for the yearlist. Close to half the catch this week has been Large Yellow Underwings, so just a couple of catch-up pics and a quick pug quiz for todays post.
Red Underwing - just the one so far this year
Old Lady - getting a couple of these each night
Straw Underwing - missed the peak of these by being away most of August this year
Been away in Florida for over three weeks so nothing to report from Wychwood Moths in August although my first night back trapping on 27th produced some year ticks as expected, one of which was a nice fresh Red Underwing. Did not note any significant moths during my time away but had 80+ bird species including 4 world ticks and some superb views of many impressive varieties. Also a selection of large butties including Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, Queen, Giant Swallowtail and White Peacock. Just a few images to whet the appetite or provide a reminder for anybody that has been to this area themselves.
Limpkin with apple snail, Lake Tohopekaliga, Kissimmee, FL. Plenty of these about early mornings. An adult Snail Kite was also present in this area on most visits.
Sandhill Crane with juvenile, Kissimmee, FL. A yard bird, and Wal-Mart car park etc... Small family groups all over the area and some good roosts near the lake.
American Black Vulture with roadkill for lunch, Kissimmee, FL.
Potential Human lunch, Kissimmee, FL
Wood Stork, Kissimmee, FL. Plenty of these about on lakes and roadsides. Also within some of the parks including the sea lion enclosure at Sea World.
White Peacock. A numerous butterfly, this one found its way inside the villa.
July was not so good as last year, no doubt the result of the cooler wetter weather. Wychwood Moths recorded just 80 macro species in the whole month compared with 112 in July 2010. Fortunately there were a few good ones in there as previously shared. Here is a catchup on some images taken in the last week or so including a few from the first couple of days in August when thankfully the last three warm nights have increased the volumes and the species count has gone back above my "aim" of 30+ per night.
Maple Pug - this tiny one just reached 8mm on the ruler for the forewing length
Small Rivulet - rather battered unfortunately
Large Twin-spot Carpet - again rather battered but was a NFG on 1st August
Heart & Club gallery - lots of variation again. Biggest numbers between mid-June and mid-July with a one night maximum of 23, a little short of the 34 last year.
Grey Dagger agg.
Phoenix - three of these now this year, one of my favourites
Scalloped Oak - had more in 2011, one night max of 3, this one is "peppered"
Dunbar - top image is the darkest one I have had, the vast majority are of the pale form
I have been birding (and general nature watching) from my base in Bedfordshire since the 1990's. From June 2010 I thought it would be fun to get into the joys of mothing so started the Wychwood Moths blog to highlight some of the successes I have had from a mature garden in Wychwood Avenue just off the A6 going north out of Luton. There maybe the odd extralimital moth or other nature images from elsewhere thrown in there as well.