Monday, 30 May 2011

End of May - flying High

A good night on Sunday 29th with one new for garden and four more new for year. I saw my first ever May Highflyer when helping with the Home Wood survey last Wednesday night but knowing that they were listed as rare in Beds, I was not sure whether I would get one on the garden list, thankfully I did not have long to wait...

May Highflyer (new for garden 29/5)

Buff Ermine - first 29/5, had 14 in 2010

Barred Yellow, first 29/5, had five of these last year

Marbled Minor agg. - well marked.

There were more than 30 of these last year. A small sample that were identified to species indicated a ratio of approx 2:1 for Tawny Marbler Minor:Marbled Minor and no Rufous.

Marbled Minor - dark individual with a tawny back end (which may or may not have any significance ! )

Middle-barred Minor - only 4 of these last year

Sycamore - first on 29/5, there were five of these in 2010

Thursday, 26 May 2011

More NFY - Fresh Hawk-moths

The turn of the season from spring to summer seems to have arrived at Wychwood Moths with the first hawk moths turning up in the trap. A few other NFY also appearing and a noticeable increase in the numbers of micros and other insects being attracted. Anything distinctive is photo'ed for probable later ID but I must admit to not having the patience to work through all the possibilities when there are still plenty of new macros to discover. Trap this week has been dominated by Heart&Dart with max of 35 on 25/5.

Elephant Hawk-moth - first for year 24/5, we had 7 of these last June/July

Privet Hawk-moth - first for year 25/5, we had 8 of these last June/July

Another Pug 21/5, I think this one is a Grey Pug but happy to take advice !

Clouded Brindle, a lighter and a darker form from 2010

Clouded Brindle (or a weird rusty RSK?) - opinions offered are that this is a Rustic Shoulder Knot

Friday, 20 May 2011

The teens of May

With the cooler and breezy nights, the teens of May did not produce great excitement at Wychwood Moths this year with only a steady increase in the list for 2011 of species, all moths that are expected to appear in reasonable numbers through the course of the next couple of months. Just illustrated a few here.
Clouded Silver - under the perspex after brief overnight shower

Lime Speck Pug - in the condensation on top of the Ratface Skinner (pat. pend.)

Flame Shoulder

The Flame

Green Pug

Mottled Rustic -(Thanks Matt, I was getting my Rustics muddled)

Heath and Reach daytime mothing

A couple of hours looking for dragonflies took me to the west of the county on 19th May and managed to find a few moths amongst the plentiful odonata and butties.

Six species in all, Common Heath, Burnet Companion, Mother Shipton, Cinnabar, Treble-bar and Silver-ground Carpet.

Common Heath (a life tick for me)

Silver-ground Carpet (a handful disturbed from the grass)

Cinnabar (these were everywhere on the site)

Monday, 16 May 2011

200-up for the garden

With 16 days to go to the one year anniversary of trapping, the 200th macro for the garden has arrived but not in the expected manner. A review of photos from last year has begun and with confirmation from the recorder I have removed two of many Smoky Wainscot records from last summer and replaced them with Shoulder-striped Wainscot. Must pay more attention this year ! Now going through some old images from July...

Shoulder-striped Wainscot x2

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

First ten days of May

A selection of moths from early May as the variety starts to increase. There always seem to be a couple of species that are in the majority and the best moths come in the ones or twos. I am now getting a good array of carpets (Gardenn, Common Marbled, Red Twin-spot) and some other geometers but the garden is currently being avoided by any of the prominents and I am still awaiting my first hawkmoth. The honeysuckle is out now so that bodes well for the next few nights. Just need one more species to reach the garden 200 with 22 days left to go until the first anniversary of mothing activity so hoping its something spectacular to mark the occasion.

Heart&Dart and Shuttle-shaped Dart now getting to double figures and the first Setaceous Hebrew Characters have appeared also adding to numbers in the catch but just getting in the way really. Pugs are a pain too but getting there slowly...

Scorched Carpet

Small Waved Umber


Treble Lines

Scalloped Hazel (had a few of these)

Pug sp. (most of mine start as this then get called "Common") though got to grips with Mottled, Oak-tree, Brindled and White-spotted ok and the V-Pug last week was easy enough !

Mottled Pug

White-spotted Pug (getting these most nights)

Common Pug

Daytime mothing

A bit of daytime mothing for me at Galley Hill Luton on a fine but breezy afternoon was prompted by the finding of a Burnet Companion in the garden. I have spent most of the spring looking up on the hills but birding has been hard work up there recently so I got some rewards for looking down instead.
Treble-Bar x3
Common Carpet x2
Green Carpet
Mother Shipton x2
and my first Silver Y of the year also

I did not have the camera with me so the following images are were quickly grabbed with the limited technology provided by my Nokia N73

Mother Shipton


Burnet Companion

Monday, 2 May 2011

Drifting onward with the breeze

Colder nights with a brisk breeze has slowed numbers and therefore lowered variety in the last week at Wychwood Avenue. Predominant species are now Shuttle-shaped Dart, max 7 in one night, and un-ID'able Pug sp. - though with a bit of practice I am finding identification easier so long as they are not too worn. More on pugs in a later post perhaps.

Of the common varieties, the first Brimstones have begun to appear as have a couple of Bright-line Brown Eye and the first of probably hundreds of Heart&Dart.

More interestingly, a Pale Tussock was only the second garden record, previously having been caught on 2nd June 2010, the first night that I began to trap !

Even better though, two new for the garden in the last week, a Spectacle and a Light Brocade.

Light Brocade (first for garden, 3rd May)

Couple of Shuttle-shaped Dart (ShuttleCock and ShuttleHen ?)

Spectacle (first for garden 29th April)

What are you looking at ?

Pale Tussock