The "Chicksands Wood" season has started and today I took my first walk around the wood in search of the specialist butterflies. Unfortunately I missed out on Purple Emperor by less than a minute by choosing to walk towards the distant group who waved at me rather than running. I'll be back soon for another go though. Managed to grab a couple of pleasing images of others though, notably Purple Hairstreak, White Admiral and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth.
The rain and storms that were forecast earlier in the day did not materialise so the trap went out as normal. I had retrieved it all to the safety of the shed for opening when the rain came down at 7am. My reward was two more new for the garden (well one I'm sure about and one that I'm fairly sure about anyway). I expected both of these to get on the list at some point. Also a couple more new for year.
23 macro species altogether with a year max of 20 Heart&Club and Heart&Dart numbers now going down again. Only another Reddish Light Arches went on the list of more uncommon species.
Barred Straw - new for garden 27/6
Bordered Pug (probably) - new for garden 27/6
Presumably there was more white on the thorax when fresh...
With a couple of hot days and nights forecast and anticipating this bringing a few more interesting moths to Wychwood Avenue, I thought I better empty the files from the few that I have snapped during this cooler changeable week so that this weekends catch can be properly displayed... I wish.
Buff Arches - a fantastically well patterned moth, I always like to see these. They look like an ink colour finely drawn onto a background of wax to me.
Buff Arches - again ! Nice... had six of these in 2010 so hope for a few more.
Been quiet for new species this week and vast majority of moths trapped have been brown noctuids, dominated by Heart & Dart, with a one night maximum of 68, and an increasing number of Heart & Club and Uncertain. Also been working through some photos of micros as I have been capturing images of distinctive individuals for a while but more of those another time.
Fern - a bit worn, NFY 21/6, had two of these last July
Shaded Pug - second for the year and better to look at than the previous one that I could not capture outside of the pot
Light Emerald - NFY 18/6, eleven of these last year mostly in July
Heart & Dart - this one should be "Heart & Cutlass"
Greatest variety so far this year with 24 macro species trapped overnight including two new for the garden and four additional new for year.
Marbled Coronet - new for garden 14/6, uncommon and local in VC30 with less than 30 records
Foxglove Pug - new for garden 14/6. Originally thought to be a Toadflax Pug due to small size (only just touching the 10mm grad on my ruler) and darkness of markings but when I looked at it again the patterning is just not right; also confirmed for me by other "experts"
Mottled Beauty - makes a change from Willow... new for year, only one in 2010
A walk over Galley Hill, Luton this afternoon to get away from the house and the computer for a short while did not produce a vagrant asian robin sp. hopping around the bushes and not many butties either but this rare moth jumped out of the grass in front of me and landed on my fleece. Possibly only the eighth record for VC30, 4 prior to 2000 and 3 in 2010. First for the site.
Today, 2nd June, is one year to the day when moth trapping and proper recording began at Wychwood Moths following collection of the "Ratface Twin 15W actinic/UV Skinner". In that first year, the garden list was 201 macro species (pending a couple of frozen confusing pugs that need to be investigated); but the official garden list is 203 as it includes Hummingbird Hawkmoth which was recorded three times in the garden but all pre-2010 and Feathered Thorn that was recorded in my bathroom in autumn of 2009. Lots of highlights in that period but for pure rarity value, the VC30 vice-county 2nd Toadflax Brocade, one month after the first, was top of the list. However, the thrill of finding such stunning beasts as the Hawkmoths in the trap in the morning still remains, and even among the commoner species there are some more subtly beautiful varieties. I have added a couple of images of favourites here which have not appeared on the blog previously: Maple Prominent
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.