Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Chicksands Wood Butties

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.

Purple Hairstreak

White Admiral

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

27th June - growing the list

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...

Dot Moth - NFY

Poplar Grey - NFY, regular in the garden

Garden macro list = 209, so far this year = 119

Monday, 27 June 2011

Small Elephant leads the parade

Two warm and increasingly humid nights came with lots of promise. Saturday did not deliver much but Sunday was a lot better.
A few new for the year and one new for the garden which was hidden in the bottom of the trap and clinging on to the last bit of life and subsequently expired in the pot shortly after photo taken.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth - seen better days, NFG 26/6

Vapourer - only one of these in Wychwood Ave last year

July Highflyer - seven of these last year, all in July, so this one is early!

Swallow-tailed Moth - a regular visitor

Reddish Light Arches - regular here on the chalk badlands

Cabbage Moth

Small Dusty Wave - common here

Yellow Shell - common here

Saturday, 25 June 2011

June 25th catch-up

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.

Dark Umber - NFY 22/6, just one of these in 2010

Treble Brown-Spot, a common moth in the garden

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Third week of June

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"

Fanfoot - regular around these parts

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Marbled Coronet

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

Light Arches - new for year, just two in 2010.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Royal Mantle

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.

Royal Mantle
And on the pocket of my fleece...

Monday, 6 June 2011

First weekend of June

A nice selection over the weekend with three NFG (Puss Moth, Shaded Pug and Ingrailed Clay) with a good supporting cast of NFY to go with them, some commoner than others.

Puss Moth - NFG 4th June

Shaded Pug (record photo through the side of glass pot I'm afraid) - uncommon in VC30 and NFG on 2nd June

Freyers Pug

Broken-barred Carpet (local but had a couple last year) - NFY 4th June

Double Square-spot (first for year of a common visitor)

Grass Rivulet (a few of these last year and numerous on the local hills at the moment)

Ingrailed Clay (these seem to be very variable from browsing other images) - NFG 4th June

Shoulder-striped Wainscot (a repeat of last years belated ex-photo discovery)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wychwood Moths first birthday

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

Peppered Moth

Leopard Moth

Lunar-spotted Pinion

Privet Hawkmoth

Sallow Kitten


Tawny-barred Angle

Toadflax Brocade