Monday, 3 December 2012

The autumn... apparently

For the sake of completeness I thought I ought to blog what happened at Wychwood moths from mid September through November, but it won't take long. Disappointing to put it mildly compared with the previous two autumns. After a peak of Lunar Underwings it was just the usual reasonable showings from Black Rustic, Blairs Shoulder Knot and Red-green Carpet, it was odd singles of the remaining commoner species from the list. Managed to get just one each of the two "lined" Quakers,  Sallow, Large Ranunculus, November Moth and a couple of Feathered Thorn. So many species not occurring at all that I have had in multiple numbers before eg Chestnuts.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

First half of September

Rather tedious with a list for each night that was effectively the same, dominated by common brown stuff though in good numbers, with the monotony broken with a selection of my regular carpets (Green, Garden, Common and Common Marbled).
The only real highlight was a garden first, Feathered Gothic, which was trapped on 4th and 6th... and was brown.
 Feathered Gothic - garden first, trapped 4th and 6th

Silver Y - numerous this year, trapped on majority of nights in August and still around on 15th Sept

Old Lady - a common visitor throughout August and September

Toadflax Pug - tiny beastie, one on 2nd Sept was third for garden, previous two in July 2011 and 2012

Saturday, 1 September 2012

A garden tick to end August

To end the month, macro number 240 for the garden was a nice surprise. 

Maidens Blush - new for garden 31st August

Mouse - regularly found running around the bottom of the trap in August and September

Yellow Shell - very common in the garden but this one was very nicely marked

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Two new in two minutes

Two new for the garden out of two consecutive egg boxes this morning. One that has been caught by most of the active trappers locally now though still nationally rare, the other a partial fill for the prominent gap recently posted.
Small Ranunculus - new for garden 22nd August

Pale Prominent - new for garden 22nd August

Tawny Speckled Pug - not very many of these trapped here, either that or they are so battered that the tawny is not visible and they go in the pug sp box (four in 2010, all in August, but none in 2011, when I was away for most of August). Not illustrated on the blog previously

Wormwood Pug - just a couple a year of these. Not illustrated on the blog previously

Orange Swift - another one that was surprisingly not caught at all in 2011 maybe as I missed the main flight period

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Prominent gap

There is a section in the middle of the Beds macro moth list of seven species called "prominent", all listed as common and widespread in VC30. This is a prominent gap as far as Wychwood Moths is concerned with only three individuals ever caught from this group in the first two years. These were two Maples and a Coxcomb leaving five of the seven available species still waiting to arrive. A fourth "prom" individual was most welcome this week but I was a little disappointed that it was a third Maple, still a nice species to look at.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

July / August changeover

Steady mothing over the last couple of weeks rather than anything over exciting but certainly better than early summer. Another new for garden from the list of uncommon and local species in the county.

 White Satin - first for garden on August 1st

Buff Arches - always get a handful of these each year and had a max on one night of three last year including one in the bedroom

Nut Tree Tussock - these arrive in two generations with records in April / May and July / August

Cloaked Minor - don't get many of these , average just two per year so far

Common Emerald - average three per year and usually they are battered so good to get one without chunks out of its wings

Monday, 30 July 2012

No longer lacking Lackey

It is often tempting to spend more time looking at the gaps in the list of species rather than at the list itself and starting at the top I was aware that everyone else I knew with a moth trap in the county had a Lackey and I had not. As a result I was pleased to finally get one on 25th as a new for the garden. Significantly rarer in the county and missing from everyone else's garden list is August Thorn, so it was rather a surprise to get another one of these as a second garden record to follow on from the previous individual trapped on July 5th 2011.

August Thorn - 25th July. Note the distinctive kink (and almost creating a small blotch) in the crossbar at the front of the forewing which was also a feature on the previous individual caught last year, The inner crossbar also consists of a big parabolic curve.

Lackey - garden first 25th July

Clouded Border - scarce here, only four caught in three summers so far, all in July

Swallow-tailed Moth - up to three flit around the trap on some nights but majority do not end up inside

Snout - not particularly common at Wychwood moths, this is only the fourth trapped

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

That's better !

A bit of warmth and the nightly macro species count immediately jumps from the teens up to the thirties or more, also bringing in two new for garden moths, neither unexpected but still need to be collected for the list all the same...
Shaded Broad-bar - New for garden on 22/7, these are easily disturbed from the grass in the daytime on nearby hillsides like Sharpenhoe Clappers so I was waiting for one to turn up. Two were trapped on 24th.

Small Fan-foot Wave - new for garden on 24/7

Dark Umber - a local species but regular at Wychwood Moths, two on 22nd and four for year so far

Dingy Shears - 24/7, previously recorded only once with two on 3rd July 2011

Small Emerald - another local species that has turned up each year, fifth record 22/7

Burnished Brass - I do like these, a nice change from the brown stuff

Barred Straw - going for a walk

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Dotted Rustic

Before this year the last time this species was recorded in VC30 (Bedfordshire more or less) was 2006. This individual trapped in Wychwood Ave, Luton on Sunday 15th July represents the third in the county this year, all in July and all coincidentally caught in back garden traps by Andy's (Grimsey, Whitney and Banthorpe), 
This occurrence pattern and timing suggests to me that these are of immigrant origin rather than a local population as these traps are ten miles apart or so.
The moth is a stocky species, mine had a wing length of around 21mm, so stands out easily as something different.
An excellent and most unexpected addition to the Wychwood garden list !

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Second week of July

The rain is not abating and a couple of cooler spells have come along but the large ex-pub umbrella still allows the trap to run each night in the corner by the shed. Just a couple of highlights this week as the annual macro species total stumbles slowly to three figures. Nice to see Bufftip and Leopard which have virtually identical appearance profiles at Wychwood moths with two records of each in 2010 and neither in 2011.

 Leopard Moth 8th July - third garden record, previous 25/6/10 and 19/7/10, not in 2011

Bufftip 8th July - third garden record, previous 23/6/10 and 19/7/10, not in 2011

Reddish Light Arches - somewhat of a Wychwood Moths speciality, this well marked individual representing the 7th this year and the 22nd in three years with all but one in the last week of June or first week of July

Buff Ermine is a frequent catch - like to get a nice belly shot in occasionally

Barred Yellow regularly trapped - adds a bit of colour amongst the brown stuff 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Two more new macros but few highlights

Not a lot to blog about recently at Wychwood Moths as the summer stutters along through the rain. Having reached 119 macro species by the end of June in 2011, the total of 75 in the first six months of 2012 was a very poor return with some species that occurred on numerous occasions previously completely absent for the year. 
July started well with a Small Fanfoot as first for garden and a few days later a Lychnis was also added. These are really gap fillers rather than quality but they all count...

 Shark - 1st July (two previous records 26/6/10 and 6/7/10, none in 2011)


Lychnis - first for garden 4th July

Small Fanfoot - first for garden 1st July

Fern - 6th July - four previous garden records, this one nicely marked

Varied Coronet - 4th July - only one previous record on 4/6/10, on only my third garden trapping session

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Mid June Brown stuff

A wider variety of brown noctuids have begun to arrive in Wychwood Avenue in the last week but overall numbers of species and individuals are not matching the equivalent period last year. Couple of nice ones though including only my second Ingrailed Clay and one anticipated new for garden in the form of a Brown Rustic.

Ingrailed Clay 19th June - previously caught only on 4th June 2011 and a very different form from that one as well 

 Flame - very distinctive and common in the garden in June and July when caught most nights

 Shoulder-striped Wainscot - first for year 18th June, caught on five sessions in June 2011

 Rustic Shoulder-Knot - this one with a bit of reddish colouring on

 Brown Rustic - first for garden on 15th June, presumably same individual retrapped on 16th