Tuesday, 30 June 2015

More new moths.

Reasonable haul in excess of 30 moths of 27 species this morning. New for year moths were angle shades, uncertain, Stenoptila pterodactyla and Acrobasis advenella. Suspected as new for my parish records: Coleophora albitarsella and Epiblema scutulana.
Photos from the top:
Hedya nubiferana
Acrobasis advenella
Epiblema scutulana Edit: now confirmed identity as Notocelia roborana, a new for year moth
Coleophora albitarsella
Or so I think but likely to be corrected. These are very small moths: 5 - 8 mm.
Note; all photos taken on phone camera, so lacking quality. Shall upload better from the Nikon later.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Moth round up: weekend 27th - 28th June

2 very good nights at the garden trap, with close to 100 moths being taken trap. New for year on the macro front were: large yellow underwing, common white wave, riband wave, barred straw, flame, heart and club, dark arches, short cloaked moth, green pug, beautiful hooktip, barred yellow, clay, blotched emerald, rustic, fan-foot, least carpet, common wainscot, smoky wainscot, buff tip and dwarf cream wave. The latter being the 100th macro of the year. A magpie had been taken at Ash Valley Golf Course on the Sunday afternoon, also NFY.
Micros were equally abundant, with: Crassa unitella, Pandemis cerasana, Hedya nubiferana, Epiphyas possvittana, Pandemis corylana, Phtheochroa rugosana, Eudonia lacustrata, Agonopterix subpropinquella, Epiblema trimaculana and Clepsis consimilana. A Teleiodes vulgella was a new moth for my parish records.
With weather predicted to remain increasingly hot, should be a good week that will take the total, presently 168 moth species for 2015 close to 200 by next weekend. Plenty about to still find.
The daylight netting session on Ah Valley GC gave up a fair selection within an hour: 100+ chrysoteuchia culmella, 50+ meadow brown, 10+ marbled white, 5+ large skipper, 1 Essex skipper, magpie moth, straw dot, Tortrix viridana (NFY) Scoparia ambigualis, Celypha lacunana and a cinnabar.
meadow brown on garden rose

marbled white

large skipper

Tortrix viridana

Dwarf cream wave (100th macro sp)

Epiblema trimaculana

Clepsis consimilana

Teleiodes vulgella, a new for parish records specimen.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Thorley Wash 26.06.15

An hour visit to Thorley Wash and the River Stort Navigation at Spellbrook. A common tern was noted upon arrival fishing near the red bridge, whilst sedge warblers, chiffchaffs and a blackcap sang in Wallbury "swamp." Also here, on their regular perch, 2 cormorants. A common buzzard overhead and then a session of trying to photograph the reed warblers in the Australis phragmites just south of the bridge. Eventually they showed in the elder tree on the far side of the river and were joined by a chiffchaff. In all, definitely 3 reed warblers, probably 4, so I suspect 2 breeding pairs. A good record for the river.
A reed bunting and whitethroat called from the reserve, but no water voles were noted. More warblers and tits as I wandered back to the car wash, with a lesser black backed gull and great spotted woodpecker flying over the river. An enjoyable hour whilst waiting for the car to be cleaned.
reed warbler

another reed warbler

cormorant
chiffchaff

banded demoiselle.

Dorset for a week

A week camping in wonderful Dorset was superb, weather excellent with views over Chesil Beach and Isle of Portland. Nothing on the agenda and no specific birding trips. A few local walks around the campsite for insects as well as birds was all that I managed, along with trips to Dorchester, Weymouth, Chesil Cove and Lulworth Cove. A most peaceful and relaxing time, if a little bit sun burnt by Friday.
Undoubted highlight was an early evening roe deer out in the middle of field. Stopped the car and watched for a few minutes and then, as quietly as possible, tried to get to the boot to get the camera. Needless to say, off instantly, so only this head shot possible. 50 swifts over the campsite seemed unusual, but the reason became clear about 30 seconds later as a hobby shot overhead in pursuit.
An hour viewing Ferrybridge gave sightings of a few gulls and feeding little terns, whilst back on the campsite, blackcaps and whitethroats called from hawthorn and buzzards were a daily sight. Skylarks sang continuously from hayfields, sometimes competing with chuckling red legged partridge.
Portland Bill from Fleet

Overlooking Chesil Beach to Portland

Herring gull that begged for food on the campsite

Argumentative greenfinch

Greenfinch

Green woodpecker

Ferrybridge herring gulls

roe deer
On one wander several moths were flushed from the grass, in particular a magpie moth and Chrysoteuchia culmella. Butterflies noted were large and small skippers, common blue, marbled white, small tortoiseshell and peacock.
Looking east from the campsite.

Large skipper

Chrysoteuchia culmella

Another view towards Portland


magpie moth......

.......in more appropriate habitat


Ferrybridge.


meadow brown

Friday, 19 June 2015

Moth round up

Been a busy time at the moth trap over the last 48 hours with plenty of new for year moths arriving at the trap overnight.
On the 17th, 31 moths of 23 species were accounted for, including new year listers: Lyonetia clerkella, middle barred minor, elephant hawkmoth, common emerald, small yellow wave, clouded silver, cabbage moth, ingrailed clay and Hedya pruniana. All of these to be expected. However, also a new for parish records, Celypha rosaceana was particularly pleasing and a good moth for Hertfordshire, with just a handful of records.
scorched wing

Lozotaenia forsterana

Cochylis atricapitana

marbled minor

Celypha lacunana

clouded silver

worn middle barred minor

ingrailed clay

Celypha rosaceana.
Later that day, I headed off to Westland Green and Ash Valley G.C. for a little daylight netting. Not too much with: 4 crambus lathoniellus, 5 burnet companion, clouded silver, 2 Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Anthophila fabricana and a solitary cinnabar.
The trap was set for last night and all looked good. However, at 11pm the cloud cover dispersed and the temperature dropped to amazingly chilly for a mid June night. This morning, a good haul of regular moths, with only a ghost moth (male) being new for the year.
List from the trap last night:
3 straw dot, Anthophila fabricana, 2 Crambus lathoniellus, 2 heart and dart, mottled pug, Agapeta hamana, 6 buff ermine, common footman, brown rustic, elephant hawkmoth, marbled minor, treble lines, shears and ghost moth, making 26 moths of 17 species, so not too bad.
shears

ghost moth.
So in total, between 16th and 18th June, I have processed 114 moths, with 3 new parish records and 16 new for year species. All good. List now updated, with 75 macro species and 55 micro species adding up to 530 moths for the year, about on par with last year.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Local mothing in daylight

Having had a disappointing return at the trap early this morning (5 moths of 5 species, including 3 new for year records: privet hawkmoth, tawny marbled minor and common footman) I thought I may boost the total by knocking through rough pasture at Westland Green, a mile west of home.
Not disappointed with 19 moths in an hour including both Nomophila noctuella and Cydia nigricana new for the parish records and Scoparia pyralella and yellowshell new records for 2015.
This takes my running total for this year to 66 macro moths and 48 micro moths and the parish records to 291 macros and 170 micros, so may well make my target of 500 moth species in total before the end of the year.
Butterflies present were: peacock, large skipper, common blue, small heath and meadow brown
small heath butterfly

Cydia nigricana (pea moth)

Burnet companion

Worn, but suspected Scoparia pyralella

Saturday, 13 June 2015

80 moths in 24 hours

Making the most of the warm weather, I set the garden trap for the night of 11th June with enthusiasm for a good night's haul. All things considered, not to poor a return with the following found the following morning;
7 Crambus lathoniellus,
rustic shoulder knot
2 Mompha subbistrigella (NFM)
common pug
straw dot
2 common marbled carpet
bee moth
cinnabar
buff ermine
4 brown rustic
4 heart and dart
Celypha striana
Celypha lacunana
common swift
white spotted pug
mottled pug
Crambus lathoniellus
After work (identifying insects for 30 year 3 primary school children in a local wood) I headed oof to Millennium Wood. Here, very few moths showing.
Anthophila fabricana
3 Nempaphora degeerella
Odd looking silver ground carpet
Rather faded silver ground carpet
From here, I was off to the local golf course and one small patch that has proved particularly good on previous visits. I wasn't disappointed with;
2 cinnabar
2 straw dot
2 silver Y
2 Chrysteuchia culmella
Anthophila fabricana
2 Agriphila straminella (NFY)
Aphelia paleana (NFY)
Crambus lathoniellus (numerous)
2 Dicrorampha petiverella
5 Dicrorampha sequana
burnet companion (NFY)
A good collection for just over an hour netting in daylight. The forecasted heavy rain did not materialise until much later than expected, so garden trap on in very warm and muggy conditions, with a promising easterly breeze. Rain fell spasmodically throughout the evening and heavy rain at 5.15 meant I just closed the trap and returned to bed. Upon emptying later in the morning, a most pleasing selection:
Pale tussock (NFY)
3 white ermine
spectacle
Marbled minor agg (NFY)
2 treble lines
heart and dart
2 brown rustic
small magpie
buff ermine
Agapeta hamana
common pug
mottled pug
Agonopterix arenella
Scorparia subfusca (NFM)
Epiblema trimaculana (NFM)
2 Straw dot
Dicrorampha sequana, The back from extinction moth of the year so far.

So, basically, in 24 hours 77 moths (with a few micros still to identify.) The pale tussock also represented my 100th moth species for the year, 58 macros and 42 micros, with 480 moths taken. This compares to 2014 on the same day, when the total was 540 moths of 121 species, made up of 95 macros and 26 micros. The micro total is higher this year due to daytime netting in a variety of rough grassland habitats around the parish, but still clearly, a much poorer year than previous years.
Agapeta hamana

Large skipper butterfly: first of year.


silver Y
rather damp pale tussock

lateral view of pale tussock

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. Further European destinations are planned and a bigger trip to The Crimea was planned for 2014 but now not possible. so 2014: Sri Lanka in January, Poland in April, Madeira in June and The Camargue in July. So far 2015 has been Sri Lanka in Jan, Poland in Feb, Sri Lanka in April and The Camargue coming up in 1st week of September.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer
08.06.08

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly
06.06.08

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine
29.05.08

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox
24.05.08

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells
22.04.08

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)

Reflections

Reflections
daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society http://bsnhs.webplus.net/

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. http://hairybirders.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.hertsbirdclub.org.uk/ The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups.
http://www.birdforum.net/ An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc.
http://www.guidedbirdwatching.com/ A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
http://www.britainsbirder.co.uk/
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at
http://www.thehadhams.com/ www.thepelhams.net/content/section/12/139/

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander