Thursday, 22 December 2016

Moth Review of the Year: Part 1: January - April 2016

An overview of my mothing year. This year I set out to trap and identify 10,000 moths of 500 species. To aid this cause, I purchased a 15W Heath actinic trap in early March which meant I could leave this battery operated trap at 12 sites within the parish as well as run the Skinner 125W each night in the garden. I selected the sites along lines of: ease of access, full permission granted for private land from local farmer Steve, variety of vegetation and similarity of vegetation. All went well if slow on the recording front, with the first 4 months realising 26 macro species and a rather disappointing 9 micro species.

The first moths were taken on the 3rd Jan with me visiting a few sites with headtorch and net. These were all winter moth and no further moth was trapped until the 13th, a Satellite. Things continued slowly with Early moth, pale brindled beauty (23rd) and my 1st micro of the year, an Acleris ferrugana on the 24th. An Acleris sparsana was taken the following night before 2 Dotted border completed the first month in the garden. The 31st was quite remarkable: 41 moths of 14 species from Millennium Wood, with Chestnut, Brindled pug, Common quaker, March moth, Spring usher and Dark chestnut as well as micros Torticodes alternella and Agonopterix heracliana all going on the year list.
Acleris ferrugana

Rather worn Acleris sparsana

Common quaker

The weather in February didn't prove anymore conducive to trapping, with only 8 nights of the month bringing results that included just a Clouded drab (20th Feb) and Small quaker (21st)
Clouded drab

Dotted chestnut

Dotted border

As March progressed, as expected, moths were becoming more regular and the addition of the Heath trap on the 4th meant I was out and about on a frequent basis. Diurnea fagella was new on 5th March as was Acleris schalleriana, but the 1st uncommon moth was taken at Pig's Green on the 10th, a Dotted chestnut.  A garden Early grey the following night before a Twin spotted quaker (15th) and Shoulder stripe (21st) became the 18th macro of 2016. The 200th moth of the year was recorded in Hoecroft Lane on the 22nd before the first new for parish record. This was in the garden on the 26th, Povolyna leucapennella, confirmed by Graeme Smith (GJS) and only the 3rd record for the county. Angle shades and Engrailed followed on the 30th with March closing with a running total of 276 moths of 20 macros and 7 micros.
Povolyna leucapennella

Spring Usher


Looking back at April records it can be seen that, with the portable trap, I recorded moths on every night, apart from 18th - 21st when I was on a photo shoot of the Birds of Aviero, Portugal.
New moths turned up on a reasonably regular basis: Double striped pug (1st) Early thorn (3rd) and Red Chestnut (8th) this being the 2nd new for parish record, again taken to the garden Skinner. A Streamer on the 11th before 2 pleasing captures in Millennium Wood during our first parish moth night of the year on the 14th, Powdered quaker and Water carpet.The following night Mompha epilobiela was another new for parish from Suffyldes Wood. The month concluded with just a Hebrew character to the garden trap.
Powdered quaker

Water carpet

A few first and last dates:
Winter moth: last on 13.i.16
Satellite: last 04.iv.16
Early Moth: first 23.i.16 - last 04.ii.16
Chestnut: 31.i.16 - 05.iv.16
Small quaker 21.ii.16 - 28.iv.16

Numbers were supplied by Winter moth (27) Satellite (27) Common quaker (98) and Hebrew character (80) The latter two were still flying into May.

Next installment May - June to follow tomorrow. Then it gets busy!!

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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