Friday, 23 December 2016

Moth Review of the Year: Part 2: May - June 2016

May is a month when there appears to be a lull in moth numbers following the spring emergence, but certain days, with night time temperatures in excess of 8C meant good numbers were taken throughout the month.
On the 1st the Heath trap was set in Suffyldes Wood where I took a Waved umber as NFY whilst I wandered off with torch and net to Millennium Wood. Just one moth here, the only Oak nycteoline of the year whilst the garden gave up a new for parish record of Brindled beauty. Not a bad start to the month.
Brindled beauty, a new for parish record

Agapeta hamana

A Brimstone (5th) along with Agonopterix arenella and Parornix anglicella (New for parish) were pleasing. The following night the heath trap was placed on the slope opposite the village pub. A regular Friday night placement as easy to empty after a few jars with friends and only 400 yards from home. This particular night gave up Red-green carpet, shuttle shaped dart and the first of many common swifts. New for year records followed on an almost daily basis with the next week giving: Green carpet, Scorched carpet and Least Black arches (7th.) The latter being new for parish. Around this time I spent day time flushing and searching, getting an Esperia sulphurella (8th.)
Lunar marbled brown and Epiphyas postvittana(8th,) Aphomia sociella and Celypha lacunana (9th,) Yellow barred brindle (10th,) Rustic shoulder knot (11th) and on the 15th a Scorched carpet was my 500th moth of the year.
Aspilapteryx tringipennella

Clouded border

Dichrorampha simpliciana

Day time searches gave up Small yellow underwing in East Wood on the 16th and Glphipterix simplciella, Common carpet, Silver Y later the same day from Westland Green. I returned at night to take Silver ground carpet and Flame carpet that evening. 17th gave Elasticha argentella on a day time check whilst Freyer's pug, V pug, and oak tree pug all to light.
The new for years kept coming: White ermine (18th) Maidens blush (19th) along with a new for parish Sandy carpet from Alder Wood. Another new for parish records the same night was a Dwarf pug, so the heath trap was certainly paying its way whilst a Spruce carpet was NFY. The evening finished with the first Clouded border of the year in the garden.
By mid May I begin to anticipate the increase in micros and this certainly proved true this year: Cydia pomonella (21st), Evergestis forficalis (21st) Monopsis weaverella (22nd) along with another new record for Little Hadham, a Scrobipalpa costella. The 25th gave the first of many Anania hortulata.
Waved umber


Plutella xylostella

Flame carpet

Macros during this period were Lime hawkmoth, Flame shoulder, Marbled minor, Willow beauty, Treble lines, Red twin spot carpet, Common marbled carpet, Ingrailed clay, Pale mottled willow and Snout.
Day netting over the local golf course on 27th proved most fruitful with 3 new for parish records: Endothenia oblongana, Dichrorampha simpliciana and Coleophora striatipennella along with 11 Dicrorampha plumbana. A Mother Shipton was also recorded before the trap was back on the hill for Agapeta hamana 
The 28th gave new for parish records of Micropterix aruncella and Aspilapteryx tringipennella, again day netting on the golf course.
The month concluded with Spectacle, Poplar hawkmoth, Middle barred minor, Cinnabar, Bright line brown eye, May highflier and Mottled rustic in the macros and Ephestia unicolorella, Plutella xylostella, Crambus lathionellus, Ebdrosis sarcitrella and Scoparaia basistrigalis in the micros.
Spruce carpet

Common swift, 1 of 131 trapped this year

Phone shot of the only Oak nycteoline taken this year netted in Millennium Wood

May finished with totals of 77 macros and 36 micros. This does highlight the importance of daytime netting in grassy habitats as Dichrorampha sequana was taken at the same site as 2015. This was classified as Herts extinct before this colony, feeding on tansy was found.
The last day of May coincided with the invasion of Plutella xylostella, with 57 in the garden trap. In total, 727 moths had been taken.

Selected first and last dates:
Red-green carpet: 06.v.16 - 30.v.16
Least Black Arches: 07.v.16 - 30.v.16
Oak tree pug: 17.v.16 - 22.v.16

May numbers supplied by: Brimstone (164 and last taken 21.ix.16) Scorched carpet (28) Buff ermine (83 and last taken mid August) Common pug (39 and still on the wing until 23.vi.16)

By the time June comes around it becomes way to lengthy to list every new for year record, with ones taken every day during the first 10 days of the month. However, the first Setaceous Hebrew Character was taken on the 3rd, the first of 1060 of this species, the last being recorded on 17.x.16!
New for parish records in June: Callisto denticulella (2nd) Notocelia trimaculana (4th) Pebble hooktip (8th) Coptopriche marginea (9th) Achroia grisella (11th) Gillmeria pallidactyla (18th) Prays fraxinella (22nd)
Achroia grisella

Anania hortulata

Eulia ministrana

In June, a week's camping holiday in Devon meant 7 nights without records, with the trap back on by 03.vii.16.

Other more unusual records during this month were: Pale prominent (4th and only 4 taken) Rivulet (8th and just the one) Scorched wing (9th and 1 of 2) Brindled pug (9th and the only specimen) as was Light arches on the 16th.
A pleasing Green silver lines was only my second ever record on the 19th and followed by another on the 4th July whilst a Fern (22nd) was the only one, the same with Pinion streaked snout (24th)
A new for parish Sandy carpet

Prays fraxinella

Another new record: Pebble hooktip

On the 9th GJS and I ran several traps in Millennium Wood for another residents moth night. Again, a well attended event with families coming along from dusk. Shame that when the best moths are on the wing it is too late for the children to get out on a school day. However, I do pot several to show them at a later date, and take them into the local village primary school. As always, hawkmoths are really popular with children. In all on the 9th we took 46 species of over 250 moths with Yponomeuta cagnagella, Anthophilia fabricana, Nemophora degeerella, Udea olivalis, Tortrix viridana, Tinea semifulvella, Nematapogon swammerdamella and Parapoynx stratiotata being new for year micros and Brindled pug, Scorched wing, Clouded silver, Garden carpet and Yellowshell making the year macro list. In all 30 Silver ground carpets were recorded as well as a further 20 Plutella xylostella and both of these were conservative estimates!
On the 13th a Pale oak beauty to the garden trap was only 3rd parish record and Beautiful Golden Y on the 18th just one of two this year.
On the 21st a new for year record of 59 moths of 36 species taken to the garden Skinner. This record was soon the be beaten with 63 of 40 on the 23rd.
By the end of June the running totals were: 127 macros (Brindled pug being the 100th macro for the year) and 75 micros made up from 1558 moths.
Green silver lines

Wormwood pug

Pine hawkmoth

Selected first and last dates for June
Large nutmeg: 03.vi.16 - 15.vi.16
Straw dot, 1st gen: 07.vi.16 - 25.vi.16
Common wainscot: 13.vi.16 - 21.ix.16 (252 in total)
Brown rustic: 04.vi.16 - 09.vii.16.

Numbers from: Heart and Dart (67) Setaceous Hebrew Character (1060), Light emerald (77) Garden carpet (29) Treble brown spot (35) Straw dot (71 in 3 generations, finishing on 04.x.16)

Next installment, Just July to follow

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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