Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Moth Review of The Year: Part 5: October and November 2016

The penultimate part of the review. The target for the year, with a Skinner 125W MV running every night in the garden and a battery powered Heath Actinic 15W trap left in one of 14 places several times a week, was to achieve 10,000 moths of 500 species.
October started with 460 moth species recorded for the year and a total of 9094 moths. The race was on.
Unfortunately, a cold snap at this time of year can decimate moth numbers, so pleased to record moths every night apart from 14th and 15th Oct (weekend break in North Norfolk) and 24th - 26th October (bird photo shoot in Aviero, Portugal.
Whilst numbers remained reasonable, new species were hard to come by, having to wait until the 4th for a Merveille du Jour in the garden. The same night I took a Blair's Shoulder Knot, also garden, before the 1st Brick of the year in Millennium Wood on the 5th. The following night my only Mallow of the year to the garden trap but more pleasingly, my first ever Dark Sword grass to the Skinner. This species has been recorded in the parish by Graeme Smith (GJS) but my first record. Things were becoming slower and the next new for year was on the 13th, a Green Brindled Crescent, with a November moth (gen det GJS) on the 16th, and a Pale November moth (gen det GJS) from Brick Kiln Hill opposite local village pub on the 21st.
Barred sallow (left) and Sallow

Blair's Shoulder Knot

Blastobasis lacticolella (7 from on bramble to light on 21.x.16)

No other new records for October apart from Phyllonorycter coryli from Millennium Wood on the 21st, Feathered thorn (28th) and Sprawler (29th.) Both taken in the garden. This meant October ended with 9360 moths of 472 species. Targets were looking tricky: time for some leaf mine action!
My first non moth night since Spring took place on the 2nd Nov, not a great start but Phyllonorycter maestingella from Pig's Green on the 3rd gave me renewed faith.
Brick

2 Brick, Chestnut and Green Brindled Crsecent

Cameraria ohridella

On Sunday 6th we had our annual leaf mining hunt day in Millennium Wood. Basically, families turn up with carrier bags and post it notes and, after an introduction from me about leaf mines and showing the leaves to look for, families disperse through Millennium Wood, returning with bulging bags of leaves for GJS and I to go through. Children love the searching and we enjoy sitting around waiting for them to return!!
In total we added 15 species to the parish list for the year, including a new for parish record of Ectodemia intimella. A good return.
Dark Chestnut

Chestnut

Dark swordgrass.

The next few days I visited most of the sites I had trapped over the year to leaf mine, adding: Stigmella tityrella (beech,) Stigmella hemargyrella (beech,) Stigmella splendissimella (bramble,) Phyllonorycter harrisella (oak,)  Caloptilia rufipennella (sycamore) all on the 9th and then added Tischeria ekebladella (oak,) Stigmella plagicolella (prunus) Phyllonorycter spinicolella (prunus,) Stigmella oxycanthella (prunus,) Phyllonorycter corylifoliella (hawthorn) and Phyllonorycter oxcanthae (hawthorn) on the 10th.
During the Remembrance Service by the village War Memorial on the 13th, I looked down during the 2 minutes silence and noted a leaf mine of London plane, a tree we were standing underneath. Phyllonorycter platani was new for parish records and micro number 247.
At this point numbers of micros become a little confusing as I was grateful to receive gen dets from GJS of micros he had saved from summer but on the 13th I passed 500 moth species with the addition of Stigmella salicis (goat willow,) Phyllonorycter salictella (willow) Phyllonorycter rajella (alder,) and Phyllonorycter kleemannella (alder.) These were all taken from trees on Ash Valley Golf Course, before a garden trap of December moth became my 253rd macro for the year.  More leaf mining searches on the 16th came up with Paronix fagivora on beech and Phyllonorycter geniculella from sycamore.
A December moth from Valley Fields to the actinic trap on the 15th was my 9500 moth for the year.
GJS sent through a few more July gen det records to add of Cnephasia genitalana and Coleophora pumicana on the 21st and by the 23rd I was up to 9600 for the year.  On the 24th, a solitary Scarce Umber from Millennium Wood made the records. Another gen det record on the 30th November (taken 18.vii.16) was a new for parish record of Coleophora serratella, 258th micro for the year.
Consequently, November ended with 258 micros and 254 macros and a total of 9760 moths. One target achieved and seeing as I counted 110 winter moth in dusk flight in Millennium Wood on the 27th, I felt confident 10,000 was easily achievable.
December moth

Feathered Thorn

Merveille du Jour on lichen

Selected macro flight times:
Beaded chestnut: 24.ix.16 - 29.x.16
Merveille du Jour: 04.x.16 - 30.x.16
Blair's Shoulder Knot: 04.x.16 - 20.x.16
Green Brindled Crescent: 13.x.16 - 03.xi.16
November moth:16.x.16 -15.xi.16
Feathered thorn : 28.x.16 - 27.xi.16

Numbers during this period supplied by:
Beaded Chestnut (44,) Merveille du Jour (8) Green Brindled Crescent (19 of which 5 were form capucina ) November moth (17) and Feathered thorn (36)

Hazel with Phyonorycter corylii and Stigmella microtheriella

Phyllonorycter nicelii on hazel

Satellite
December report to follow at the end of the week. With night time temperatures down to -3.5C last night, it doesn't look like I shall be adding anymore.


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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