Friday, 24 June 2016

Busy Mothing period: Recent update

The list of moths for the year has now reached 199 species within the Little Hadham Parish. On the 21st June I set a new for year garden record of 58 moths of 36 species and this was almost beaten on the 22nd. Last night saw the bar move a little higher with 63 moths of 40 species. Still a long way to go to beat last years record of 210 moths of 82 species. Maybe a warm July night will get me close.
New for the year moths are daily at this time of the year and over the last 3 nights have been:
Micros:
Gypsonoma dealbana
Celypha roseceana
Agriphila straminella
Prays fraxinella (NFM, species number 596 for the parish records)
Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
Eudonia mercurella
Rhopobota naevana
(1 more TBC)

Macros:
Riband Wave
Rufous minor
Fern
Common footman
Common emerald
Elephant hawkmoth
Double square spot
Phoenix

Prays fraxinella

Common emerald


Phoenix

Flame

Elophila nympheata


Hackney Mothing

Small dusty wave
Aphomia sociella (Bee moth)
Ephestia parasitella unicolrella
Blastobasis lacticolella
Bright line brown eye
Prays fraxinella
Haworth's pug
Enarmonia formosana
Graeme Smith and I had been invited to run several moth traps at east Bank West Bank NR in Stamford Hill, Hackney. This reserve is a thin strip of land several hundred yards long on either side of the railway line out of Liverpool Street. Only 3 yards wide and heavily vegetated. Plenty of privet, sycamore and plane.
Traps set by 9.30 and we began netting. Mainly micros with a few small fan foots and small dusty wave.
By 10.45 the sky blackened and an electric storm brought a rapid end to the event. We were packed by 11.45 with a list of 65 moths of 28 species, including Prays fraxinella, 3 Ephestia unicolorella, Enarmonia formosana and Acentria ephemerella. Pretty good micros.
All photo credits: Graeme J. Smith who also carried out necessary dissections.
Full List:
Classification
Vernacular
Latin
Number taken
Micro 



216
Cork Moth
Nemapogon cloacella
1
228

Monopsis weaverella
1
449
Ash bud moth
Prays fraxinella
1
464
Diamond back moth
Plutella xylostella
2
644

Borkhausenia fuscecens
1
647
Brown house moth
Hoffmannophila pseudospretella
1
819

Scrobipalpa costella
1
874

Blastobasis lacticolella
3
994

Clepsis consimilana
10
998
Light brown apple moth
Epiphyas postvitanna
8
1011

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
2
1216
Cherry bark moth
Prays fraxinella
1
1301

Crambus lathionellus
3
1331
Water veneer
Acentria ephemerella
1
1361
Mint moth
Pyrauta aurata
3
1376
Small magpie
Anania hortulata
2
1428
Bee moth
Aphomia sociella
6
1474

Ephestia parasitella unicolorella
3
Macros 



0017
Common swift
Hepialis lupilinus
6
1702
Small fan-footed wave
Idaea biselata
1
1707
Small dusty wave
Idaea seriata
4
1711
Treble brown spot
Idaea trigimenata
1
1713
Riband wave
Idaea aversata
1
1742
Yellow Shell
Camptogramma bilineata
1
1813
Haworth’s pug
Eupithecia haworthiata
1
2089
Heart and Dart
Agrotis exclamationis
1
2160
Bright line brown eye
Lacanobia oleracea
1
2473
Beautiful hooktip
Laspeyria flexula
1

Thursday, 16 June 2016

New moths recently

Blood vein
Now getting to the time of year when new for year moths are almost a daily occurence. Over the last few days added:
Chrysoteuchia culmella
Celypha striana
Small waved umber
Blood vein
common wainscot
Pale oak beauty
Heart and club
small waved umber

Celypha striana


Common wainscot

Heart and Club


Sunday, 12 June 2016

New Moth for Parish records

A reasonable haul in the garden moth trap this morning, with new for the year records of Common Wave and burnished brass
Burnished brass

Burnished brass


Common wave
However, a small very plain brown micro with a yellow head caught my attention as unusual and so it proved, a Achroia grisella (Lesser wax moth.) This is a pest to bee keepers as it lays its eggs in bee hives and the young caterpillars can cause damage to the hive by munching through everything and anything that is in there.
In all 18 moths of 16 species.
Achroia grisella (Lesser wax moth)
These records take the number of moths trapped this year in the parish to 1115 made up of 58 micro species and 102 macro species and, in total 594 species for the parish.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Moth Night: Millennium Wood

3 of us set up 5 traps within the wood as from 8.45 and immediately began netting moths found on plants and bushes, many from nettle patches.
Quickly, our total for the night rose, with large numbers of silver-ground carpet and common swift. The temperature dropped around 11.15 and it became quite damp and dewy which appeared to stop moths flying. Consequently, we began emptying the traps, listing the contents and saving those that required further work for identification.
In total 159 moths of 38 species were identified with 5 new macros for the parish year list and 9 micros one of which, Coptotriche marginea was new for parish records.
This means my totals for the year with Little Hadham presently stand at 99 macro moths and 54 micro moths, taking the total species count for the parish to a reasonably impressive 593 species since 2011. The champagne is now on ice for when I catch my 600th moth species for the parish.
The list in total:
Macros: New for year records in bold

  1. 30 silver -ground carpet
  2. angle shades
  3. 6 common marbled carpet
  4. 25 common swift
  5. 4 snout
  6. 2 yellowshell
  7. 3 brimstone
  8. 3 flame shoulder
  9. 3 light emerald
  10. 3 garden carpet
  11. 5 clouded silver
  12. 2 common pug
  13. 2 scorched wing
  14. 5 mottled pug
  15. 2 green carpet
  16. 2 marbled minor
  17. setaceous hebrew character
  18. 2 tawny marbled minor
  19. brindled pug
Micro moths: new for parish in red, new for year in bold
  1. 20 Plutella xylostella
  2. Yponomeuta cagnagella
  3. Anthophilia fabricana
  4. 3Hedya pruniana
  5. Nemapogon cloacella
  6. 2 Celypha lacunana
  7. 9 Scoparia ambigualis
  8. 5 Blastobasis lacticolella
  9. Nemaphora degeerella
  10. Monopsis weaverella
  11. Udea olivalis
  12. Tortrix viridana
  13. aphomia sociella
  14. Anania hortulata
  15. Tinea semifulvella
  16. Eulia ministrana
  17. Nematopogon swammerdamella
  18. Parapoynx striatata
  19. Coptotriche marginae

  1. yellowshell

    Anthophilia fabricana

    Yponomeuta cagnagella

    Nemophora degeerella
Scorched wing

Tortrix viridana

Tinea semifulvella

Angle shades

Clouded silver

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Moths galore

With the rise in both day and night time temperatures, coupled with no moon and little wind, the last few nights have been excellent mothing conditions.
Last night, a quick check along Chapel Lane before it was fully dark gave :
Treble brown spot (NFY)
A 5 minute standing still session at The Green at Westland Green gave:
3 silver ground carpet
5 straw dot
Scoapria ambigualis (NFY)
Scoparia basistrigalis

Then, on to the 15W actinic trap set along a muddy track in Pigs Green. By this time it was 10.50 and it was clearly going to be a busy trap. Even with the tube turned off, moths (mainly common swifts) were being constantly attracted to the head torch. Anything that wasn't a common swift or silver-ground carpet was netted, but still 15+ escaped capture and therefore identification. Anyway these were noted:
Aphomia sociella
12 common swift
2 straw dot
3 common pug
4 silver-ground carpet
4 treble lines
6 ingrailled clay
common white wave (NFY)
pebble hooktip (NFM)
Rivulet (NFY)
Eulia ministrana
Brown silver line (NFM)
Crambus lathionellus
Pthteochroa rugosana
Scoparia ambigualis
3 pugs await confirmation

This morning, a not too early check on the garden skinner gave records of:
Shears
buff ermine
willow beauty
2 common swift
snout
treble lines
Rustic shoulder knot
straw dot
Hedya pruniana (NFY)
Epiblema scutulana (TBC) and (NFY if so)
Mottled pug
1 pug awaits confirmation

All in all, takes me past 1000 moth records for the year, made up now from 94 macros and 44 micros: 138 species for 2016. Far in excess of last year's figure.
Pebble hooktip

selection of ingrailed clay


Friday, 3 June 2016

Early June mothing (dreadful)

All lepidopterists look forward to the coming of June and the instant rise in variety of moths to trap. That is, apart from this year, when northerly strong winds and downpours, coupled with low temperatures (11C during the day, 6C at night) meant the last few days have been dire.
The only highlight was the influx of swarms of Plutella xylostella (Diamond back moth.) This migrant is normally taken in small numbers later in the year, but a rise from 3 on the 30th May, 57 on the 31st, 19 on 1st June and last night just 8 certainly boosted the total moth numbers for the year, if not the species number.
Other new moths for the year have been:
Crambus lathionellus (29th) in the garden, May highflier (Pig's Green 30th) mottled rustic (garden 30th) Ephestia unicolorella (garden 31st), heart and dart (1st June to the garden trap and last night Callisto denticulella.
This takes the total species for the parish to 115 species (78 macros and 37 micros and a running total of 744 moths in all.
Callisto denticulella

Plutella xylostella

Another P. xylostella from the 57 recorded on the 31st May

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