Monday, 3 July 2017

2nd quarter Moth review: April - June 2017

On April 1st my moth records stood at a rather sorry 392 moths with 9 micros and 29 macros having been recorded in the first 3 months of the year. Things needed to improve during the next quarter, which, by mid June, they most certainly did. Anyway, back in the cold, dank April months I continued to run the Skinner 125W trap in the garden trap every night and also use the 15W heath actinic battery trap on average 3 nights per week at one of fourteen selected sites, all within Little Hadham parish.
New for parish records and new for the year moths became increasingly more common over the 3 month period, meaning I ended June with 4174 moths:197 macro species, 131 micro species and had added 21 species to the parish list, taking that to a grand total of 686 species for Little Hadham.

The first new for parish was on 6th April, a Epermenia chaerophyllela, which was taken in the garden in a haul of just 4 moths, about average for this time of year.
A trip to Pigs Green on the 9th gave up Least black arches and Agonopterix arenella as new for year, soon to be followed at home with a Brimstone and Muslin moth.
As April moved on I added Common carpet (14th), Waved umber (14th), Dwarf pug (16th), Scorched carpet (17th), red twin spot carpet (21st) Green carpet (22nd).
A red chestnut at home was my 500th moth on 22nd April and Mompha subbistrigella (23rd) were recorded before several days of freezing conditions meant no moths taken on 24th - 27th. A common white wave (28th) and a Bright line brown eye (29th) completed the month. This meant 512 moths: 14 micros, 41 macros.
May continued in the same vein as April with low numbers taken at both traps, numbers rarely in excess of 10 insects until the first larger haul on 16th May when I took the heath trap to Stocking Wood. Once set up I netted with the head torch, recording 18 species, including 52 green carpet, 9 silver ground carpet and 8 Nemapogon swammerdamella. However, the highlight was a Sallow kitten, new for the parish. This followed another new for parish record of Mullein, to the garden trap on the 6th.

Sallow kitten
Mullein
Seraphim

It must be noted that no trapping took place 8th - 11th as I was birdwatching in The Camargue. The next large trapping was on 22nd May when the heath was placed along an overgrown footpath in a dark, damp site. Here, 21 species of over 100 moths were noted including a Seraphim, a new record for the parish.

A first visit to East Wood on the 25th gave up over 100 moths with a fair few new for year, but at home a Nemphopterix angustella was new for parish. On the 29th I took a record for 2017 of 57 moths of 31 species to the Skinner, including new for record of Vitula biviella.
May concluded with 1623 moths recorded: 120 macros and 49 micros. The records were beginning to pile up and I was now considerably ahead of the 2016 total.
June began with a bang: 130 moths/41 species to the heath trap in Stocking Wood on the 1st, including new for records of Phyllonorycter leucographella, Elasticha macuicerussella and Bucculatrix ulmella. Great start to what was to become a memorable month, with some really warm nights.
A camping trip to the Isle of Wight on the 3rd to 9th stopped recording, but appeared to coincide with colder wet weather in the village, so maybe not too much missed. The weather perked up upon our return. A homoeosoma sinuella was new for the parish on 12th whilst the 2000th moth, a marbled minor was also taken on the 12th
Nephopterix angustella

Homoeosoma sinuella

A follow up trip to East Wood on the 13th gave up 321 moths of 51 species and that night the garden record was also broken: 83 of 50 species, including a real surprise, a Pretty Chalk carpet and Grapholita janthinana. This was the beginning of a good run.
14th June meant I took the 150th macro, whilst on the 16th I scored with 2500th moth. On the 18th the trap was back at the damp Pigs Green site where a Niditinea striolella was taken, a first for Herts!
Also, at home I took a new year record of 118 moths of 64 species. On the 19th I added Ostrina nubilalis to the parish records along with Piniphila bifasciana. The 20th gave me my first ever Maple prominent and tawny barred angle. The following night, back to Stocking Wood for 172 moths of 64 species including new for parish Scythropia crataegella and twin spot carpet.
Grapholita janthinana

Maple prominent

The garden record was beaten again on the 22nd where 136 of 65 species
were recorded, including a new record: Ruddy carpet.
A very worn ruddy carpet

The 300th moth species for the year, a Dot moth was trapped on the 23rd. The month concluded with a Ypsolopha parentsella being new for records on the 29th, when a Least carpet was 4000th moth for the year.
Ypsolopha parenthsella

Let's hope July continues in the same manner, some really gratifying moths being taken and I now look forward to the 700th species for the parish later this summer.

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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