Friday, 13 July 2018

2nd Quarter Moth review. Little Hadham, East Herts VC20

The 2nd quarter of the year began on  a relatively high note, with moths taken every night between 1st of April and 26th before the temperatures dropped again and April concluded with highs of 3C and no moths recorded between 27th and 30th.
The first New for year (NFY) was taken to the portable 15W actinic heath trap set on the local golf course, a Red green carpet. where also a new for my parish records (NFPR) micro was captured, an Agpnopterix ocellana. This is a moth that has become more prevalent in Herts over the last few years, so just a matter of time before I took one. Indeed, I took another at another site the following evening, where I also recorded Emmelina monodactyla as NFY and Early grey. a genital dissection on the 7th on another Agonopterix species showed ot to be just a A. heracliana but a Water carpet from Millennium Wood to a headtorch and net was pleasing. The first double striped pug of the year also taken to the 125W skinner trap set in the garden.
On the 13tha Brindled pug made the year list, the following night a Nut tree tussock. The garden gave up both Streamer and Muslin moth on the 17th before a forced stop in trapping as I and 2 friends went off to Porto for a few days of port tasting to celebrate my 60th birthday. All good fun before a return on the 21st and an Eriocrania subpurperella being NFY. A garden Lunar marbled brown on the 22nd,  Purple thorn and Chinese character on the 23rd were the last 2 new records for April. On the 30th April my records showed a disappointing, but not unexpected list of 30 macros and 7 micros. My lowest return ever for the first 4 months of a year.
Red green carpet

Red green carpet

Early grey

Double striped pug

Water carpet

Nut tree tussock


Lunar marbled brown

Purple thorn
Eriocrania subpurpurella


 Winter was still continuing as May began with a Scorched carpet braving the bitter cold on the 1st, a Latticed heath on the 3rd and the first of big numbers of Green carpet on the 4th.
On the 5th a Chocolate tip was a good moth, just a few recordings of this moth over the years before the first micro of May was captured at Westland Green on the 7th, an Aphomia sociella along with  a couple of Agonopterix arenella. On the 8th a little sun in the garden meant I caught a glimpse of an Esperia sulphurella and that night took Brimstone and Common carpet to the 15W trap and a Waved umber in the garden, as well as Pale tuccock and Red twin spot carpet. Things were now looking up and over the following week (9th - 14thMay) added 12 macros but still only more micro. On the 15th I was off with naturalist friend Anoma from Galle, Sri Lanka for a few days birding in North Norfolk, his first trip to the UK. We recorded over 100 species of bird but night time temps due to northerlies coming straight off the North Sea where we stayed at Blakeney meant it was pointless even putting the Heath trap out.
A couple of days respite from the really cold weather at home added two more macros (Shuttle shaped dart and Silver Y) before we headed off to Rome for a concert to mark Wendy's birthday. Great time in Rome, crap gig!
The garden gave up a few moths each night, some new for the year (White spotted pug, Poplar hawkmoth, Lychnis, Bright line brown eye and Notocelia cynosbatella) up to the 23rd when everything suddenly began to take a turn for the better as temperatures slowly but surely increased. On the 23rd there were 6 NFY's including swallow prominent whilst the Heath trap was set in Suffyldes Wood on the 25th and I recorded 29 moths, but nothing new. The same night Light emerald and Bloodvein came to the garden skinner.
The 26th May was indeed the turning point, with 29 moths of 20 species being recorded at home. Mostly expected insects but a Haworth's pug was NFPR! Running both traps on the 27th gave a combined total of 80 moths and in this total were 15 NFY's. These included Nemaphora degeerella, Pale oak beauty, Plutella xylostella and Freyer's pug.
Running 2 traps the following night gave up even better totals and 9 NFY's but heavy rain and a strong breeze on the 29th curtailled the upturn. However, a Tinea semifulvella was reacorded as NFY and a Pale prominent was the 1000th moth to be recorded in 2018. A moth taken in the garden seldomly seen was taken on the 30th, a Shears.
31st was good enough for a spot of daytime netting in grassland whereYellowshell,Grapholitatenebrosana, Aethes smeathmanniana, Elasticha argentella   and Glyphipterix simplicella were all noted. Both traps were employed at night, with the Heath being placed in a new wood for me that I had recently been granted permission to trap. Negotiations involved buying Steve, the farmer, 2 pints of Old Speckled Hen! This was a good place, a hornbeam based woodland with a few conifers, oaks and ash but also plenty of rotting haybales which are used for pheasant rearing in the autumn. Therefore it was not a surprise to take 2 Monopsis obviella, a NFPR micro.
May ended with a mcuh more respectable total of 102 macros and 38 micros in a total of 1250 moths, still way down on the 2 previous years.
Chocolate tip

Pale prominent

Nemapogon cloacella


Swallow prominent

Clouded brindle

Sandy carpet

Shears.
June came charging in: on the 1st a total of 73 moths of 37 species was, at that point, a year record, adding 3 macros and 2 micros to the year list before I headed off to Portland Bird Obs for the weekend, scoring with several new birds for the year, including a pair of Rosy starlings.
Back home to trap on the 3rd gave up the first Riband wave of the year, along with Willow beauty and Hedya nubiferana. I'd be seeing plenty more of them throughout the next couple of months. I managed to get out over the next week or so on regular occasions, running the heath trap in a variety of local woods, meaning the 1500th moth of the year, a Setaceous Hebrew character was taken on the 6th June but it wasn't until the next evening I trapped my 4th NFPR, a pair of Traxomera parasitella at Westland Green. In the garden skinner that night another NFPR, Celypha cespitana.
By the end of the first week of June the totals had continue to rise, with NFY'S on a daily basis, as expected.
On the 10th, Wendy and I headed off for a lazy week camping on the Isle of Wight. We had both had a very hectic schedule since mid April and needed a few days doing little. The weather was perfect and I thought that was typical, great moths at home. Little did I know that the weather was just going to continue to improve up until the present day, warm nights and hot days without a drop of rain. Great mothing conditions.
On the 18th another NFPR, Anarsia inoxiella represented my 366th micro for the parish. By now, I was taking up to 150 moths a night and adding plenty to the year list. The 200th moth species for 2018 was taken in the garden skinner on the 20th, a Eucosma obumbratana 
On the 21st I joined forces with local Herts moth-ers, Graeme and Stven and we ran 3 traps in Millennium Wood, a 150W Robinson, 125W skinner and 15W actinic heath. Over 300 insects recorded with many NFY'S but also Coleophora anatipennella and Epinotia bilunana being NFPR. Great evening. On the same night we ran another trap in Harvey's Wood where other NFPR's were taken: Nematopogon metaxella, Minor shoulder knot and Orthotaenia undulana.
New records continued on a daily basis until the 25th when another NFPR: Phtheochroa inopiana. The 250th species for 2018 was captured on the 26th June, a Epinotia nisella and the 3000th moth record of the year was on the 28th, a Pleuropyta ruralis
Alder Wood that night gave up 91 of 51 species that night. A Lobster moth on the 29th was a good garden record and June finished on a high with 60 species coming to the garden Skinner.
So, the 2nd quarter finished with a relatively satisfactory 171 macros and 111micros. In amongst these were 14 new for parish records. I note I have omitted to mention that Grapholita tenebrosana was an NFPR and totally missed mentioning Spatalistis bifasciana
In total, I had recorded 3309 moths by the 31st June, still down on previous years, but with the weather set to continue long into July, chance of improving on last years records.
Lobster moth

Herald

Lilac beauty

Ypsolopha dentella

Oak hooktip

Blue bordered carpet, having a very successful year.

Udea olivalis

Anania hortulata

Adela crossella






No comments:

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. In 2016 I spent time at Portland Bird Obs and two trips to Aviero, Portugal. 2017 found me back in Sri Lanka in Feb/March, then July and back for New Year's Eve celebrations in December. Also returned to The Camargue in May for a 4 day trip. Few plans for 2018, but nothing yet booked apart from a trip to the IOW.

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