Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Last, last post.............

I must learn to be a little more patient! It's not all my fault though,the forecast said it was going to be really cold. In practice the conditions are very similar to last night, so a quick reccy produced this. It's the first one since 18th January and a welcome surprise...........

Northern Winter Moth

The Last Post...........28/12

................Well, for this year at least. The temperature was at a virtually tropical 6°C after dark, so I was lucky enough to find 2 of these by the trap this morning......Happy New Year to all and good luck for 2011.

Winter Moth

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Get 'em while you can!.....10/12

Before it gets unbearably cold again next week I decided to look around The Lodge (The RSPB's headquarters) for Winter flying moths. High on the priority list was the Mottled Umber, which I found 3 of. All clinging to the sides of the many buildings on the complex. The one pictured was on the Avocet building on a window.

Mottled Umber
As the temperature was stable all night at 6°C I also put out a 30w Actinic/UV at home. This resulted in my 2nd December Moth as well as another Winter Moth. I've put 2 traps out tonight in the hopes of finding a Mottled Umber for the garden.

 December Moth
This could be about it for a little while as we're back in the freezer again next week!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

World's Hardiest Moths........4/12

These have to be some of the toughest moths alive after a week where temperatures have barely risen over freezing. After Karen found 1 on the outside of the glazed kitchen door I decided to put the trap on. Later on another appeared in the same place, though there was nothing in the trap the next morning. At the time they were found it was no warmer than 3°C so maybe after so much exceptionally cold weather they decided to come out as it felt comparatively warm? If you believe in reincarnation, you wouldn't want to come back as a Winter Moth! Imagine living through the festive period without being able to drink or eat..............

Winter Moth

These are the 1st ones I've seen since I caught a few in January and could well be the last moths of any species caught this year. Other than some indoor micros they are also the only moths I've caught in December.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Pay Off...........

.............and finally, after wind, rain and more unsavoury conditions the 240th macro for the year rears it's furry head! This is one of just a few target species left (see last post).

December Moth

Friday, November 12, 2010


Not too much about lately and in fact, I've barely put the trap out of late. With high winds and temperatures hovering around 0°C I had more than a few blanks, so this was the first attempt this week. It was still very windy but temps were back up to around 10°C.
Just  1 Turnip Moth for my efforts, though I did think it may have been a Pearly Underwing when I first saw it. All the books seem to suggest Turnips have gone back to the earth at the end of October. I'll have another go tonight as on the wish list are; Sprawler, Scarce Umber and December Moth.......

Turnip Moth

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thorn Again!.........02/11

Despite blustery conditions, the trap produced 5 moths of 4 species. It's the 1st time I've had more than 1 Feathered Thorn, the other one was a bit daggy so I didn't bother with a photo.
It looks like the same again for tonight but even warmer with more blowy conditions........

Feathered Thorn
  • Turnip Moth- 1
  • Lesser Yellow Underwing- 1
  • Garden Rose Tortrix- 1

Monday, November 1, 2010


As good a night as could be hoped for at this late stage in the campaign with 9 moths of 8 species. Also a year tick in the shape of  a Rosy Rustic, quite late compared to last year's records. Low cloud, a still evening and a reletively high temperature could be the reason for this unexpected catch.

Rosy Rustic

 Angle Shades

 Feathered Thorn
The Catch-
  1. Yellow-line Quaker- 2
  2. Angle Shades
  3. Feathered Thorn
  4. November Moth agg.
  5. Pale Mottled Willow
  6. Light Brown Apple Moth
  7. Willow Beauty
  8. Rosy Rustic- Year Tick

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Been focusing on local birding recently, with very little success. Of the few triumphs were Ravens seen 'rolling' over The Pinnacle, Sandy and a flock of 12 Waxwings flying west over my garden. I tried to relocate these anticipated treasures of the North on my bike. But after a good look around the village, decided that they must have moved straight though.
To balance this I have now attempted to see a couple of Lapland Buntings near Luton on 2 separate occasions and failed miserably. And after scoping for the proverbial needle in a haystack for over 2 hours, I made my excuses and sloped off.........going by previous records, I'll probably have another chance in about 10 years! Oh, and I also dipped the Pink-footed Goose on my home patch..........

On the moth front, things are slowing down steadily with just 3 moths.......a Red-line Quaker is the only one not photographed.

Red-green Carpet
3rd Record this year.

Eudonia angustea (1342)
2nd Record.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Still nothing new to add, but this Chestnut was only the 2nd record this year and the 1st since February. The only others were 1 Large Yellow Underwing and 1 Shuttle-shaped Dart.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A mini Renaissance........27/10

After very little action over the past week it was nice to see a spike in activity. The last 2 days have seen a substantial rise in temperature and despite the wind, I managed 6 species. It's just a shame there were no new additions for the year list. If I'm lucky, there might still be a few to add........

Red-line Quaker
The Count-
  1. Red-line Quaker- 1
  2. Yellow-line Quaker- 1
  3. Large Yellow Underwing- 1
  4. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 1
  5. Willow Beauty- 1
  6. Emmelina monodactyla- 1

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mixed Fortunes........18,19/10

In the middle of some very cold weather, the 18th was fairly mild. This seemed to spur a few moths into action with 10 species being present. In contrast the 19th was the coldest night so far, my temp. gauge read a low of just 0.9°C. As a consequence, the only moth present was a waterlogged and deceased Angle Shades on the ground by the trap. The rest of this week looks to be similar, so spartan times are ahead me thinks!

Frosted Orange
3rd record this year.

 Large Yellow Underwing
Still the odd one in flight.
Count for 18-10-
  1.  Shuttle-shaped Dart- 3
  2. Large Wainscot- 2
  3. Garden Rose Tortrix- 2
  4. Feathered Thorn
  5. Black Rustic
  6. Common Marbled Carpet
  7. Large Yellow Underwing
  8. Frosted Orange- 3rd record
  9. Blair's Shoulder-knot
  10. Blastobasis lacticolella

Monday, October 18, 2010


A slightly better night in the garden, but the forecast warmer temperatures didn't really arrive-
  1. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 3
  2. Turnip Moth
  3. Yellow-line Quaker
  4. November Moth agg.
  5. Pale Mottled Willow
The rest of the week looks cold too, with N-W winds dominating for the next few days.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


With temperatures down from 7 to just 3°C, the catch has dropped to virtually nothing. Just 2 moths; 1 Large Wainscot and 1 November Moth. With slightly more favourable conditions, I'm expecting a few more tonight....

Large Wainscot
A good year for these with 9 so far............

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Nothing hugely interesting of late as the mothing season starts to wind down. Temperatures, as expected dropped to their lowest so far; 5°C. Still, I wasn't surprised when this little beauty turned up as I had a few last year. But as far as the commoner species go, I'm beginning to run out........and still no Merveille du Jour!

Feathered Thorn
The count-
  1. Willow Beauty- 2
  2. Light Brown Apple Moth- 2
  3. Grey Pine Carpet
  4. Beaded Chestnut
  5. Black Rustic
  6. Shuttle-shaped Dart
  7. Large Wainscot
  8. November Moth agg.
  9. Lesser Yellow Underwing
  10. Sallow
  11. Feathered Thorn- Year Tick

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


An improved night with slightly higher temperatures and less wind. Also another year tick, though I'm starting to run out of 'easy ticks'. Looking at the weather, things are about to get a lot colder; so I'm expecting the trap to be fairly empty by the end of the month.
On the Vismig front, things are picking up. A Merlin through today and yesterday a Ring Ouzel, for some not very exciting. But for inland birders, these are notable records!

Red & Yellow-line Quaker
The 1st time I've ever caught both species on the same night.

Green-brindled Crescent
3rd record this year.

Spruce Carpet
1 of 2 Carpet species on the night.
The Count-
  1. Beaded Chestnut- 5- Highest ever count
  2. Large Yellow Underwing- 3
  3. Willow Beauty- 2
  4. Setaceous Hebrew Character- 2
  5. Red-line Quaker- 2- Year Tick
  6. Spruce Carpet
  7. Grey Pine Carpet
  8. Yellow-line Quaker
  9. Green-brindled Crescent
  10. Shuttle-shaped Dart
  11. Turnip Moth
  12. Pale Mottled Willow
  13. Black Rustic
  14. November Moth agg.
  15. Light Brown Apple Moth

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yellow-line Fever......11/10

Another good night despite a drop in temperature to 7°C.  I've recently repositioned the trap nearer the house and this seems to have helped. But wheres my Merveille du Jour?

Yellow-line Quaker
Another Year Tick.

 Large Wainscot
A total of 6 so far..........

 Beaded Chestnut
The 16th & 17th caught this year.

5th of the year.

This was caught on 9th October and I've given up deciding what it is. It seems long passed it's flight season.
It seems that this late flyer is a Vine's Rustic- Thanks to Andy of VC30 Moth Group.

The Count-
  1. Willow Beauty- 4
  2. November Moth agg.- 2
  3. Garden Rose Tortrix- 2
  4. Turnip Moth- 2
  5. Large Wainscot- 2
  6. Beaded Chestnut- 2
  7. Yellow-line Quaker- Year Tick
  8. Large Yellow Underwing
  9. Shuttle-shaped Dart
  10. Lunar Underwing
  11. Light Brown Apple Moth

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Catch Up and ID?....10/10

I've had a lot on recently so blogging has been pushed aside for a while. I have however still been trapping with some success of late. Here are a few of the highlights with a full count for 10th October at the bottom of the post......

Micro A?
Not sure about this one and awaiting an ID from the Micro recorder for VC30. It does look as though it could be Sitochroa palealis (1370) any ideas? Caught 7th October.
Not a Micro, but what looks like a very late Straw Dot..Thanks Ben.

Eudonia angestea (1342)
Another new micro caught 7th October

Green-brindled Crescent
2 caught so far on 7th & 8th October.

Large Wainscot
An incredible 4 caught on 9th October.

November Moth agg.
One of 3 caught- 10th October.

Pink-barred Sallow!
The 1st new garden moth since 11th September but I hardly feel Euphoric about it. Mainly because most of it is inside a Spider. So desperate am I for a new tick that I unravelled this one from a web to find it was indeed a Pink-barred...........Is it too much to ask to see a live one?

The full count-
  1. Willow Beauty- 5
  2. November Moth agg.- 3- Year Tick
  3. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 2
  4. Large Yellow Underwing- 2
  5. Mallow
  6. Pale Mottled Willow
  7. Common Marbled Carpet
  8. Shuttle-shaped Dart
  9. Common Wainscot
  10. Grey Shoulder-knot- 2nd Record
  11. Garden Rose Tortrix
  12. Barred Sallow
  13. Pink-barred Sallow- 1st Ever

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Upper Caldecote- 1x Twin 15w Actinic/UV

A much colder night than a few previous with temperatures reaching a low of just 6°C. Numbers and variety were down as a result.
  1. Willow Beauty- 3
  2. Beaded Chestnut- 2
  3. Lunar Underwing- 2
  4. Setaceous Hebrew Character- 2
  5. Light Brown Apple Moth
  6. Large Yellow Underwing
  7. Garden Rose Tortrix
  8. Mallow
  9. Barred Sallow
  10. Emmelina monodactyla

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grey Day............05/10

A dank, drizzly morning awaited me today and the Vismigging up on The Pinnacle was poor too! (The Lapland Bunting will just have to wait!) On the plus side, a few highlights from last night's trappings- a full count below-

Grey Shoulder-knot
1st of the Autumn, after one at The Lodge in February.

Dark Sword-grass
A 2nd Garden record of this immigrant moth.
Full Count-
  1. Willow Beauty- 3
  2. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 2
  3. Lesser Yellow Underwing- 2
  4. Large Yellow Underwing- 2
  5. Setaceous Hebrew Character- 2
  6. Shuttle-shaped Dart- 2
  7. Turnip Moth- 2
  8. Light Brown Apple Moth
  9. Mallow
  10. Deep-brown Dart
  11. Dark Sword-grass
  12. Rush Veneer
  13. Grey Shoulder-knot- Year Tick
  14. Barred Sallow
  15. Beaded Chestnut

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pale Pinion........04/10

Upper Caldecote- 1x Twin 15w Actinic/UV
Pretty uninspiring really, the highlight being another Deep-brown Dart.
  1. Willow Beauty- 3
  2. Large Yellow Underwing- 2
  3. Black Rustic- 2
  4. Turnip Moth- 2
  5. Pale Mottled Willow- 2
  6. Lunar Underwing
  7. Shuttle-shaped Dart
  8. Emmelina monodactyla
  9. Brimstone Moth
  10. Deep-brown Dart- 4th record this year
Stop Press............

OK, so perhaps I was a little hasty.......When the kids came home from school they managed to find this. So an uninspiring list became a bit more interesting, as this is a fairly rare moth in Bedfordshire.

Pale Pinion

Monday, October 4, 2010


Another night passes and another new one for the year turns up. Temperatures have been stable at around 14-9°C for the last few nights and so variety is still up. I'm now starting to 'run out' of species to see and the 250 Macro target looks pretty much unachievable at present............

Brindled Green
Well, it's a 1st for the year, but he's had a tough paper round!

3rd Garden Record.
The count-
  1. Willow Beauty- 3
  2. Turnip Moth- 2
  3. Shuttle-shaped Dart- 2
  4. Large Yellow Underwing- 2
  5. Common Marbled Carpet- 2
  6. Pale Mottled Willow- 2
  7. Emmelina monodactyla- 2
  8. Snout
  9. Blair's Shoulder-knot
  10. Brindled Green- Year Tick
  11. Black Rustic
  12. Light Brown Apple Moth

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Well, once again the trap was pretty full of stuff I've already had. The only newbie was my 132nd Micro for the year and is the 1st new Micro for exactly 1 month.......

2nd of the year.

 Blastobasis lacticolella (874)
1st Ever.

 Orthopygia glaucinalis (1415)
Full Count-
  1. Willow Beauty- 4
  2. Lunar Underwing- 3
  3. Large Yellow Underwing- 3
  4. Common Marbled Carpet- 3
  5. Lesser Yellow Underwing- 2
  6. Black Rustic- 2
  7. Blair's Shoulder-knot
  8. Sallow
  9. Barred Sallow
  10. Centre-barred Sallow
  11. Pale Mottled Willow
  12. Common Wainscot
  13. Turnip Moth
  14. Deep-brown Dart
  15. Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
  16. Brick
  17. Orthopygia glaucinalis
  18. Carcina quercana
  19. Blastobasis lacticolella- Garden 1st 
Angle Shades
Caught on 1st October.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Upper Caldecote- 1x Twin 15w Actinic/UV

Conditions were fair but temperature dropped to 6°C with quite a bit of rain in the mix. That said a few decent counts for some species, still waiting for my special Sallows...........
  1. Lunar Underwing- 8
  2. Black Rustic- 7 Highest Count
  3. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 5 Highest Count
  4. Large Yellow Underwing- 3
  5. Barred Sallow- 3 Highest Count
  6. Shuttle-shaped Dart- 2
  7. Willow Beauty- 2
  8. Brimstone Moth
  9. Garden Rose Tortrix
  10. Pale Mottled Willow
  11. Light Emerald
  12. Red Underwing- 3rd Record
  13. Lesser Yellow Underwing

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


After the Lord Mayor's Show really.......Only half the species of the night before. But at least I still have a few of the commoner varieties still to pick off. This year my main target is Pink-barred Sallow as I got all of the other common ones last year. Looking at other blogs, I see they are at large and even Trent Duval (We are the Campions) has caught one. This however will not curtail his visit to the 'offy' come December.

Black Rustic - Deep-brown Dart
The run down-
  1. Lunar Underwing- 6
  2. Large Yellow Underwing- 5
  3. Willow Beauty- 5
  4. Black Rustic- 4
  5. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 2
  6. Lesser Yellow Underwing- 2
  7. Pale Mottled Willow- 2
  8. Mallow- 2
  9. Shuttle-shaped Dart- 2
  10. Turnip Moth- 2
  11. Setaceous Hebrew Character
  12. Common Wainscot
  13. Deep-brown Dart- 2nd Record
  14. Vine's Rustic
  15. Small Dusty Wave
  16. Square-spot Rustic

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Autumn Almanac........27/09

Yes, yes, yes It's my Autumn Almanac! A great night and a sign that the season has well and truly started. Temperatures stayed no lower than 13°C and there was heavy cloud cover and the lightest of breezes. I've taken a few snaps but missed out on a pristine Red-green Carpet, only the 2nd record for the garden. There is a full count at the bottom of this post.

Barred Sallow
Very fresh, 1st of the year.

Frosted Orange
2nd for the year.

Red Underwing
2nd record this year.

Common Marbled Carpet
2 trapped on the night.

Grey Pine Carpet
1st for some time.

Dark Arches
The 2nd gens. are now in flight.
The full count-
  1. Lunar Underwing- 14
  2. Willow Beauty- 10
  3. Large Yellow Underwing- 6
  4. Pale Mottled Willow- 5
  5. Black Rustic- 4
  6. Light Brown Apple Moth- 4
  7. Mallow- 3
  8. Turnip Moth- 3
  9. Setaceous Hebrew Character- 3
  10. Light Emerald- 2
  11. Vine's Rustic- 2
  12. Garden Carpet- 2
  13. Common Marbled Carpet- 2
  14. Lesser Yellow Underwing- 2
  15. Blair's Shoulder-knot- 2
  16. Common Wainscot- 2
  17. Red Underwing
  18. Red-green Carpet
  19. Large Ranunculus
  20. Garden Rose Tortrix
  21. Frosted Orange
  22. Brimstone Moth
  23. Grey Pine Carpet
  24. Shuttle-shaped Dart
  25. Dark Arches
  26. Gold Triangle
  27. Beaded Chestnut
  28. White-shouldered House Moth
  29. Rush Veneer
  30. Barred Sallow- Year Tick