Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One from the archives.........

I have never been sure what this is, I recorded it as a 'Chestnut' at the time. But now I've caught a few Chestnuts recently, this one seems to stand out. The trouble is I'm not quite sure when I caught it, probably Easter '09. The photo is very over exposed, so perhaps it is just a Chestnut after all......any ideas?

NB.......Small Square-spot IDed by Andy Banthorpe of Beds VC30.

2 more to the good.....29/03

Diurnea Fagella
Double-striped Pug
Another 2 newbies for the trap on a fairly blowy evening. The Pug was only there for a matter of 10 minutes, luckily I got a photo before it left. Diurnea fagella is the 5th garden micro of the year so far. 13 0f 8 species-
  1. Clouded Drab- 4
  2. Hebrew Character- 3
  3. Common Quaker- 1
  4. Chestnut- 1
  5. Early Grey- 1
  6. Double-striped Pug- 1 Garden 1st
  7. Diurnea fagella- 1 Garden 1st
  8. Agonopterix heracliana- 1

Monday, March 29, 2010

Best so far.....28/03

Oak Beauty
I never get tired of seeing these, This one was on the outside of the trap this morning. It was a good count for me with 31 of 8 species. The rest of the count is as follows-
  1. Common Quaker- 12
  2. Clouded Drab- 7
  3. Hebrew Character- 6
  4. Dotted Border- 2
  5. Early Grey- 1
  6. Small Quaker- 1
  7. Oak Beauty- 1 Second Record
  8. Agonopteric heracliana- 1

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Early Grey
A clear night with a bright moon and a moderate wind wasn't the best recipe for Mothing success. A few did venture out into the cold.....
  1. Common Quaker- 5
  2. Hebrew Character- 3
  3. Early Grey- 2
  4. Small Quaker- 1
  5. Emmelina monodactyla- 1

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Little Grey Jobs.......26/03

Lead-coloured DrabCommon Quaker
Subject to acceptance, it looks like another Lead-coloured Drab. I did at first think there were 2, but the bottom photo I'm pretty sure shows another poorly marked Common Quaker. The 'border' on the lowermost cross line is broader and the top kidney mark is large and closer to the lower. The list is as follows-
  1. Clouded Drab- 6
  2. Hebrew Character- 4
  3. Common Quaker- 3
  4. Lead-coloured Drab- 1
  5. Dotted Border- 1

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pretty Good, considering....25/03

Angle Shades
Pretty cold last night with a blustery South Easterly wind and a bit of rain thrown in, so I was surprised with the variety. I did suspect that Angle Shades would be on the menu after finding 2 caterpillars on the patio. They can be seen by clicking on 'Larvae' or 'Angle Shades' under the heading 'Labels' on the right hand side. The full list-
  1. Clouded Drab- 5
  2. Hebrew Character- 2
  3. Common Quaker- 2
  4. Early Grey
  5. Dotted Border
  6. Angle Shades- Year tick!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Under leaden Skies......24/03

Early GreyLead-coloured Drab
Small Quaker
March Moth
Grey was the order of the day,(or the night) with a bumper crop of 25 of 9 species on a very mild evening. Temperatures hovered around 11-12°C helped no doubt by the heavily overcast, rainy weather.
Highlights were my 1st Early Greys and another different Lead-coloured Drab. The list is as follows-
  1. Common Quaker- 6
  2. Clouded Drab- 5
  3. Early Grey- 4- New for the garden
  4. Agonopterix heracliana- 3
  5. Hebrew Character- 2
  6. March Moth- 2
  7. Small Quaker- 1
  8. Emmelina monodactyla- 1
  9. Lead-coloured Drab- 1- 2nd Record!
I had 2 traps out last night and once again the 30w twin out performed the portable 12v trap.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clouded Judgement?...23/03

I believe the 1st 2 to be Clouded Drab. The top photo is the form I generally encounter and makes up all of the sightings bar 1.

The middle photo is a lighter form that I have only seen once.

The bottom photo seems to be the tricky one, mainly because it is very faded. I caught 2 of these last night (23/03)and think they are a grey form of Common Quaker along with 2 browner forms. I trapped a fresher 1 like this on 12/03, there is a photo here.

The count in general was quite low-
  1. Clouded Drab- 6
  2. Hebrew Character- 1
  3. Common Quaker- 4
  4. Emmelina monodactyla- 1

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lead, astray!.....22/03

According to the books, the Lead-coloured Drab feeds predominately on Aspen...........I wasn't aware there was any in the area, so I can only assume he must be lost! The photo below shows the diagnostic 'feathered' antennae, which without any doubt distinguishes this from the similar Clouded Drab. It is also slightly smaller and more round in the wing tip. All the same, I almost emptied him along with the others!
Other than this revelation just 2 Clouded Drab, 3 Hebrew Character and a Common Quaker on a cold, clear night.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Battle of the Traps....21/03

30 watt Actinic/UV

Upgraded 15 watt Actinic portable

15 watt Actinic
Just for experimental purposes I put out 3 traps last night. Conditions could have been a bit better with a clear, fairly cold night and a fairly bright moon. (36% of full)
The results were as follows-
30 watt Actinic/UV
  1. Hebrew Character- 2
  2. Clouded Drab
  3. Common Quaker
  4. Small Quaker
  5. Emmelina monodactyla
  6. Agonopterix heracliana

Upgraded 15 watt Actinic portable

  1. Common Quaker- 3
  2. Clouded Drab

15 watt Actinic

  1. Hebrew Character- 2
  2. Common Quaker
  3. Emmelina monodactyla

It proves absolutely nothing as the 30w trap is in the most sheltered position. But it is nice to see the portable at least keeping up with the mains version in close proximity to each other.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Rain.......20/03

The rain was once again set in for most of the night. But mild temperature(11-6°C) and a light wind brought a good haul though nothing startling. The 18 of 6 species were-
  1. Hebrew Character- 6
  2. Common Quaker- 5
  3. Clouded Drab- 3
  4. Small Quaker- 2
  5. Dotted Border- 1
  6. Agonopterix sp.- 1 gone B4 ID!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Drab night.......19/03

It basically rained most of the night, there was also a moderate S to SW wind. Despite this we had a high count for both Common Quaker and Clouded Drab. There was also the 1st Sexton Beetle sp. in the trap.-
  1. Common Quaker- 6
  2. Clouded Drab- 6 (photo)
  3. Hebrew Character- 2

Friday, March 19, 2010

Orange Underwing- The Lodge

Went for a rehabilitation walk around RSPB The Lodge today with Karen. We were lucky enough to see 20+ of these flying around the tops of the Birches. The photo is courtesy of Paul Harris on UK Moths...
Also saw what I thought was a Brindled Beauty which flew by and then landed high up in a tree. I got a decent binocular view, but again no photo.

Warm but Windy......18/03

Not as good a night as previous and I only put 1 trap out. Our area in East Bedfordshire can be a little exposed at times and any wind(up to 17mph) seems to hamper the mothing somewhat.
Having said that, Small Quaker (top) and Acleris kochiella/logiana? were new for the garden-
  1. Common Quaker- 2
  2. Dark Chestnut- 1
  3. Small Quaker- 1
  4. Acleris kochiella/logiana?- 1
Thanks for the heads up on the Micro ID Ben.
NB....."I think this is Acleris logiana.
Andy Banthorpe recorded this at Flitwick Moor, on 5 July 2009.
This was until recently a "Scottish highlands" species. You may recall, at the Lower Stondon meeting,
that I mentioned that it has moved into southern England in the last few years (probably spread west from
Europe, rather than south from Scotland)
Acleris kochiella is white in the first (summer) generation, but more grey in the autumn/over-wintering generation"

David Manning

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Carpet Bagged!..........17/03

Having missed out in Autumn last year, it was nice to fill a gaping hole in the garden list. This Red green Carpet is the 1st Chloroclysta species of the year.
I had 2 traps out last night, even the small 8w portable trap contained 4 moths this morning. Totals are-
  1. Common Quaker- 4
  2. Clouded Drab- 2
  3. Hebrew Character- 1
  4. Red green Carpet- 1
  5. Dotted Border- 1
  6. Emmelina Monodactyla- 2

Weather could be a bit dodgy over the next day or 2.............

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The master of disguise........

A bit of a dodgy photo, but this is the extremely variable Acleris hastiana from the 15th. Apparently there are over 120 recognised forms! No wonder I needed some expert help from David Manning.

NB....... Bradley (1973) says........"an almost infinite number of combinations of the forms with
longitudinal and transverse markings are found and include .......figs17-20"

What a Beauty!.........16/03

Well, the last couple of nights have certainly been worth putting the trap out. A light Southerly wind of 7mph and a temperature of 5+°C most of the night. So I was over the moon to find this Oak Beauty in the bottom of the trap this morning. The list is as follows-
  1. Oak Beauty- 1
  2. Common Quaker- 2
  3. Clouded Drab- 1
  4. Dotted Border- 1
  5. Hebrew Character- 1
  6. Emmelina Monodactyla- 1

The 30w twin trap seems to be performing well in a sheltered area near the house in the back garden.

Broom Moths............16/03

This was the 1st experiment with the trap at a location nr. Peacock's Lake, Broom GPs. I left a small 8w skinner trap out and collected it this morning with Lionel.
I opted for a pure UV tube this time and the results were-
  1. Common Quaker- 1 (photo)
  2. Clouded Drab- 1
  3. Hebrew Character- 1
I was a bit disappointed and may try it again with an upgraded 15w actinic version later in the month.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winding up to Spring!.....15/03

Yes it looks like Spring is finally on it's way with an impressive 10 moths of 7 species. New this year was 1 0f 2 Emmelina Monodactyla found in the trap, as well as a Garden 1st Clouded Drab (top photo). The list is as follows- All in the 30w Twin, the 8w portable in the more exposed area of the garden blanked!
  1. Clouded Drab- 1(top)
  2. Satellite- 1 (middle)
  3. Common Quaker- 1
  4. Dotted Border- 2 (bottom)
  5. Emmelina Monodactyla- 2 (click for photo)
  6. Agonopterix Heracliana- 2
  7. Micro?- 1 Awaiting ID...........

The micro is probably an Acleris hastiana, but is impossible to tell without dissection! Many thanks David.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another debutant.....14/03

I ran 2 traps last night. The usual 30w Twin and the 12v 8w portable. Unfortunately the latter ran out of battery so yielded nothing. In the 30w-

  • Dotted Border- 1st record
  • Agonopterix heracliana- possibly the same as last night's

Later on in the week the weather looks to be warming further................

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shady Character......13/03

One of 4 species last night, this Hebrew Character is the only debutant for the garden. A mild ambient temperature(7-5°C) was kept down by a biting NW wind between 18-12 mph. Also-
  • Satellite
  • Common Quaker- 2nd record this year
  • Agonopterix heracliana.- 2nd record this year, photo HERE

At The Lodge, the wind kept mothing to a minimum with just 3 Dotted Border and a Chestnut on the Osprey building.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Lodge......13/03

A few moths on a morning visit. Top is a Small Brindled Beauty found on the Osprey building. Bottom is 1 of 4 Dotted Border also seen on the Osprey. The only other moth was a Chestnut.
The other highlight was a Peregrine flying high over the quarry car park accompanied by 8 soaring Common Buzzards!

At Last!............12/03

Due to the cold weather the trap has made only a few appearances this year, so this Common Quaker is a welcome addition to the garden list. But with a slightly warmer night it was a good bet we'd get something. There was also a micro moth found by the trap, unfortunately it was 'wrapped up' by a spider before I could see what it was! Another one that got away..........

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another 1st on the 1st.......

The 1st Moth caught with the new twin tube trap, this March Moth is the 10th species so far in 2010. Although very cold, (below 5°C)it still made an appearance. Maybe significantly, it was found before the moon(98% of full)came up.

UV or not UV, that is the question.........

Whilst recovering from a knee operation, I have decided to upgrade my existing trap. The single 15w externally mounted light fitting has now been removed and a twin 15w gear tray has been installed into a compartment inside the trap. Luckily, Lionel (We are the Campions) managed to acquire these trays on his latest Tescos overhaul.
After extending all of the circuits with bell wire it was possible to connect just the lamp holders onto a spring loaded contraption to hold both tubes. I have kept the 15w 350BL Actinic tube out of the old light fitting and have fitted a 15w UV filtered black tube alongside. These are relatively cheap and hopefully will increase the light spectrum emitted from the trap. There is an added advantage to suspending the tubes in that there is no light 'wastage'. With light emanating from the whole tube, it must therefore be more efficient.............well that's the theory anyway!

Let's hope the Moths approve..............