Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Lodge, RSPB

A  walk round the RSPB's headquarters this morning was vey pleasant in the sunshine. On our way round we had quick look around the buildings. It was a bit windy last night, so numbers were a little low.

Yellow Horned

 Engrailed spp.

The full list-
  • Yellow Horned- 3- Year Tick
  • Dotted Border- 2
  • Engrailed spp.- 2
  • Small Quaker
  • March Moth

How early is early?........

.........well, I'd say it's quite early! Compared with last year anyway. Here is a few very recent comparisons in the garden of the earliest examples seen-

2010 records-
2011 records-

  • Pale Brindled Beauty- 4th Feb- 22nd Jan
  • Common Quaker- 12th March- 17th Feb
  • Hebrew Character- 13th March- 22nd Feb
  • Dotted Border- 14th March- 21st Feb
  • Clouded Drab- 15th March- 19th Feb
  • Oak Beauty- 16th March- 25th Feb
  • Small Quaker- 18th March- 24th Feb

Probably pretty unscientific, but a big difference........

........and just for you Trent, in the garden I've currently trapped 96 moths of 19 species, (16 macro, 3 micro)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Garden catch up...........

Well, hasn't it been tropical lately compared to the bleak Winter of discontent we've all just endured? After a week as busy as this, it reminds me I need to win the lottery so that I can concentrate on important things such as birding and mothing full time! Anyway, I've got round to putting in a few highlights taken from the last 4 nights.
Dotted Border
1st caught 21st Feb- 3 caught so far

Hebrew Character
1st caught 22nd Feb- 10 caught so far.

 Early Grey
1st caught on 24th Feb- 1 caught so far. 

 March Moth
1st caught 24th Feb- 1 caught so far.

 Small Quaker
1st caught 24th Feb- 4 caught so far.

 Oak Beauty
1st caught 25th Feb- 1 caught so far.

 Engrailed spp.
My only Winter/Spring record- caught 25th Feb.

 Grey Shoulder-knot
My only Winter/Spring record- caught 25th Feb.

Other significant counts so far-
  • Common Quaker- 38
  • A. heracliana- 11
  • Dark Chestnut- 4
  • Clouded Drab- 2

Friday, February 25, 2011

There's no place like Home...23/02

After turning up at Broom GP's main gate in September last year and realising that my key, issued to me by the estate didn't work. I knew that time was up for mothing at this site. During last year I also tried to arrange a field survey in Sheerhatch Wood. This, like many others in the area is an estate run shooting wood. So after talking to the warden (a man more suited to Victorian times than the present day), realised that I wouldn't be making many inroads here either and it's worth mentioning that the same estate controls both sites!
But Hallelujah, we now have a new site to trap- Home Wood, run by the Forestry Commission though is still a private site. Although separated from Sheerhatch by just over a mile, attitude wise they are poles apart! There is now a page dedicated to Holme Wood under 'Lists and Info' on the right of the page- HERE.

Home Wood
The trap on the morning of 24th Feb- looking west along the main ride.
So this was the 1st outing at a new site.  It was decided to start with just to drop off a battery driven twin 15 watt Actinic/UV trap and collect it in the morning. The results were better than courtesy of Trent Duval- (We are the Campions)

Small Brindled Beauty 

Spring Usher

Engrailed spp.

  March Moth
 Dotted Border

Clouded Drab

The list is as follows-
  1. Small Brindled Beauty- 7
  2. Dotted Border- 5
  3. March Moth- 5
  4. Tortricodes alternella- 2
  5. Spring Usher
  6. Engrailed spp.
  7. Hebrew Character
  8. Pale Brindled Beauty
  9. Clouded Drab
24 moths of 9 species is pretty good for an unmanned Actinic trap.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


It was very murky outside when I had a look around the trap. All I found was 1 A. heracliana. But while I was out dipping to my knowledge Bedfordshire's 1st Rustic Bunting, the kids were very busy looking around the sheds and fences. They managed to find this little gem low down underneath the trap on part of a log roll.  I looked at my records and my 1st one last year was trapped 15th March. I haven't heard of any recent local sightings, so it could be the earliest in the county (VC30) this year.....I will find out.

Clouded Drab

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quaker Mass........17/02

After a fair few blanks, the Upper Caldecote contingent hits back. I upped my game last night by putting out 2 twin 30 watt Actinic/UV traps. I placed 1 in the usual place near the house and the other c120' away at the bottom of the garden. Although the temp. wasn't that high, for once it was fairly still.

Common Quakers
These 3 Amigos are out early, last year I had to wait until 12th March!

It's nice to compare a 'real' one to last weeks Dark Chestnut!
So, the results-

In the main trap near the house-
  • Common Quaker- 2- Year Tick
  • Chestnut- 1- Year Tick
  • Agonopterix heracliana- 1
Trap at the bottom of the garden-
  • Common Quaker- 1

Friday, February 11, 2011

The last 2 days......9th-10th

At last! The weather has finally turned, the wind has dropped and the temperature has become more stable during the nights. So tonight (11th Feb) will be the 4th trapping session in as many days.

Pale Brindled Beauty
These 2 were the only catch on 9th February.

The 10th was slightly warmer with less wind, so as a consequence did fairly well. The micros caught were the first to come to light this year.


 Dark Chestnut
This is the 2nd record this year, I was hoping it was a Chestnut. The 'sharp corners' give it away though.

 Agonopterix heracliana (688)
The 1st of many, I would presume.

 Tortricodes alternella (1025)
Although common, this usually woodland species is a garden 1st- touché Trent!

This was the best night of the year so far- which wouldn't be hard!, 19 moths of 8 species so far this year..........

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another EM.....09/02

Nothing much of note lately as the weather continues to plot it's unpredictable course. Either too cold or warm with blowing Atlantic born gales. The 1 moth from last night was caught early evening before the temperature dropped to below 2°C.

Early Moth
I am still behind last years totals. So a grand total of what's been caught so far this year is as follows-
  • Winter Moth- 6
  • Early Moth- 4
  • Alucita hexadactyla (20 plumed Moth)- 1
  • Dark Chestnut- 1
  • Pale Brindled Beauty- 1
Just 13 moths of 5 species.............