Tuesday, November 29, 2011

28th Nov.

The weather has been shocking of late; if it isn't cold, it's blowing a gale. But the mild, unseasonal couldn't continue forever.
I put the trap on last night expecting not a great deal as the wind began to pick up. However, my reward was waiting under the egg boxes in the morning.

Scarce Umber
Not really that 'scarce' but difficult to get in my garden. This is only my second ever record after a single in 2009. I thought I'd missed out this year too; this one is on the late side.
This brings the overall species list for the year to 460, a nice round number. The only addition I could possibly make is Northern Winter Moth- as I have had it in the two previous years.

The only other highlight of late was a single December Moth, caught on 24/11.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

22/23rd November

After a couple of blanks, (20th & 21st) it was back to winning ways. Nothing new, but the unusual late records continue with yet another Large Nutmeg and this- what looks to be an Uncertain! both caught along with Emmelina monodactyla on 22nd.
On the 23rd only one moth; a Shuttle-shaped Dart, which is also pretty late.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Large Nutmeg again!

Unsurprisingly, not a lot in the traps of late. But another late Large Nutmeg under the egg boxes this morning proved it is still worth putting the lights on. I believe this is easily the latest one in VC30 to date, but it's difficult to see this being the last unusual record of the year.
All three moths were caught at the Twin 15w actinic/UV Skinner, even though there was another trap on at the bottom of the garden.

The result- 18-11-2011- 
  • 0874 Blastobasis lacticolella 1 
  • 1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1 
  • 2333 Apamea anceps Large Nutmeg 1

Late records are not just confined to moths, there was a Wheatear found on Dunstable Downs today and the long staying Ivel valley Osprey is still fishing in the trout farm at Warren Villas! Both birds are the latest ever seen in Bedfordshire.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home & Away 17/11

Despite the threat of a possible cold snap, the mild nights persist. This was certainly the case last night, though possibly hampered by a heavy dew.
The Garden trap claimed another NFY, as a December Moth obliged. In fact just two moths were caught, the other, an unusually late Dark Arches. Incredibly, two other VC30 moth-ers also caught one on the same night. Could this be a coincidence, or a possible foreign influx?.......

December Moth

 Dark Arches

I also persuaded Trent to go on another foray into Home Wood. This time we tried the 80w MV with sheet again, as not to many people bother at this time of year. We used this for about 1 1/2 hours, but left the battery trap over night. Trent collected it in the morning, there is a combined list at the bottom of the post.

 Winter Moth

461 Ypsolopha ustella

It was good to get another three new species for the survey. I will probably try one more time this year, possibly in mid December in the hopes of finding Northern Winter Moth.

The result- combined from location#1 & 4-
  • 0461 Ypsolopha ustella 1 NFS 
  • 1631 Poecilocampa populi December Moth 6 NFS 
  • 1799 Operophtera brumata Winter Moth 6 NFS 
  • 1923 Colotois pennaria Feathered Thorn 4 
  • 1933 Agriopis aurantiaria Scarce Umber 2 
  • 1935 Erannis defoliaria Mottled Umber 2 
  • 2227 Asteroscopus sphinx Sprawler 16 
  • 2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 2

Thursday, November 17, 2011


On the 15th November, I had the dubious honour of recording my first blank of the season. However, just one moth on the 16th proved to be a good one. Another NFY, the first for ten days- I suppose the only target I can possible attain now is to reach 460 species for the year. There's not too much more I can get now though........

Mottled Umber
Only my second record, the first was 18th January 2010. This one was found in the trap, under the egg boxes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More from the Woods and Garden

Once again, I took the battery powered twin Skinner into Home Wood and secured a couple more species. It was an almost perfect evening; overcast and warm but with wind picking up towards midnight. No December Moth yet, but I can try again before the year is out.

Scarce Umber

 Mottled Umber

 November Moth agg.
A very dark specimen- retained for the recorders.....

The Result- Home Wood- 12-11-11- 38 of 6 species-
  • 0874 Blastobasis lacticolella 2 
  • 1795x Epirrita dilutata agg. November Moth agg. 5 
  • 1933 Agriopis aurantiaria Scarce Umber 6 NFS
  • 1935 Erannis defoliaria Mottled Umber 1 NFS
  • 2227 Asteroscopus sphinx Sprawler 22 
  • 2259 Conistra ligula Dark Chestnut 1
Surprisingly, a very good night in the garden too. I put 2 traps out to maybe add to this years species list. Highlights were another unusually late Vine's Rustic and Large Nutmeg.

The Result- Garden- 12-11-11- 8 of 8 species-
  • 0998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 1 
  • 1288 Alucita hexadactyla Twenty-plume Moth 1 
  • 1395 Udea ferrugalis Rusty Dot Pearl 1 
  • 1923 Colotois pennaria Feathered Thorn 1 
  • 2109 Noctua comes Lesser Yellow Underwing 1 
  • 2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 1 
  • 2333 Apamea anceps Large Nutmeg 1 
  • 2384 Hoplodrina ambigua Vine's Rustic 1

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Late Stuff..........

..........And with the Iberian conditions continuing  until the weekend at least, who could bet against more migrants and odd late records turning up?
After other VC30 moth-ers have continued to catch migrants such as Gem and Scarce Bordered Straw, I have kept just one trap on over the last few nights just in case. I have still yet to record a 'blank', which is pretty good considering we are edging towards mid November. 
Only two moths last night- 874 Blastobasis lacticolella and this-

Large Nutmeg
This has to be the latest VC30 record so far this year- In the books, the flight time is June and July!

697 Agonopterix arenella

Result for 08-11-11- 4 of 3 species-
  • 0697 Agonopterix arenella 1 
  • 2389 Paradrina clavipalpis Pale Mottled Willow 1 
  • 2441 Autographa gamma Silver Y 2

998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth

Result for 07-11-11- 6 of 6 species-
  • 0874 Blastobasis lacticolella 1 
  • 0998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 1 
  • 1395 Udea ferrugalis Rusty Dot Pearl 1 
  • 1795x Epirrita dilutata agg. November Moth agg. 1 
  • 2092 Agrotis puta Shuttle-shaped Dart 1 
  • 2441 Autographa gamma Silver Y 1

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Half a Monkey o' Macros..........

...........and for those outside East London, that means 250 macros up for the year! After persevering with the trap(s) every night, it has finally paid off. I did think I had the total on 2nd when I found a Sprawler in the conservatory. But it could have been a stowaway from Home Wood as that is where I left the battery light rig.
Migrants have been in evidence for the last week or so, with a few Rusty Dot Pearls and Silver Ys. So it was a relief when this showed up just after 9.30pm.

Dark Sword-grass
At last!

Smuggled from Home Wood me thinks.........

Silver Y
2 records in November so far.........

 A Witch and a Pumpkin!
Sending the kids out begging for sweets is OK when they're this age I suppose. Halloween wasn't really done when I was a kid. We used to beg for money with an effigy of Guy Faulkes  instead!

.............and this is my grand effort to impress the kids with some Pumkin Carving..........But I'll have to go a long way to compete with these guys

The result- 05-11-11- 2x Twin 15w Actinic/UV, Twin 25w Actinic skinners- 7 of 6 species-
  •  1524 Emmelina monodactyla 2 
  •  1795x Epirrita dilutata agg. November Moth agg. 1 
  •  2091 Agrotis ipsilon Dark Sword-grass 1 NFY 
  •  2109 Noctua comes Lesser Yellow Underwing 1 
  •  2259 Conistra ligula Dark Chestnut 1 
  •  2264 Agrochola macilenta Yellow-line Quaker 1