Sunday, 25 June 2017

Great Farley Wood, 21st June

Pammene regiana
           Great Farley Wood in North Worcestershire had just a handful of very old moth records on the Mapmate database so my visit on the 21st June, the last night of the heatwave, seemed more valuable than usual because even common moths would be new for the site. As it turned out it wasn't just common moths I recorded, Cydia illutana is a very scarce species in Worcestershire but I recorded 8 of them on a ride bordering mixed conifers and broadleaved trees.
           Argyresthia laevigatella, Cedestis gysseleniella and Narycia duplicella (adult) were all new moths for me and in the perfect conditions my 4 traps were humming. I'm still working on some of the tricky species but the total will certainly be over 150.        Patrick Clement

Cydia illutana
Argyresthia laevigatella
Cedestis gysseleniella
Narycia duplicella

Cryptoblabes bistriga

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Brockhampton Estate - updated!

 A small brown pyrale-like moth has now been identified that came to one of the traps.  It's a Marsh Oblique-barred.  Such a tiny macro-moth, but nonetheless a county first for Hereford.

After a very successful return to Bernwood Forest in Buckinghamshire a couple of nights ago where Dave Wilton and myself recorded well over 200 species (and completed the double - 100+ macros and 100+micros), I felt suitably recovered and enthused to venture out again. This time I went to Limepits Wood on the Brockhampton Estate.  I chose this part as it was fairly well sheltered from the stiff breeze.  Not the most exciting of evenings, but the number of species slowly increased during my 3 hour trapping session.  72 macro species recorded and 24 micro species, with a few potted up to look at more closely.  Blomer's Rivulet numbers were surprisingly low considering I trapped next to a line of young Wych Elm trees, with just 7 individuals.  Other species of note: Dingy Shell (4), Lilac Beauty (1), Sandy Carpet (13), Dingy Shears (1), Triple-spotted Clay (1), Minor Shoulder-knot (2) and the surprise of the night a Vestal.  Commonest moth of the night was The Flame (34). Peter Hall
Brockhampton Estate: Beautiful Carpet

Brockhampton Estate:Blomer's Rivulet

Brockhampton Estate: Dingy Shell

Brockhampton Estate: Swallow-tailed

Brockhampton Estate: Vestal

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The heat is on...

Had to have a day's rest today to catch up on the recent heatwave moths and pinch several 40 winks-oh and a few dog walks! First up are all the garden goodies in this hot spell: Macro highlights have been Satin Lutestring, Beautiful Snout, Red-necked Footman, Blotched Emerald, up to 8 Scarlet Tigers nightly, more Grass Rivulets, Lilac Beauty, Beautiful Carpet, Leopards and a Wainscot invasion on the 20th-14 Smoky, 4 Common, 2 Shoulder-striped and a garden first Obscure.  Unusual Micros included formosa, oppressana and ljungiana.

At Burlish Top, I have netted trifolli, many sinuella, pterodactyla, brunnichana and Marbled White butterflies. Today in the Wyre, near Tanner's Hill car park, I netted the scarce oliviella.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bromyard Downs

My third night in a row.  Who needs sleep?  Promising to be another warm still night, I decided I was well overdue a visit to this site.  The weather station hit 33 late afternoon, but it dropped really quickly just before dark and by the time the lights went on it was 21.  The good news was that it stayed warm, dropping only to 18 by the time I had packed up and left after the 3 hour session plus going through time (around 2.30am).  The bad news was that the breeze picked up and this seemed to reduce the micro-moths in particular from flying too much.  I was joined for part of the night by a neighbour - Evan Bowen-Jones of HWT.

As per usual I have some Minors and Pugs to look at more closely plus around 10 species of micro-moth to id also.  To date the species tally stands at 101 species of macro-moth and 29 species of micro-moth, so I anticipate the final list will be about 140 species.  To my surprise the commonest moth was Grass Rivulet with 88 individuals counted.  Single examples of Triple-spotted Clay, Ruddy Carpet , White Satin and an Obscure Wainscot appeared.  Phyl, how many Obscure Wainscot records do we have now for Hereford? Two or three? The only Dagger to turn up proved to be a Dark Dagger upon closer inspection.

Since trapping in Herefordshire (third season now), all of my Burnished Brass have either had no band between the two burnished parts, or at best a narrow band.  Chatting to Colin Plant, these are likely to be the real Burnished Brass.  For the first time last night I had a good candidate for the Cryptic Brass (stenochrysis), it having a thicker band and a very rounded edge to the cross linkage.  It's worth noting each time you catch one in the event they are offically recognised as two species. See:

Lots of water species like Catacylsta lemnata and Elophila nymphaeata, but no Water Veneer at all (Acentria ephemerella).  And with the lack of any dew, a cool breeze, it was a joy to be outside. Peter Hall
Bromyard Downs: White Satin

Bromyard Downs: Scallop Shell
Bromyard Downs: Oak Nycteoline

Bromyard Downs: Grass Rivulet

Bromyard Downs: Obscure Wainscot
Bromyard Downs: Burnished Brass (Cryptic Brass)

Bromyard Downs: Ruddy Carpet

Haugh Wood

With the weather looking extremely promising I returned to Haugh Wood again to trap in the same spot as last week, which is adjacent to a number of large Small-leaved Lime trees.  Patrick Clement joined me for the evening and together we ran 4 Hall-Robinson 125w moth traps.  At switch on time it was around 21 degrees and after the usual 3 hour session and an hour or so packing up, it was still 15 degrees when we left.  To our surprise things started off slowly, despite the perfect conditions, but slowly increased in activity as the night progressed.  I'm unable to give you exact numbers of species, but my 2 traps recorded to date 91 macro-species and 38 micro-species and I reckon I have about another 15 or so still to id later in the year.  That will make -  using my Grammar school education  - around 140+ species.  In all probability, when Patrick's list is merged with mine, we will be looking at around 180+ species.  Not bad at all in the end.  This site usually turns up moths of interest.  This was no exception, with a Double Line a nice find and the 5th county record.  Beautiful Snout also appeared.  Then I had 2 Brown Scallop in the traps - the first records for 17 years.  And a regular, but still stunning Beautiful Carpet. The star of the show this time, was a micro-moth (of course) when we both recorded Salebriopsis albicilla which will be the third and fourth records for this moth in Herefordshire. I recorded it on the other side of the wood last year. Peter Hall
Haugh is a really excellent site and for me it is like holiday mothing, even relatively common species like Pretty Chalk Carpet and Haworth's Pug are species I don't see in north Worcestershire. Unfortunately the journey from Halesown to Haugh is also a bit like going on holiday so it is not a site I visit very often.   Patrick Clement
Haugh Wood: Beautiful Snout

Haugh Wood: Brown Scallop

Haugh Wood: Beautiful Carpet

Haugh Wood: Double Line
Epinotia signatana

Salebriopsis albicilla

Monday, 19 June 2017

Hereford moths

A couple of new ones in my Hereford garden in the last two days, both of which I sort of expected might turn up soon. Metalmpra italica and Small Ranunculus. The other I had down as Delplanqueia.dilutella, (this from Great Doward on the 16th), but I've been reliably informed it's probably D.inscriptella, a new crypto species recently discovered lurking amongst the former. This being the one found inland. Scarlet Tigers the main garden moth of note right now. 18 last night!

D.dilutella/inscriptella - Great Doward 16/6/17

M.italica - Hereford 17/6/17

Small Ranunculus - Hereford 18/7/17

Scarlet Tiger Mansell Gamage

Scarlet Tiger day flying in my garden today.

Scarlet Tiger, Mansell Gamage 19 June 2017
Penny Hurt