Tuesday, 28 March 2017


Hello again. May I just check on the ID of the slightly battered moth above; and whether the one below is Diurnea fagella?  Many thanks in anticipation.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

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Monday, 27 March 2017

Red and green

I think that last night's newcomer is a Red-green Carpet, newly-woken from hibernation. Otherwise, the assorted Drabs and Quakers were enlivened by a very nice Oak Beauty.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Orange Underwings

Back on 9th March I saw my first Orange Underwing of the year flying around the ancient birches behind the Oakley Wood car-park in Bernwood Forest, Bucks.  Having checked regularly over the intervening period, this afternoon I had my first sightings of Light Orange Underwing amongst aspen at Kingswood, Bucks.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Not many moths, but...

I've had the trap out a few times over the last month in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, and like most people only had a stream of Quakers, plus a few Hebrew Characters. However (and with apologies for being off-topic), this rather attractive creature showed up on our wheelie bin just over a week ago: it seems to be Staphylinus dimidiaticornis, and as far as I can tell, not very common. Does anyone know where such things should be reported (if indeed they need reporting)?

Staphylinus dimidiaticornis, 15/3/17
Steve Goddard

A fairly early Muslin moth

There seem to be quite a few common species that I haven't caught (yet?) this year but this Muslin moth was an fairly unexpected visitor to my trap on Friday night.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Palely loitering

Nice to have a Pale Pinion tempted out of its winter's sleep by the lovely warm weather (though the nights are chilly). Otherwise, apart from a solitary March moth, the reign of Quaker Drabbery continues. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon  

Friday, 24 March 2017

Record Species Count

Despite chilly temperatures and very strong winds there was still a small catch of moths (13 individuals of seven species) in last night's garden trap.  Amongst them was this female Powdered Quaker:

Powdered Quaker, Westcott 23rd March

Powdered Quaker takes the number of adult moth species seen in the garden this year to 40, of which 27 are macros.  That is the highest number of macro species ever recorded here before 31st March and we still have a week to go before the end of the month (previous first-quarter records being 26 in 2011 and 25 in 2012).  However, at present the number of individual moths is only just over 600 which, although better than average, is less than half the total recorded in 2012.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Return of the Prodigal Carpet

Well, that was unexpected!  32 moths of nine species in last night's trap at Westcott despite the very cold, windy conditions and one of them was my first garden year-list addition since a Pale Pinion on the 15th.  In fact it was a species that wasn't even on my home moth radar, having last been seen here in 2005:  a smart Water Carpet:

Water Carpet, Westcott 20th March

This is actually my earliest ever sighting for Water Carpet by about a week but I note that there are some half a dozen earlier records for Bucks going back to 9th March.

The conditions were such that I wouldn't normally have bothered running traps elsewhere, but with a need to check on whether Small Quaker had reached its peak yet I took two 125wt MV Robinsons and a single 15wt Heath trap to Bernwood Forest.  I might as well not have bothered with the actinic as it brought in a grand total of 14 moths of seven species, but the two Robinsons performed exceptionally well considering how windy and chilly it became.  Small Quaker is a hardy little beast and I'd counted 347 (130 in one trap, 217 in the other) by the time I packed up at 11pm and they were still arriving in numbers.  Common Quaker (53) and Oak Beauty (21) were the only other species to give a double-digit count but amongst the remainder were my first Brindled Pugs (3), Early Tooth-striped (1), Pine Beauty (1) & Blossom Underwings (5) of the season.  Definitely a worthwhile visit.

Early Tooth-striped, Bernwood Forest 20th March

Pine Beauty, Bernwood Forest 20th March

Blossom Underwing, Bernwood Forest 20th March

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

Monday, 20 March 2017

A better catch at last

Having been away for 10 days it was good to have a couple of mild, if windy, nights to catch up on my moths for this month.
Last night's 52 moths of 8 species (all macros) was encouraging with my first Early Grey and Twin-spotted Quakers of the year. Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab all in double figures.

I thought this Hebrew Character was particularly well marked and this Dotted Border seemed to have an extra cross line compared to most images I have seen.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.