(25th August) Gold Spot
(26th August) Aethes smeathmanniana, Centre-barred Sallow
(27th August) Cacoecimorpha pronubana, Scoparia subfusca, Sallow, Red Underwing
(28th August) Agriphila latistria
(29th August) - nil -
(30th August) Lobesia abscisana, Vestal, Feathered Gothic, White-point
(31st August) - nil -
|Agriphila latistria, Westcott 28th August|
|Feathered Gothic, Westcott 30th August|
|Vestal, Westcott, 30th August|
The Red Underwing is one of my latest dates ever for a first sighting here as it usually appears in early August (sometimes even late July) thanks probably to the enormous willow in our front garden. Agriphila latistria is new for the garden and indeed for VC24, Bucks being the last English county south of Yorkshire requiring a record of this easily-overlooked grass moth species. Keep checking those tristellas!
The garden finally got its own Vestal record for 2016 on the 30th. As Steve Trigg mentioned in an earlier post, they usually end up on vegetation close to the light, as was the case here (thinking about it, I don't think I've ever had a Vestal inside a trap). This underlines the importance not only of checking the periphery very carefully but also of getting up early enough to beat the birds. My alarm is currently set for 4.45am and that gives a reasonable half-hour window before one of our garden Robins starts "tutting" away, getting very annoyed that I'm keeping him from his breakfast. It also means that I often beat the wasps which usually start flying around this time and can be quite a nuisance at this time of year. I find that sometimes 20% of the nightly moth catch can be outside the trap, on the grass or adjacent vegetation so it is always worth getting up early or else risk losing something important which hasn't already been snatched by a bat!
There have been lots of other nice migrants around lately but this far inland we have to be very lucky to catch any of them. Silver Y has, of course, been doing quite well and Udea ferrugalis and Nomophila noctuella continue to appear here almost every night, as they have for much of August (six ferrugalis on the 30th was a record here, last night it was just one of each which is more usual). However, notable by its absence so far this year has been Dark Sword-grass which I get annually without fail. Still, there's plenty of time yet...
Numbers of Brimstone now seem to be in decline, having reached a peak of 48 here on both 23rd and 25th August. Dusky Thorn is also winding down after a good season (148 recorded in the garden up to 31st August). Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Small Square-spot, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Square-spot Rustic are now providing the highest totals each night. I had a fresh Clouded Silver on 30th August which must surely be an attempt at a second brood.
Two of the most interesting visitors to the garden trap over the past week have actually not been moths, the first being the long-horn beetle Arhopalus rusticus (25th) and the second being the enormous and mean-looking ichneumon wasp Stauropoctonus bombycivorus (27th).