I caught these two micros over two nights, but am admitting to struggling a bit with the Id (both the same species?) I first thought maybe Cnephasia, but I'm not so sure.
Thursday, 19 May 2022
|Fox Moth females, Westcott 18th May|
|May Highflyer, Westcott 18th May|
|Gold Spot, Westcott 18th May|
|White-pinion Spotted, Westcott 18th May|
Keith Mitchell was talking a couple of weeks ago about hawk-moths. I've now had Lime (2, first on 7th May), Eyed (2, first on 16th May), Poplar (19, first on 1st May), Elephant (2, first on 13th May) & Small Elephant (1, on 14th May), which just leaves Pine, Privet & Humming-bird to show up of the common species here. So far I've had no luck at all with Striped Hawk-moth during the invasion of the past few days, nor of any other migrants for that matter apart from the inevitable Plutella xylostella!
The recent posts about birds getting into light traps reminded me of the time when a pair of Great Tits, had worked out how to get in and out again (of a Robinson). I cured the problem by buying a large rubber spider from a joke shop, which I suspended from underneath the bulb holder with string. The prospect of getting past something that big with lots of legs wobbling about inside the trap was evidently considered too much of a personal risk. Those not skilled in welding may wish to consider this as an alternative!
Bird predation in traps is rare but usually occurs when they are feeding young. The same goes for outside the trap. During the first 2020 lockdown, one morning I was sat on a stool on the patio going through the trap. A Blackbird who was being followed around the garden by a vociferous fledging, simply ran around me and picked a moth off the accumulating the pile of egg-trays and ran back again. As I turned round it was feeding it to the fledgling about a yard away. In spite of my protests this happened twice before I decided enough was enough and broke off from the catch to shoo them away! Blackbirds tend to be more interested in dry weather when worms are too deep so they have to turn to other things. Last year I had one that learned to glean moths off the wall up to a metre off the ground.
As Dave says, getting up very early helps and as Peter says I'm sure leaving the lamp running also helps - I have always done this. My Robinson has to run up against the wall of the house in order not to keep neighbours (and my wife) awake. This means there are always moths on the wall and fence, and anything large and conspicuous will get picked off if not moved to a safer place. Not trapping every night also reduces the problem as does releasing the catch as close to dusk as possible (if you can keep in the shade during the day) and spreading them around. You might think they're safe in the flower bed but if a bird finds more than one it will keep looking.
Regarding the current immigration I had 6 Silver Y and 6 Plutella xylostella last night. Someone reported a Striped Hawk-moth at Whitchurch-on-Thames on Atropos Flight Arrivals the other day. I would be very interested to hear who it was to make sure the record gets captured.
Regarding the Upper Thames Atlas, as Dave has explained a mountain of work over many years goes into county recording so there is always a time lag. However, looking for the presence or absence of records of a particular relatively common species from a particular square rather misses the point, which is to illustrate the general distribution and abundance of each species in the area. As I'm sure Dave has already pointed out, the rare species are high priority, and new species will be added as soon as reasonably possible.
Wednesday, 18 May 2022
I visited BBOWT's College Lake reserve today to do a recce for the National Moth Night event which the Buckinghamshire Invertebrate Group are running there on Sunday morning. (More info: https://www.upperthames-butterflies.org.uk/annual_event?event=NMN)
I know there are a lot of willows by the lake and took the opportunity to put out the FOR lure for half an hour or so while I was there.
Bingo, one fresh Red-tipped Clearwing Synanthedon formicaeformis, a new species for me!
|Devon Carpet, 17th May|
|Brindled White-spot, 17th May|
Tuesday, 17 May 2022
Being an eternal optimist, I have been running the CUL lure
for the past week or so near a birch tree in my garden, and today a clearwing
arrived. I got quite excited for a minute, but a close look revealed white palps, so not a Large Red-belted (no surprise there really), but a Red-belted, which does
seem very early?
Attracted to actinic light, rather than pheromone lure, I think that the micro below is a perhaps a reasonable candidate for Grapholita funebrana.
As some of you will be aware, there are migrants coming in. In particular at least a dozen Striped Hawk-moths, mainly in the southwest. Will Langdon was fortunate enough to catch 2 at a site in Pembrokeshire. They may come this way so it is worth trapping this week even if the weather doesn't seem to be particularly favourable. I have never seen Striped and if anyone near me happens to get one I would love to see it. I trapped last night and even though it was cool and clear there were still a decent number of moths including 2 Plutella xylostella.
Monday, 16 May 2022
In Stoke Goldington (North Bucks), the pre-school has a small patch of land behind the village hall about 15mx30m. This has been sown with a wild flower mix, and at the moment is awash with Red Campion. Emptying my moth catch here, well before dusk, I noticed about 50 (a conservative estimate) small, pale carpet-like moths flying ceaselessly around the flower heads. Managing to capture one in a hastily deployed painter's bucket, they turned out to be Sandy Carpet, my first encounter with this particular species, and nice to find in such numbers.
Sunday, 15 May 2022
For those of you with clearwing lures (so that's almost everyone these days, it seems!), the season is under way already with Large Red-belted, Red-tipped and Yellow-legged having already been seen in southern England over the past week. If you believe that Sallow Clearwing only flies in "even years" then don't forget to try for that one too because the lure could easily produce new sites locally, as it did in 2020.
Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks
Saturday, 14 May 2022
Wondering if the carpet can be determined, I was thinking Grey Pine Carpet.
A spot of gardening turned into chasing micro moths around the garden. Apart from a Mint moth there were a couple of others I managed to pot
I was thinking Cauchas rufimitrella for this one - partly because it was close to a group of Hedge Garlic plants, at least two moths.
Finally there were lots of these tiny moths, about 4mm. I'm thinking Glyphipterix simpliciella?
Mark Griffiths, Garsington Oxford.
ps I was unable to post from Firefox today - there was no sign in/ create blog / post buttons in the top right. It worked fine in Edge.
Friday, 13 May 2022
|Fox Moth, Westcott 12th May|
|Fox Moth, Westcott 12th May|