Wednesday, 2 January 2019

We're Off!

Moth No.1 for the 2019 garden list at Westcott came to the twin-30wt actinic at about 8pm last night just before the temperature dipped below zero.  For the first time that I can remember it wasn't a Winter Moth but another smart Spring Usher, the second garden record already this winter.  Winter Moth and Mottled Umber may yet appear even though both seemed to be winding down here during the last few days of 2018.  Early Moth is the next expected arrival and it is out already in some places, otherwise if we do get lucky with a fairly warmish night then some of the hibernators (Satellite, Chestnut, etc) might appear.

Spring Usher, Westcott 1st January

During the morning yesterday 27 BC Upper Thames Branch members assembled at the RSPB's Otmoor reserve near Beckley, Oxon to carry out our annual New Year's Day search of the blackthorn hedge which lines the track between the car-park and the main east-west bridleway leading to the hides.  Not only did we locate 69 Brown Hairstreak eggs (the target species) but we also found three of the "snakeskin ring" egg-batches produced by the Lackey, a single Green-brindled Crescent egg and nine Blue-bordered Carpet eggs.  The Lackey egg-batch picture below was kindly supplied by Sue Taylor.

Lackey egg-batch, Otmoor 1st January
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


  1. Hi Dave, nice one on the Spring Usher. The usual suspect, Winter Moth, came to our house lights last night.

  2. Thanks, Nigel. It was even better here last night with singletons of Spring Usher (again), Mottled Umber, Early Moth and Satellite so the year-list has got off to a healthier start than usual. I don't think much more will be added over the next few nights though...


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