Monday, 11 November 2019

Westcott, Bucks

Numbers in the garden trap have dwindled over the past week.  On the 4th, 5th and 6th I was still getting around 15 species per night and even a migrant micro appeared on the 4th in the shape of Udea ferrugalis.  However, on the 7th and 8th the count plummeted to just three moths of two species each night (Sprawler & Red-line Quaker on the 7th, Red-green Carpet & Winter moth on the 8th).  We were away over this past weekend but I decided to switch on the light at 8pm when we arrived back last night, not really expecting to get anything at all because there was already a frost, but conditions improved as the night progressed and by dawn this morning thirteen moths of eight species had appeared:  Plutella xylostella (1), December Moth (1), Red-green Carpet (1), Winter Moth (1), Feathered Thorn (1), Mottled Umber (1), Sprawler (6) & Satellite (1).  I'm still waiting on Scarce Umber, which is the last macro species that I can reasonably expect this year.

Plutella xylostella, Westcott 10th November

Udea ferrugalis, Westcott 4th November

I imagine it won't have reached quite as far as here yet but one westwards-spreading species to look out for now is the Black-spotted Chestnut, a recent UK colonist which flies from November onwards throughout the winter months, sometimes in seemingly inhospitable conditions.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks    


  1. If I remember correctly the first Black spotted - chestnut was in Denham? I'm surprised it hasn't been seen in Milton Keynes or Marlow / Beaconsfield since then. Perhaps it is as yet rather thinly spread in urban areas and of course there is far less trapping undertaken during the flight period? Do you know if it has increased in adjacent counties?

  2. The moth is by no means widespread yet but it certainly seems to be spreading and I'm sure will get here eventually. It seems to be well-established in Bedfordshire where one or two sites have had regular records over three or four years now. It has also been seen in Cambs, Herts and SE London in addition to the single sighting in Denham, Bucks. Most records seem to be in December so, as you suggest, knowledge of its spread is no doubt hampered by the fact that far fewer people trap in the depths of winter. It is a good reason to keep going!!


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