Friday, 19 March 2021

Westcott, Bucks

The last seven nights have seen the garden year-list added to on each and every one of them, so it has definitely been a good week.  New arrivals have been Red-green Carpet & Small Brindled Beauty (12th), Small Quaker (13th), Acleris literana & Shoulder Stripe (14th), Acleris ferrugana/notana (15th), Double-striped Pug (16th), Mompha subbistrigella & Early Grey (17th) and then Lead-coloured Drab, Powdered Quaker & Twin-spotted Quaker (all 18th). 

Acleris ferrugana/notana, Westcott 15th March

Acleris literana, Westcott 14th March

Small Brindled Beauty, Westcott 12th March

Lead-coloured Drab, Westcott 18th March

Powdered Quaker, Westcott 18th March

Small Brindled Beauty isn't annual here by any means so that was a very nice visitor.  Acleris literana (maybe it should be "Acleris du Jour"!) can be a stunning little moth when fresh although those appearing after hibernation (ie now) can often be worn.  It was seen in the garden for the first time in 2018 and is now an annual, having been recorded here in each subsequent spring.  Acleris ferrugana is also a regular although this one will have to be dissected to prove the point (I've never yet had notana here and it is much less common in Bucks than is ferrugana).  The others were all expected species although very welcome nonetheless.  In the field guide some really pretty forms of Powdered Quaker are illustrated but in my experience more than 95% of those found locally are of the plain sandy form shown above, which is a bit of a shame.

Just a reminder that Lead-coloured Drab can be found in all three of our counties.  It is generally smaller than Clouded Drab, with a lighter grey base colour and more rounded wing-tips, but the most obvious difference between the two (for males anyway) is that Lead-coloured has feathered antennae.  The only Orthosia missing from the Westcott garden list now is Blossom Underwing, which is mainly a species of oak woodland where it should have started flying already.  Again, the moth is found across all three of our counties and does stray into gardens - it appears here roughly every other year - so that's another one to keep an eye out for.

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks  


  1. I do hope this is a sign of things to come having trapped every night for a week and only added Twin-spotted Quaker to the garden year-list last night.

  2. No Lead-coloured Drab or Small Brindled Beauty for me yet (ever), nor Powdered Quaker so far this year. But after Monday night I was able to add Acleris literana to my all-time garden list. And a very nice-looking moth it is (not that the Orthosia are offering much competition for looks at present!). The specific epithet (literana) comes from the black markings they often have, and which Linnaeus imagined to resemble letters.


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