Saturday, 15 May 2021

Westcott, Bucks

Even though I had a blank night last Saturday (I think that may have been a first for me in May!), this was a much better week with a definite improvement in diversity within the trap even if overall numbers are still desperately low.  On Wednesday night I finally passed 100 species on this year's garden list, although to put that in context the total had reached 160 by the same date in 2020 so there's still plenty of catching-up to be done.  Here are the week's highlights:
     (8th)  No moths.
     (9th)  17 moths of 7 species.  New for the year-list were the migrant Nomophila noctuella (2) along with Elachista canapennella (the most numerous species present with eight caught), Pale Tussock, Least Black Arches & Flame Shoulder.  The southerly winds that particular night brought in quite a few migrants to south-east England, including several Gem and Striped Hawk-moth, but nothing like that turned up here.  
     (10th)  8 moths of 5 species.  Nothing new for the year but another Herald was nice to see.
     (11th)  10 moths of 8 species.  New for the year-list were Ancylis badiana, Fox Moth (female), Poplar Kitten, Pale Prominent & Mullein.  My second Puss Moth of the season also put in a welcome appearance.
     (12th)  24 moths of 18 species.  New for the year-list were Parornix sp (retained for dissection), Small Phoenix, Brindled Pug (finally!), Currant Pug, Scorched Carpet, Waved Umber, Common Wave, Coxcomb Prominent, Swallow Prominent & Lesser Swallow Prominent.  A second Poplar Kitten appeared too, not a common moth here these days.
     (13th)  4 moths of 4 species (rain all night).  New for the year-list was Pebble Prominent.  Another Brindled Beauty came to light, taking this year's score to 16 which is the first time that species has ever got into double figures here in a single season.  
     (14th)  9 moths of 7 species.  New for the year-list were Scrobipalpa acuminatella & Pebble Hook-tip.  A Silver Y also appeared but that had been added to the year-list back in February.   

Nomophila noctuella, Westcott 9th May

Fox Moth, Westcott 11th May

Small Phoenix, Westcott 12th May

Poplar Kitten, Westcott 11th May

A few daytime sightings have helped move the garden year-list along now as well, including Incurvaria masculella seen on the 11th, Acrolepia autumnitella & Leucoptera laburnella on the 12th and Esperia sulphurella on the 14th.  The tiny Leucoptera (wing length just over 3mm) will go off to be checked because there are a couple of confusion species but it is the only white one I've ever had in the garden and it was found just a matter of feet away from our Laburnum.  

Leucoptera laburnella, Westcott 12th May

On the 12th I also managed to locate an active larval case of Coleophora lineolea on our copious garden supply of Hedge Woundwort.  

Case of Coleophora lineolea, Westcott 12th May

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks       

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