Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Recording in a garden

Does anyone have a good template for setting out garden records?  I have a few years of records (all passed on the Country Recorder - thank you Dave and Martin for incorporating).  But I would like to think of a neat way of setting out records for myself, probably printing them off.  Otherwise they just sit in Excel or other files and don't get looked at again.

I remember seeing a (very impressive) report on here, and my records are more piecemeal.

Any top tips?

Barnaby Briggs, Iver

A pleasant surprise!

I'm not sure that it is quite so notable these days, but nevertheless I was very pleased to find Dewick's Plusia in my actinic trap a couple of nights ago.

Phil T

Distinctly autumnal in Longwick

 Despite the weather there was a reasonable return for turning the trap on yesterday. A very autumnal feel with Centre-barred Sallow and Feathered Gothic and a trap dominated by Common Wainscot and Setaceous Hebrew Character. Dark Swordgrass added a little migrant activity. Surprise of the day was a, presumably,  rather washed out Sitochroa Palealis - a new garden record. Given the winds were from the north I'm surprised it arrived if it wandered from the local hills?

Unsure about this.

 I had this moth in my trap in Beenham Berks last night. It had the shape of a small Nut-tree tussock but I can't seem to pin it down. Any help appreciated.

Thanks Derek

Monday, 30 August 2021

Pandemis corylana?

 I think I'm right, but would be grateful for confirmation.

Best wishes


Gypsy in Merton

 Just adding to the earlier conversation and records of Gypsy Moth, this arrived in my garden in Merton on 20th August. A first for me. 

A rather late Lobster Moth

 I was surprised to catch a Lobster Moth last night which seemed very late in the season and in remarkably good condition.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Oak Processionary: female

Adding to the 75+ males he's had so far this season, on the night of 24th August Robin Knill-Jones in Denham, Bucks had this female Oak Processionary Moth in one of his garden traps.  Perhaps not quite such a welcome visitor as Nigel's female Gypsy Moth (which is also a potential pest species), Oak Processionary seems to be well established in the south-east corner of Bucks nowadays despite efforts to control its spread.  This particular individual appeared to have off-loaded its supply of eggs already. 

Gypsy Moth: female

Whilst out gardening yesterday afternoon I noticed a moth on one of our house walls which I thought odd as it definitely wasn't there earlier in the day. This turned out to be a female Gypsy Moth.


After reading the species entry in WTL, which states that the female doesn't stray far from her old cocoon, I went back to where she was found and sure enough there were the cocoon remnants up under the brick edging.


Also, if slightly disturbed she raises her wings in what is probably some form of defensive posture.


Loosley Row, Bucks

Subsequent to the male arriving this afternoon (30th), and another later, mating finally took place.

Sunday, 29 August 2021


 I'm looking at these earlier this year. I have a number from Copper Beech that I'm hoping are fairly straightforward. 

I think these are Stigmella tityrella, all mines originate at the mid-rib

This one I was less sure about, but I think it is Phyllonorycter maestingella

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Micro Query

Help please with this one. I get confused with Bud Moth, Codling Moth and Cydia splendana. Hopefully I'm in the right area.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Last night in my back garden..

 This is in Chorleywood, VC 24. 

It soon got quite cold and most of the moths were well before midnight. 23 species and not many of anything.

There were, however, a couple of moth varieties: My only Jersey Tiger had yellow hindwings, which makes it Form lutescens:

And there were several of these at the lights: 

I believe it to be the dark form of Cydia splendana, although there is still a niggling doubt that it may be Cydia pomonella. Both were in attendance last night. The dark form of  splendana I think is called reaumurana. Maybe somebody on here knows.  
Worn and not photographed was a Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing that looked like a halfway-house with Langmaid's Yellow Underwing. 
Fairly bog-standard, however, was this lone Flounced Rustic:

Gypsy Moth

 On Saturday night I recorded my third Gypsy moth in the garden. The others being in 2016 and 2017. I have been asked what their current status is in Oxfordshire as there are only 2 modern day records in Warwickshire.

Andy Newbold Sibford Ferris Oxon.

Monday, 23 August 2021

A new micro on the block

 Caught this Cydia amplana last night in the trap in my Sonning garden. I gather it used to be a scarce migrant, but is now "trending"! One to look out for.



I am woefully impatient with this kind of moth and a friend suggests that I may have overlooked a newcomer, if this is a Crescent. It came a couple of weeks ago and I sidelined it as something Rustic-y.  Having checked now, it does look to me like a Crescent and I'd be grateful for confirmation (or otherwise) as always.  Red Underwings are profuse here just now, flying by day as well as night. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Welcome return of the Small Square-spot

 When I first started trapping I used to get quite alot of these mixed in with the Square-spot Rustics. Then in 2017 they suddenly stopped. Glad to see one this morning. 



Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford.

Away trapping

Back on 11th August I joined Chris Ivin to go through his 4 MV traps in Whichford Woods (just over the border in Warwickshire). Despite good conditions only 44 macro species were recorded with nothing of any particular note. However, there were some interesting micros the best of which was Aplota palpellus (or palpella).  A new Warwickshire record.  4 individuals were recorded.

Not the best of images as Chis only retained one specimen and was reluctant to let it out of the tube.

Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.

Westcott, Bucks

This was a week of varying fortunes depending on the overnight weather conditions but another handful of species has been added to the garden year-list. Gypsy Moth and Jersey Tiger have continued to put in appearances here but as yet there's still been no sign of Oak Processionary (maybe that's a good thing!).  Other recorders have had quite a bit of luck with migrant species over the past few nights but all I've had is Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella (two on the 18th, one on the 19th).   

     (15th)  197 moths of 55 species; Tawny Speckled Pug the only species new for the garden year-list.  
     (16th)  116 moths of 46 species; Six-striped Rustic new for the year.
     (17th)  253 moths of 68 species; Webb's Wainscot new for the year.
     (18th)  267 moths of 86 species; Small Waved Umber, Hoary Footman, Pinion-streaked Snout, Gold Spot & Square-spot Rustic all new for the year.
     (19th)  155 moths of 66 species; Roeslerstammia erxlebella new for the year.
     (20th)  261 moths of 83 species; Elachista adscitella (retained for checking), Pyrausta despicata, Nymphula nitidulata/Beautiful China-mark, Cypress Pug & Feathered Gothic all new for the year.
     (21st)  The traps were given a well-earned night off.

Roeslerstammia erxlebella, Westcott 19th August

Pinion-streaked Snout, Westcott 18th August

Gold Spot, Westcott 18th August

The larvae of Roeslerstammia erxlebella feed on Lime, of which we have one mature tree in the garden and several more around the adjacent churchyard, so it is surprising that it doesn't appear here in some numbers.  However, the highest ever annual count is nine (2018) and there were none at all last year.  Pinion-streaked Snout is an "honorary micro" because of its tiny size (about the same wing-length as Eudonia mercurella) and thus is very easily overlooked.  It is really a wetland species but has been recorded in the garden three or four times in the past, this being the first visitor since 2017.  The Gold Spot image is included just because it is such a smart moth!  It is a regular here from its second generation but I don't often get to see those of the first generation which flies in June and July.

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks 

Friday, 20 August 2021

Macro query

The moth in this image was seen on a south-facing wall in Headington, Oxford on 19th August (not by me). It is clearly quite a large moth. My thought was that it could be a Clifden Nonpareil, but I'd welcome a second opinion.

Any thoughts?


Micro query - Longwick

 A not especially auspicious catch on Thursday morning here - 2 Poplar Hawks from the latest generation and a pristine Gold Spot were welcome. I have a query regarding the micro photographed here. It has a wing length of 6-7mm and seemingly obvious markings but I cant line them up conclusively with any of the field guides. It looks like a Gelechid? , possibly Eulamprotes Atrella but again didn't quite seem to fit? 

Any thoughts welcome.

Worminghall, more migrants


Dark Sword Grass
Olive-tree Pearl, Palpita vitrealis

Webb’s or Bulrush?


May I ask for help on these two? A knowledgeable friend suggests Eudonia lacustrata for the rather worn micro above. And this morning’s wainscot below struck me immediately as something I hadn’t seen, which inclines me to Webb’s. But could it be Bulrush? Help much appreciated. Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Gipsy return


I was going to report the spread of the Gipsy moth to Thrupp after finding this chap sitting demurely on his leaf above the trap this morning, but fortunately I checked back to the first time I saw this species - in Walthamstow in daylight on 12 August 2019 courtesy of my hawk-eyed granddaughter. In the process I discovered my Thrupp record of two arriving here on 19 August last year. Age and memory, eh. My first Red Underwing came last night as well. I await the Dark Crimson eagerly.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.

Brocade, brindle, nutmeg or what?

My initial thoughts on potting this up overnight on 17th August in my garden in Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, were that it was Knot Grass or Poplar Grey - but a quick glance in better light in the morning seemed to imply otherwise. My next theory was Pale-shouldered Brocade, and it does seem to have some features in common with that, but the lack of a broad black bar in the centre of the forewing seems pretty damning in that context (and a number of photos on the blog over the past few years of Pale-shouldered don't look especially similar). So I'm left undecided between Pale-shouldered and quite a range of other species - brindles, nutmegs, etc. Its forewing length was about 20mm. I'd be grateful if anyone could shed some light.

Unknown macro, 17/8/21

Steve Goddard

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Tiny, pretty moth

This very small moth is from the clothes moth family, Tineidae, but is a completely harmless free-living species with caterpillars that feed on lichens on trees and rocks. It is Infurcitinea argentimaculella, which has been given the rather misleading name of Silver-barred Clothes moth. Found in Doddershall Wood, Bucks, it was a new species for me. It is listed as a local species nationally, but quite widespread in the south. Dave Wilton informs me that it is rare in Buckinghamshire, and the only previous Bucks record I can find is from Ian Sims at Medmenham in 1995 (which is listed in the micro-moth distribution maps on the BC website). (I'm not aware of any Berkshire records since 1986.) I guess is likely to be overlooked due to its size, and it seems to be a day-flyer.


If anyone would like to suggest a better English name for this or any other moth, Douglas Boyes is currently asking for information on suggested moth names. This is a topic on which people seem to have strong and varying opinions! If you'd like to contribute any alternative moth names you can do so via Douglas's questionnaire.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Sub-angled Wave??

 It's a bit worn, but then it is at the end of it's flight season - if I'm right with the ID, that is - which I fully expect not to be! I don't think it should really be here - unless, with climate change . . . . .??

Can anyone be more definite about this one - wood edge near Chesham on the Herts/Bucks border.

Many thanks


Monday, 16 August 2021

Another glass of red please, Barman

A Red Underwing Catocala nupta enjoying some pretty rough red wine in the garden here this evening.  By this time last year the same wine-rope had brought in my first Clifden Nonpareil of the year, so it can't be long now before they're out and about too.

Red Underwing, Westcott 16th August

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks 

Could this be a Dingy Shell??

 And if so, what's it doing at a woodland edge site near Chesham??!!

It was alive in the trap and rested permanently with wings closed. It died later, allowing the upperside shot. Many thanks, David.

Worminghall migrants

 Had my best night for migrants here last night. Also a couple of Silver-Ys the night before. 

Female Gem (above and below) 

Rush Veneer
Rusty-dot Pearl