Thursday, 19 May 2022

Westcott, Bucks

With the ten newcomers from last night I'm now well past 200 species for the year in the garden.  This could even be a record early date to achieve that milestone and certainly beats 2019 (25th May), 2020 (20th May) & 2021 (6th June).  Even though we had a terrific downpour in that thunderstorm before midnight the moths continued to arrive - as did the predatory bats flying around the traps which surprised me because I would have thought heavy rain would have played havoc with their radar.  May Highflyer, Pale Oak Beauty, Light Emerald, Gold Spot and the first Minor of the season were amongst the new arrivals, although best of all were another two female Fox Moths.

Fox Moth females, Westcott 18th May

May Highflyer, Westcott 18th May

Gold Spot, Westcott 18th May

The only other species of particular interest recently, to me at any rate, was a White-pinion Spotted which turned up on the previous night.  I've only ever had it four times in the garden and this was the first since 2018.  It is a moth I used to see regularly in local woodland with multiple records each year, but it seems to have gone through a bit of a decline recently and I had only a single sighting anywhere during each of 2020 and 2021.

White-pinion Spotted, Westcott 18th May

Keith Mitchell was talking a couple of weeks ago about hawk-moths.  I've now had Lime (2, first on 7th May), Eyed (2, first on 16th May), Poplar (19, first on 1st May), Elephant (2, first on 13th May) & Small Elephant (1, on 14th May), which just leaves Pine, Privet & Humming-bird to show up of the common species here.  So far I've had no luck at all with Striped Hawk-moth during the invasion of the past few days, nor of any other migrants for that matter apart from the inevitable Plutella xylostella!    

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks

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