Saturday, July 31, 2010

And here's number 97!

Surprise, surprise, I've put the moth trap out again tonight. I rigged it all up and went indoors to check the circuit-breaker and switch it all on. Then I went back outdoors to check that it was actually on and the light wasn't illuminating our neighbours' house.

When I stepped outside, I heard a faint, very distant call: a Quail! I really didn't expect that. We only had a garden tick last week (also in conjunction with moth trapping activity). Will there be another very soon? That would bring us tantalisingly close to the ton.

Here's a fascinating article about the weird things that Quail do. So it's possible that this bird might only have hatched this year in southern Europe or north Africa, and has headed up here to try its luck already!

Summertime at The Lodge

Painted Lady
Painted Lady

It's just not cricket
Speckled Bush Cricket

Male Emperor

The Emperor takes flight
female Emperor, hovering to find somewhere to lay her eggs

Holly Blue
Holly Blue



Marmalade Hoverfly
Marmalade Hoverfly

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dawn raid

Getting up early
Getting up early is getting harder -  but at least dawn is getting later... if you get what I mean.

Black Arches
Tis the season of the Black Arches - found five of these handsome moths, all on the outside of the trap

Shaded Broad-bar
I thought this was going to be a Snout until I realised that it didn't have a snout. Fortunately Jay Clark put me in the picture - it's a Shaded Broad-bar, a moth garden tick

The whole list...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Uncertainly rustic

Yellow Shell
Yellow Shell
After seeing this, I quite fancied a rare hawkmoth for the garden. But I didn't manage to catch any hawks at all, for the first time this year.

Numbers were down on last week's dizzy heights, with 282+ moths of c48 species waiting for me when I got up this morning. The Yellow Shell (above) was one of the prettier ones.

As ever, there were some I couldn't ID, and all help will be received gratefully...

While I was sitting by the trap, I heard high-pitched calls and then watched two Green Sandpipers fly over together. Garden tick!

photos taken with Canon Powershot A640

Moth list follows.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Who are you looking at?

Common Darter
Common Darter, one of three at the garden pond this afternoon

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

*Only* 414 moths...

Feeling a bit bleary-eyed. I put the moth trap out again last night. It's usually best not to trap every night, but I thought I'd try it, since Monday night had been so good...

The number of moths was down, as was the number of species, but to be honest 400+ moths is plenty for me. And there were some nice ones.

Black Arches
The first Black Arches of the year

Pale Prominent
Pale Prominent

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (I think)

Full moth list follows...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's all happening in the garden

Emerald Damselfly

As if this morning's crazy moth trapping wasn't good enough, I found new species for the garden this afternoon, in the form of a female Emerald Damselfly. That was unexpected. She perched on the water mint in the pond and caught tiny insects.

Emerald Damselfly

Then, while I was composing my moth trapping blog post, there was a Yellow Wagtail calling from somewhere in the garden (couldn't see where, but we hear them fairly regularly and sometimes see them around the pond).

And then a Whimbrel flew over the garden, calling! Couldn't see that either. Don't even need it for a garden tick, unfortunately...

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

More moths than you can shake a stick at

This is what I was confronted when I went to empty the moth trap at 4.55 am today.

5.06 am, 20 July

Where to start...?

Poplar Hawkmoth
At least hawkmoths are easy to identify (and photograph). This one's a Poplar.

Ruby Tiger
I do like a nice Ruby Tiger.

The Gothic?
Wasn't sure about this one. Thanks to Skev for IDing it correctly as a Straw Underwing

It turned out there were about 540+ moths of at least 61 species.

If you want to know what they all were, here's the list...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Migration is restarting (if it ever stopped)

Long-tailed Tit

Well, no, this Long-tailed Tit (above) wasn't migrating. It's just impossibly cute.

But at Beeston today we caught a nice selection of migrating/dispersing warblers: a load of Blackcaps (including an adult male from a few years ago), Garden Warblers, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and - possibly nicest of all - the Lesser Whitethroat pictured below.

As far as most birds are concerned, the breeding season is finished and autumn is here. It's time for moulting and feeding, and migration's not far away. For some of these birds, the Sahara beckons...

Lesser Whitethroat

photos taken with Canon Powershot A640

Getting up early for the party animals

I have to get up early to check the moth trap, but it always seems like the moths themselves have had a good night dancing around the bulb. Some of them even seem a little hungover in the morning.

Pretty skies when I got up to check the moth trap this morning...

Purple Thorn
Purple Thorn

Lesser Swallow Prominent
Swallow Prominent

The Spectacle
The Spectacle
Broad-bordered Yellow UnderwingBroad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings

The full list...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Bumblebee on Purple Loosestrife

Pink flowers

At the gate

Blue-tailed Damselfly

This moth trapping just gets tougher and tougher...

Scarce Footman

I believe this to be a Scarce Footman. Despite the name, it seems not to be that scarce. I am going to have to start looking at moths really carefully. Now I've separated Scarce Footman from Common, and also Smoky Wainscot from Common Wainscot, there are no excuses. Must get moth tuition...

Poplar Hawkmoth
Your daily hawkmoth - Poplar

Another cool, misty, damp morning with a breeze, which didn't look that promising, but which still yielded 190 moths of 30 species.

nerdy moth list follows:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Don't be so cheeky!

Small Skipper
I caught this Small Skipper cheekily poking out its tongue at me... and what a tongue it is

Small Skipper
There seemed to be a lot of flirting (or fighting?) going on

Small Skipper
You can just about see the diagnostic antennae tips which distinguish this from Essex Skipper (Essex Skipper's are all black)

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Footmen lead the way

I'm really getting into this moth trapping thing, as you might have noticed.

I got up early again this morning to check the trap. It was stuffed full of moths of all sizes, lots of midges and craneflies, a few honeybees, some ladybirds and a couple of beetles. In fact, there were so many moths I didn't really know where to start.

The trap is full!

By the end I'd 'identified' (I use the term loosely in connection with moths) about 295 moths of about 60 species! It's the biggest catch yet.

The pretty pictures:

Lime Hawkmoth
Lime Hawkmoth

Peach Blossom
Peach Blossom

A smorgasbord of hawkmoths

Buff Arches
Buff Arches

Coxcomb Prominent
Coxcomb Prominent

Large Emerald
Large Emerald

See. They're not all brown.

The nerdy stats: