I was hesitant about putting out the trap last night for personal reasons but I'm delighted I did as another moth will now be added to the new list, along with another that is a previous visitor. I talk about the beautifully marked Shoulder-stripe and the less beautifully marked Brindled Pug of which I had four.Other moths were more or less the same as the previous night but with the addition of a couple of Oak Beauty,a moth I do not get tired of.
At last a respite in the weather allowed me to put out the trap last night, although with the cat prowling about I was surprised to see so many moths in the trap this morning, which apart from three species,I have seen this year already.
There was also 5 Hebrew Character,1 Small Quaker 1 Early Grey,1 Clouded Drab & 1 Twin-spotted Quaker & a truckload of Common Quaker, but sadly nothing new to crow about
One can never be dissatisfied when a Pine Beauty is in attendance and you can also add an Angle Shades and the Common Plume moth that must be fully aware my plum tree is now in blossom.
When the trap has gone out things have been very much subdued with repeats being the order of the day. Most specimens have been Clouded Drab,Common Quaker,Small Quaker,Oak Beauty & Small Brindled Beauty so it was nice to meet a new face today, although I wont be looking for dancing in the street, as its another one of the moths in the likes of some of the noctuids already mentioned.
However I am always delighted to sit down and do another species page for a new moth and this Twin-spotted Quaker is no exception, further more I do like the viewer to see what is happening through during the season.It does feel at the moment like the season could suddenly leap away so all I can suggest you do is watch this page. I have included another photo of an Oak Beauty which seems to be the darkest specimen to date-sorry but i dont get tired of these.
Last night produced a bumper crop of 30 moths, which is considerably high for my moth trap. Half were Common Quakers,so its easy to see where they get the "common" name from.
I also had two new moths for the year, the first being a Hebrew Character, which is named by the marking on the forewing, that is similar to the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet, so its now easy to see how the name was derived.
The second new moth for the year (NFY) was an Early Grey rather a lively chap who I found didn't want to smile for the camera.
Finally apart from previous seen individuals, I did also have a new moth for the website which is a micro called Diurnea fagella.
Dirnea fagella is a fairy common woodland moth usually found where Oak and Birch abound.
The larva is Polyphagous,which means it chooses a wide choice of food plants. They are usually deciduous trees or shrubs
Its the black markings on the forewing that are similar to the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
This morning, with one exception, was very much like the previous morning, with recordings of moths as follows:-Oak Beauty 5,Common Quaker 2, March Moth 2, Light Brindled Beauty 1, Small Brindled Beauty 1, and one new moth for the website which was a singleton Yellow Horned making six new moths in 3 days which I think is terrific.Some photos to hopefully enjoy.
A walk on the wildside today produced nemerous Brimstone and a singleton Peacock but not much else,but it is very early yet,so I will just enjoy that which comes along.
The Yellow Horned is a common moth of woodland and heathland where the larvae feed on Birch.The photo left clearly shows the yellow horns on the antennae which give the moth its name.
I'm sure I don't have to explain to most what "Like London buses" means but for the uninitiated it means you cant find one when you want one and then they all come along,and so it seems a good adage for moths also, as last night another 3 March Moths attended the moth trap.Also another Small Brindled Beauty but this time it was a much darker specimen and quite stunning.The same adage applies to a couple of Common Quakers but there was also a couple of new moths in the trap also. Firstly a Dotted Border and secondly, was for me the find of the week, a stunningly gorgeous Oak Beauty that certainly lives up to his name.
The Dotted Border is a fairly common species that can be found throughout Britain.It has a relatively short season from February to April where it can be found in woodland as well as gardens. The larvae feed on many of the broadleaved trees.
The Oak Beauty is a real stunner as a moth is common in Southern England a well distributed further north become local the further north one travels.
The larvae are not bound to Oak as the name suggests but also feeds on other various broadleaved trees.Its on the wing late February through to April
As I suggested yesterday I thought it would be possible to see a March Moth before too long and bang on next day I found 3 in the trap,so another new moth for the website and for the season.I would have been happy with that but low and behold the warmer weather produced another 3 moths in the trap.One was an old friend albeit another specimen and that was the Pale Brindled Beauty as well as its close namesake the Small Brindled Beauty,another first for the website and a little cracker to go with it.So two new moths? No it is actually three as I also had a single specimen of the Clouded Drab,bit of a downer of a name and not totally justified by me.3 new species in a day-wow!!!
The March Moth is a common species over much of Britain,the female being wingless.The larvae feed on deciduous trees like oak & Hawthorn.
The Clouded Drab is another common woodland moth whose larvae feed on a wide variety of deciduous trees.
The Small Brindled Beauty is a local moth of the Oak woodlands,again the female being wingless.
The moth trap was put out in the garden last night for the first time in a month and at half time in the England football match I went to check the area around the trap for larvae. On the Upper Thames moth website one recorder has experience numbers of larvae within a short distance of the trap so I decided to try my luck but alas they were no larvae to be found.
As there was no moths in the trap I turned my light towards the walls and found a March Moth struggling high up on the window in a web. The spider was less than a second from achieving its aim but I snatched the moth clear and released it safely this morning as it was still entwined in the web. Well it made me feel good. Sadly the March moth was a poor specimen possibly because of its experience but at least it was my first ever and surely another will be along soon.
All I had in the trap was a single Common Quaker and my third Pale Brindled Beauty of the year, a lighter specimen.
With the weather forecast showing signs of improving, regular sighting will soon become the norm and memories of a wet winter can be left to history.