A diary of my mothing activity covering highlights and photos from my moth trapping activities. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I may mention other wildlife sightings here, especially insects, but for birds see my birding diary.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Dotted Borders and some

Sunday night scored another Common Quaker and a Chestnut but Monday and Tuesday were nil returns.

Last night was milder and full of promise.  Dave reported good numbers of micros including a Garden Cosmet Mompha subbistrigella which I've never seen.  Well on the micro front it was disappointing here - just 6 Common Flat-bodies Agonopterix heracliana - the only species of micro already on my garden year list. 

Macros fared better, and included my first 2 Dotted Borders for the year.  Others were 2 March Moths, 3 Pale Brindled Beauties, Satellite and Chestnut.

Dotted Borders, North Elmham, 25th February

Satellite, North Elmham, 25th February

This chap was also hoping I'd attract a few juicy insects...

Garden Spider, North Elmham, 25th February

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Run out of moths

Friday night got me March Moth, Early Moth and Chestnut but last night was another nil return.  Tonight is milder but it's a wild night with wind and rain so I don't hold out much hope...

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Satellite and a new Ichneumon

Three moths in the trap this morning: a Pale Brindled Beauty, a Chestnut and my first Satellite of the year.

Satellite, North Elmham, 18th February

Also an Ichneumon that looked quite distinctively marked so I thought I'd try to identify it... I think it's Ophion obscuratus - one I've never identified before.

Ophion obscuratus, North Elmham, 18th February

Also a Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana by the porch.  I've dissected the two from last weekend in the hope of confirming my presumption that they were heracliana not ciliella.  One looked a bit promising for ciliella when I saw its hindwing, but they looked identical internally and, I think, better for heracliana.  They're not easy to do even under the microscope - I shall be more confident when I've seen what a real ciliella looks like for comparison.

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, North Elmham, 14th February

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Monday night

2 Pale Brindled Beauties and an Early Moth around the light during the evening but the morning check of the trap only added a single Chestnut to the tally.

Pale Brindled Beauty, North Elmham, 16th February

Monday, 16 February 2015

First bug of the year

A check for moths yesterday evening revealed only 1 Chestnut but something on the gutter caught my eye.  It was a Common Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina in its not-so-green winter attire.  The first I've seen here and my first bug this year.

Common Green Shieldbug, North Elmham, 15th February

In the morning the trap held 2 Early Moths, 2 Spring Ushers and another Chestnut.

Spring Usher, North Elmham, 15th February

Sunday, 15 February 2015


I had high hopes for last night and it was looking good by the time I turned in with Early Moth and most of 6 Pale Brindled Beauties having already appeared outside of the trap.

Pale Brindled Beauties, North Elmham, 14th February

Come the morning and the trap contained my first March Moth of the year, 2 Common Flat-bodies Agonopterix heracliana (my first micros of any type this year), 2 Chestnuts and a Dark Chestnut.  So a total of 13 moths of 6 species - that's more like it!

March Moth, North Elmham, 14th February

Dark Chestnut, North Elmham, 14th February

presumed Common Flat-bodies Agonopterix heracliana, North Elmham, 14th February

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Mildly disappointing

After the mildest night for ages I hoped for a few goodies in the trap this morning but alas there was just one Chestnut.  Also an Early Moth on the shed.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ushering Spring

I missed one.  Went to put the trap out this evening and found a Spring Usher on the outside rim.  The light hadn't gone on yet so it must have been attracted last night, missed by me when I went through the trap this morning and conveniently stayed in place all day so as to give me a second chance.

So with the Early Moth and Chestnut that's my first night this year with 3 species of moth.  It really is ushering in the spring.

Spring Usher, North Elmham, 11th February

Chestnut and Early Moth

Another Early Moth on the trap yesterday evening and this Chestnut in it this morning.

Chestnut, North Elmham, 11th February

Not exactly riveting stuff but at least it's not nil returns every night any more.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Early Common Quaker

Sunday night saw Pale Brindled Beauty and Early Moth again - I wondered if the Pale Brindled Beauty was the same individual as the previous night as it was similarly marked.  

Monday night was a nil return but Tuesday evening produced another Early Moth. As I went through the trap this morning I discovered a Common Quaker lurking beneath the rim.  I hadn't been expecting that, 2.5 weeks earlier than my previous earliest, but there are a few records in the Norfolk database for early February.

Common Quaker, North Elmham, 10th February

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Getting warmer

A milder night promised more moths but going through the trap this morning I was disappointed to find nothing but a couple of flies.  But then I noticed a Pale Brindled Beauty on the side of the shed and another Early Moth on the kitchen window - so it becomes the third night of the year to have produced more than one species.

Pale Brindled Beauty, North Elmham, 7th February

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Early in the morning

I nearly didn't bother checking the moth trap before heading out birding this morning but at the last minute decided to give it a quick look.  Glad I did because the only moth attracted (an Early Moth) was on top of it, not inside it, and so would probably have gone by the time I'd got home.

I always find Early Moths difficult to photograph as they're quite shiny and reflect the flash.

Early Moth, North Elmham, 6th February