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.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Breckland specials

Saturday afternoon before last Dave and I headed off to Narborough, primarily to see one day-flying moth that is usually only recorded at this one site in Norfolk.  We succeeded, seeing 2 Lace Borders.

Lace Borders, Narborough, 6th June

A Common Purple & Gold Pyrausta purpuralis was a UK first for me.  Despite its common name it is far less common (at least in gardens) than Small Purple & Gold Pyrausta aurata.  Sadly it got away before I could get a decent look or photos - the one shot I came away with being only just sufficient to confirm the ID.  Other moths here were Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 3 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus and 3 Silver Ys.

Next stop was Cranwich Heath, a new site for me though I have done Cranwich Camp just across the road a couple of times.  A few moths were disturbed from the Broom by the gate most of which escaped during bungled attempts at getting them in a net, but the one that mattered wasn't so lucky - a dark tortrix which proved to be Black Piercer Pammene germmana.  Amazingly there is only one previous record of this species on the Norfolk Moths database, a single in 1992.  That said, old references show the species as occurring in both of Norfolk's vice-counties so presumably recent recorders just haven't been looking hard enough!

Black Piercer Pammene germmana, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

As we started to wander through the grassland we quickly started to notch up some interesting moths.  One of the best was the Breckland special, Tawny Wave, a new species for both of us.

Tawny Wave, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Other macros included Latticed Heath and the first of at least 6 Yellow Shells.  Common Blue and 2 Small Heaths were among the butterflies and micro moths included at least 1 (probably 2) migrant Rush Veneers Nomophila noctuella.

Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Another Breckland special was abundant here - we counted at least 30 Little Grass-veneers Platytes cerussella.  Among them were 2 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, 2 Gorse Case-bearers Coleophora albicosta, 2 Hedge Case-bearers Coleophora striatipennella and the first of 3 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana.

Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Gorse Case-bearer Coleophora albicosta, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Hedge Case-bearer Coleophora striatipennella (female, gen det), Cranwich Heath, 6th June

As we got nearer a patch of gorse, 3 Grey Gorse Piercers Cydia ulicetana appeared.  Heading over to the other side we started to see Plume Moths.  Some got away but the ones we nailed were 2 Breckland Plumes Oxyptilus distans and a Citron Plume Euleioptilus carphodactyla.

Breckland Plume Oxyptilus distans, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Citron Plume Euleioptilus carphodactyla, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Some nice wildflowers here too, including this one which I think is Viper's Bugloss.

Viper's Bugloss, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Over in the longer grass the grass-moths changed - Platytes became scarcer and Hook-streaked Grass-veneers Crambus lathoniellus dominated with at least 60 counted.  The edges of the woodland produced some excellent dusking with moths everywhere.  Best of the bunch was a spectacular moth, a new moth for us, and in some ways more exciting than the Pammene germmana and Tawny Wave.  It was a Small Barred Long-horn Adela croesella - simply stunning!

Small Barred Long-horn Adela croesella, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Another Long-horn was also a lifer, although perhaps not quite so spectacular: Little Long-horn Cauchas fibulella.

Little Long-horn Cauchas fibulella, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Other moths recorded at this point included a wealth of goodies such as Hawthorn Bent-wing Bucculatrix bechsteinella, Meadow Dwarf Elachista triatomea, Pine Bell Epinotia rubiginosana, Lead-coloured Drill Dichrorampha plumbana and Shaded Pug

Hawthorn Bent-wing Bucculatrix bechsteiniella (male, gen det), Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Meadow Dwarf Elachista triatomea, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Pine Bell Epinotia rubiginosana, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Lead-coloured Drill Dichrorampha plumbana (male, gen det), Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Shaded Pug, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Perhaps less exciting but still nice to see were Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, Swan-feather Dwarf Elachista argentella, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, 2 Light Grey Tortrices Cnephasia incertana, Yellow-faced Bell Notocelia cynosbatella, Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella, 2 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis and Red Twin-spot Carpet.

Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella (female, gen det), Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

No idea what species they are but noticed these two very striking Snails.

unidentified Snails, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

Dave spotted this beauty on the ground: a Small Elephant Hawkmoth.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Cranwich Heath, 6th June

As darkness gathered at least 15 Green Carpets were recorded along with Oak-tree Pug and Foxglove Pug.

At home the clear skies kept numbers down, though 2 Common Wainscots and Shoulder-striped Wainscot were both new for the year.  The latter is likely to prove the better moth locally - I only ever saw one at Bawdeswell.

Shoulder-striped Wasincot, North Elmham, 6th June

Common Wasincots, North Elmham, 6th June

Also White-shouldered House-moth Endrosis sarcitrella, 2 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Yellow-faced Bell Notocelia cynosbatella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Small Magpie Eurrhypara hortulata, Blood-vein, Silver-ground Carpet, Green Carpet, Peppered Moth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Buff-tip, 3 White Ermines, Buff Ermine, 2 Heart and Darts, Flame Shoulder, 2 Shears and 10 Treble Lines.

Peppered Moth, North Elmham, 6th June

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