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.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Winterton mothing: a rare migrant & a rare breeder

Saturday 11th July saw a Norfolk Moth Survey event in south Norfolk which I'd been hoping to go to.  Rob had been too, but had overlooked it when arranging with Tim Hodge to go mothing at Winterton instead.  So I had the choice of going to the event or joining Rob and Tim at Winterton.  Both were attractive options, but being late out of the door (arriving when it was virtually dark) and hoping for migrants I settled on Winterton.  The guys at the NMS event had a good time but I think I chose right - we had a great time at Winterton.

There was one slight disappointment though - we didn't find the hoped for migrants, or at least not many. A Dark Sword-grass was good, and White-point and 3 Silver Ys were likely migrants, but we had hoped for more. But that disappointment dissipated after the event when Rob checked his photos and identified a Willow Knot-horn Sciota adelphella.  I think we'd overlooked it among various other similar moths, or at least we didn't identify it at the time, and when I heard about Rob's ID I wondered whether or not I had even seen it.  Well, by the time I came to work through my photos I got my answer... I had seen it, and photographed it.  This species has recently colonised the Dungeness peninsular in Kent but I understand records elsewhere are attributed to migrants, and there have been just two previous Norfolk records.

Willow Knot-horn Sciota adelphella, Winterton, 11th July

We saw a number of Phycitodes-like moths during the evening which we were sure weren't the usual Phycitodes binaevella.  They turned out to be Scarce Clouded Know-horn Homoeosoma nimbella, a proposed Red Data Book species that's known mainly from the north Suffolk/south Norfolk coastline, with others recorded on the south coast in the SW.  It is known from Winterton already, but hadn't been recorded here or anywhere in the county this millenium.  The ID is tricky - gen det narrowed the options and made nimbella look likely but it was the wing-venation that clinched it: the first time I've used wing-venation to identify a moth.

Scarce Clouded Knot-horn Homoeosoma nimbella (female, wing venation plus gen det), Winterton, 11th July

Another good local moth which is equally scarcely recorded in Norfolk, mainly from the same area, shares the same foodplant, Sheep's-bit.  This one's status is Nationally Scarce A, Sheep's-bit Conch Cochylis pallidana.  We had at least two.

Sheep's-bit Conch Cochylis pallidana, Winterton, 11th July

A dash of colour was provided by another good moth, also new for me: 2 Purple-bordered Golds.

Purple-bordered Golds, Winterton, 11th July

Less colourful, but equally good, was my first Brown Flat-body Depressaria badiella.

Brown Flat-body Depressaria badiella (male, gen det), Winterton, 11th July

One that was easier to identify and was an exciting new moth for me was this Reed Leopard:

Reed Leopard, Winterton, 11th July

This tatty Sharp-angled Peacock was an interesting ID challenge.  Habitat suggested this was the likely ID, which would be new for me, but externally visible characters were equivocal, some favouring Sharp-angled and others favouring ordinary Peacock.  Gen det confirmed it.

Sharp-angled Peacock (male, gen det), Winterton, 11th July

Not unexpectedly we saw 3 Sand Darts, another lifer for me.

Sand Darts, Winterton, 11th July

I'd never seen either of the Shark species before so was pleased when we found one.  Time of year made Shark more likely than the similar Chamomile Shark but this individual was too worn to make the ID straightforward.  Fortunately a second fresher individual was then discovered, and now we were able to confirm they were Sharks.

Sharks, Winterton, 11th July

One other moth briefly masqueraded as a lifer but then I identified one I'd caught at home a few days earlier: Painted Neb Eulamprotes wilkella.  We saw at least 4 - a lot less unexpected here at Winterton than the one I found at home.

Painted Neb Eulamprotes wilkella, Winterton, 11th July

Similarly I wasn't aware I'd seen Sandhill Knot-horn Anerastia lotella before but I later identified a moth Dave and I had seen at Brancaster at the end of June as this species.  I'm not sure how many of these we saw at Winterton but there were at least 3 among my photos.

Sandhill Knot-horn Anerastia lotella, Winterton, 11th July

The most obvious moth during the evening was one I'd only previously seen once - the last time Rob and I came mothing at Winterton.  There were loads of Long-legged Tabbies Synaphe punctalis everywhere.  I put down 100+ but Tim thought there were more like hundreds.  He may well have been right - they were certainly abundant!

Long-legged Tabby Synaphe punctalis, Winterton, 11th July

Quite a few other moths that I haven't often seen including 2 Dusky Groundlings Aroga velocella, Beautiful Groundling Caryocolum marmorea, 2 Scarce Obscures Oegoconia deauratella, Rusty Birch Button Acleris notana, 2 Banded Grass-veneers Pediasia fascelinella, Hook-tipped Grass-veneer Platytes alpinella, Fox Moth, Puss Moth, Bordered Pug, 2 Kent Black Arches, Archer's Dart, 3 Brown-tails, 6 White Satins, 4 True Lover's Knots, Striped Wainscot, 2 Shore Wainscots, Miller, Suspected, Dingy Shears and Lunar-spotted Pinion,

Dusky Groundling Aroga velocella, Winterton, 11th July

Beautiful Groundling Caryocolum marmorea, Winterton, 11th July

Scarce Obscure Oegoconia deauratella (male, gen det), Winterton, 11th July

Rusty Birch Button Acelris notana (male, gen det), Winterton, 11th July

Banded Grass-veneer Pediasia fascelinella, Winterton, 11th July

Puss Moth, Winterton, 11th July

Kent Black Arches, Winterton, 11th July

Suspected, Winterton, 11th July

Miller, Winterton, 11th July

White Satin, Winterton, 11th July

Fox Moth, Winterton, 11th July

True Lover's Knot, Winterton, 11th July

Dingy Shears, Winterton, 11th July

Shore Wainscot, Winterton, 11th July

Striped Wainscot, Winterton, 11th July

Loads more too!  These were the rest of the micros: Cypress Tip Moth Argyresthia cupressella, 2 Gold-ribbon Argents Argyresthia brockeella, 6 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, 3 Meadow Dwarfs Elachista triatomea, Saltern Groundling Scrobipalpa instabilella, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, Timothy Tortrix Aphelia paleana, Brown-barred Tortrix Epagoge grotiana, 3 Yellow Oak Buttons Aleimma loeflingiana, Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana, Cock's-head Bell Zeiraphera isertana, White Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma sociana, 2 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, Yellow Satin Veneer Crambus perlella, Pearl Grass-veneer Catoptria pinella, Chequered Grass-veneer Catoptria falsella,  50 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella, 2 Meadow Greys Scoparia pyralella, 6 Little Greys Eudonia lacustrata, Small Grey Eudonia mercurella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 2 Small Magpies Eurrhypara hortulata, Fenland Pearl Anania perlucidalis, Double-striped Tabby Hypsopygia glaucinalis, 2 Rosy Tabbies Endotricha flammealis, 3 Heather Knot-horns Pempelia palumbella and Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella.

Gold-ribbon Argent Argyresthia brockeella, Winterton, 11th July

Heather Knot-horn Pampelia palumbella, Winterton, 11th July

Saltern Groundling Scrobipalpa instabilella (female, gen det), Winterton, 11th July

Six species of Hawkmoth is never bad: 2 Privet Hawkmoths, 2 Lime Hawkmoths, 2 Poplar Hawkmoths, 2 Eyed Hawkmoths, 2 Elephant Hawkmoths and 3 Small Elephant Hawkmoths. One of at least 3 Peppered Moths was this dark form:

Peppered Moth, Winterton, 11th July

These were the other macros: 2 Ghost Moths, Common Swift, Scalloped Hook-tip, Pebble Hook-tip, 2 Buff Arches, 2 Large Emeralds, Common Emerald, Treble Brown Spot, Barred Yellow, 2 July Highflyers, Common Pug, Green Pug, Small Yellow Wave, Clouded Border, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, Pale Oak Beauty, 2 Common White Waves, Common Wave, 2 Clouded Silvers, Sallow Kitten, Iron Prominent, 2 Pebble Prominents, 3 Coxcomb Prominents, Buff-tip, Yellow-tail, Black Arches, 3 Rosy Footmen, Scarce Footman, Common Footman, 2 Heart and Darts, 2 Flames, Flame Shoulder, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 2 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 2 Nutmegs, Dot Moth, 2 Bright-line Brown-eyes, Clay, Smoky Wainscot, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Sycamore, 50 Dark Arches, 2 Light Arches, 2 Tawny Marbled Minors, Common Rustic, Uncertain, Rustic, 2 Cream-bordered Green Peas, 4 Green Silver-lines, Spectacle, Beautiful Hook-tip, Snout and Fan-foot.

Sallow Kitten, Winterton, 11th July

Tawny Marbled Minors (female above, male below, both gen det), Winterton, 11th July

With all these moths I didn't pay all that much attention to non-lepidopteran insect-life, but I did take this Stenodema calcarata home with me, by accident I think.

Stenodema calcarata, Winterton, 11th July

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