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.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Alderford Common

A relatively warm Friday evening with cloud cover promised for most of the first part of the evening, so a good night to head out somewhere with a light.  Dave is keen to see Small Eggar and we failed to find recently where I'd seen one before at Creaking Gate Lake so he was keen to try his luck at Alderford Common this time, another site the species is known from and where there is plenty of suitable habitat.

We were disapppointed to find that the temperature had plummeted between leaving home and arriving on site - a heavy rain shower had recently passed through and I think it must have cooled things down a bit.  We set up anyway and things got off to a very slow start indeed.  After a while 1-2 moths had flown past the light but nothing had come in and I was starting to wonder if we should cut our losses and head home.  But we stuck it out and suddenly for no apparent reason it got livelier.  In the end it proved a worthwhile trip, although no Small Eggars for Dave.

The best of the macros was a Red Chestnut, followed by Water Carpet.

Red Chestnut, Alderford Common, 8th April

Also 2 March Moths, 3 Shoulder Stripes, 5 Brindled Pugs, Engrailed, 3 Small Quakers, 12 Common Quakers, 9 Clouded Drabs, 5 Twin-spotted Quakers, 2 Hebrew Characters and 2 Early Greys.  Counts are minimums - probably the numbers of the more numerous species were really quite a bit higher.

Shoulder Stripe, Alderford Common, 8th April

Clouded Drab, Alderford Common, 8th April

But as is so often the way it was the micros that provided the most excitement, despite there only being 3 species.  They included Dave's first and my second ever Dawn Flat-body Semioscopis steinkellneriana.

Dawn Flat-body Semioscopis steinkellneriana, Alderford Common, 8th April

Two Caloptilia looked like good candidates for elongella but on dissection provided to be Red Birch Slenders Caloptilia betulicola - a scarcer species and new to both of us.

Red Birch Slender Caloptilia betulicola (male, gen det), Alderford Common, 8th April

Red Birch Slender Caloptilia betulicola (female, gen det), Alderford Common, 8th April

The other micros were at least 4 March Tubics Diurnea fagella.

A few moths at home too: March Tubic Diurnea fagella, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, 2 March Moths, Shoulder Stripe, Oak Beauty, Small Quaker, Common Quaker and 4 Hebrew Characters.

Oak Beauty, North Elmham, 8th April

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