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, 18 May 2016

Rained off

Last Monday night looked good for moths, according to the weather forecast.  Overcast and relatively mild with not much wind.  Dave and I headed up to Gypsy Lane near Brancaster hoping for a few specialities of that bit of coast.  But as we reached our preferred spot we found the breeze still stronger than we'd expected and with skies still far from cloud-covered the temperature much cooler.  For this sort of location the weather wasn't good enough - there seemed to be no point in setting up here.  Instead we headed inland to Bunker's Hill at Anmer, 3.5 degrees warmer and very sheltered.  I've trapped here a couple of times and done ok, including my first new moth for Norfolk (Cydia illutana).

Well it started off ok, if unremarkable, and might have turned out to be a reasonable night if the weather forecast hadn't got it even more wrong than we realised.  Rain was due at about 5 or 6 in the morning but there were no rain drops in the forecast for tonight, so when it started to rain at about 10 o'clock we thought it would be just a quick shower.  Some time later there was no sign of it letting up, and it became clear that the forecast was just completely wrong, again.  We packed up disappointed that we'd wasted our efforts due to yet another poor weather forecast.

In the short time we were there we amassed a few moths but nothing staggering: 2 Common Oak Purples Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Common Oak Midget Phyllonorycter quercifoliella, 6 Beech Midgets Phyllonorycter maestingella, Peach Blossom, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Water Carpet, Spruce Carpet, 3 Brindled Pugs, 4 Purple Thorns, Great Prominent, Pale Tussock, 5 Orange Footmen, 8 Least Black Arches, Common Quaker, Twin-spotted Quaker, 3 Hebrew Characters and 16 Nut-tree Tussocks.

Peach Blossom, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestigella (male, gen det), Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Spruce Carpet, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Purple Thorn (with Nut-tree Tussock and Common Quaker), Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Two Brown Lacewings proved to be Micromus paganus and Wesmaelius nervosus, both species I'd not identified before (not surprising as they were my second and third Brown Lacewings since owning the key for them).

Micromus paganus, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Wesmaelius nervosus, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

The caddisflies were represented by Glyphotaelius pellucidus, 4 Limnephilus affinis and 2 Limnephilus auricula.

Limnephilus affinis, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

The beetles were more interesting: among the 6 or so Cockchafers were Orange Ladybird, Cream-spot Ladybird, 2 Eyed Ladybirds and Phyllobius argentatus.

Cream-spot Ladybird, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Eyed Ladybird, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

Phyllobius argentatus, Bunker's Hill, 9th May

I didn't look close enough at all the things on the sheet as looking through my photos of various moths I found some Springtails that I failed to realise were there at the time.

2 different-looking springtails (and a fly), Bunker's Hill, 9th May

I had found my first Treble-bar for the year in the garden during the afternoon and the trap produced a few bits and pieces overnight.  New for the year for the garden were Hazel Slender Parornix devoniella, Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet and White-pinion Spotted.

Hazel Slender Parornix devoniella, North Elmham, 9th May

Red Twin-spot Carpet, North Elmham, 9th May

Grey Pine Carpet, North Elmham, 9th May

White-pinion Spotted, North Elmham, 9th May

Bringing the total up to 26 species, I think the most so far this year, were Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella, 2 Brindled Flat-bodies Agonopterix arenella, 2 Many-plumed Moths Alucita hexadactyla, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, Shoulder Stripe, 4 Streamers, 2 Brindled Pugs, 2 Double-striped Pugs, Yellow-barred Brindle, Scalloped Hazel, Brindled Beauty, 2 Waved Umbers, Pale Tussock, Cinnabar, Least Black Arches, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Clouded Drab, 6 Hebrew Characters, Early Grey and Nut-tree Tussock.

Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, North Elmham, 9th May

Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla, North Elmham, 9th May

Most of the caddisflies were Limnephilus auricula but Limnephilus sparsus was new for the house.  Also recorded were the leafhopper Empoasca vitis, 2 Green Lacewings Chrysoperla carnea, 2 Black Sexton Beetles and a Common Rough Woodlouse.

Limnephilus sparsus, North Elmham, 9th May

Empoasca vitis, North Elmham, 9th May

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