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.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

A visit from an Emperor

On Tuesday 11th Slender Groundhopper, Orange-tip butterfly and Common Green Shieldbug were all found in the garden during the day, all new for the year here.

Slender Groundhopper, North Elmham, 11th April

Common Green Shieldbug, North Elmham, 11th April

A Red Fox crossed the road in front of me in Hellesdon in the evening but there were very few moths in the trap overnight: Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Muslin Moth and 3 Hebrew Characters.

The Norfolk Moth Survey spring meeting took place on the evening of Wednesday 12th and Matthew Casey found this Garden Cosmet Mompha subbistrigella in the building.  At home there was just Muslin Moth and 5 Hebrew Characters, along with Black Sexton Beetle and the ichneumon wasp Ophion obscuratus.

Garden Cosmet Mompha subbistrigella, Mangreen Hall, 12th April

While eating lunch in the garden on Thursday 13th I saw a small moth flying and hand-caught it - turned out to be a Red Hazel Midget Phyllonorycter nicellii - my first ever!

Red Hazel Midget Phyllonorycter nicelli (male, gen det), North Elmham, 12th April

I'd bought an Emperor Moth lure at the Norfolk Moth Survey event and tried it out at home.  If I put it in the garden at the recommended height I wasn't going to be around long enough to see if it attracted any moths so instead I placed it by the window of my upstairs study.  I've never seen Emperor here and wasn't sure if they are anywhere close by, and I was placing the lure far too high, so I wasn't really expecting a result.  I glimpsed something flash by a couple of times but wasn't sure what I'd seen then after a bit longer a superb Emperor Moth appeared.  It vanished immediately but it or another soon returned.  I still failed to get a photo but lovely to see and great to get it on the house list.

That evening there were only 4 moths in the moth trap: Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, 2 Hebrew Characters and Early Grey.  The Elachista was new for the year.  Also a Common Earwig and another Ophion obscuratus.

Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 13th April

Butterflies seen at Barton Broad on Good Friday included Orange-tips, Brimstones, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshells.  Also my first Dark-edged Bee-fly for the year.  That evening there was just one moth in the trap, a Hebrew Character, plus a Shoulder Stripe on the outside of the trap.  Saturday night was only slightly better with 5 Hebrew Characters, Early Grey and my first Angle Shades here this year.

Angle Shades, North Elmham, 15th April

On Easter Sunday night Powdered Quaker was new for the night.  Others were Muslin Moth, Common Quaker and 12 Hebrew Characters.

Powdered Quaker, North Elmham, 16th April

Next day Dave pointed out this Ashy Mining Bee at Bittering and I found a new species of hoverfly in the garden, Melanostoma scalare.

Ashy Mining Bee, Bittering, 17th April

Melanostoma scalare, North Elmham, 17th April

The moth trap that night produced just Muslin Moth, 3 Hebrew Characters, Early Grey and this Silpha atrata.

Silpha atrata, North Elmham, 17th April

There wasn't a single moth in the trap on the night of 18th April - unusual to get a nil return this late into the season. Next day a Large Red Dameslfly was taking advantage of the sunshine in the garden, a Stoat was seen at Ryburgh.  The moth trap only contained three species but one of those was a Mullein, new for the year and only my fourth ever.  Also 9 Hebrew Characters, Early Grey, Common Earwig and Black Sexton Beetle.

Mullein, North Elmham, 19th April

As usual there are lots of Early Purple Orchids growing along the roadside verge at Rawhall Wood.

Early Purple Orchid, Rawhall Wood, 19th April

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