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.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Weybourne moths

One of the saddest events at the end of last year was the untimely death of Martin Preston.  He and Maureen created a wonderful bird and moth-rich garden at their home at Weybourne and I was fortunate to visit it on a number of occasions, usually to see an unusual bird that Martin had trapped.  On 21st July their son-in-law Ben set the moth traps in the garden once again, kindly inviting Dave and me to have a look through them with him the following morning.  One of the personal highlights was this Tawny Shears - I think one of the top 3 most common and widespread moths in Norfolk that I hadn't previously seen.

Tawny Shears, Weybourne, 21st July

Other macros I don't see very often included Bordered Beauty, Poplar Kitten, White-line Dart, 10 + Rosy Minors, Twin-spotted Wainscot and Brown-veined Wainscot.

Bordered Beauty, Weybourne, 21st July

Poplar Kitten, Weybourne, 21st July

White-line Dart, Weybourne, 21st July

Rosy Minor, Weybourne, 21st July

Twin-spotted Wainscot, Weybourne, 21st July

Brown-veined Wainscot, Weybourne, 21st July

I probably missed jotting down some of the macros I saw (Ben has a more complete list) but the others that I'm sure I saw were Drinker, Pebble Hook-tip, Chinese Character, Buff Arches, Blood-vein, Small Blood-vein, Least Carpet, Small Fan-footed Wave, Dwarf Cream Wave, Single-dotted Wave, Riband Wave, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Large Twin-spot Carpet, Shaded Broad-bar, Small Phoenix, Yellow-barred Brindle, Magpie Moth, Scorched Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Early Thorn, Purple Thorn, Scalloped Oak, Willow Beauty, Engrailed, Privet Hawk-moth, Pine Hawk-moth, Poplar Hawk-moth, Elephant Hawk-moth, Pebble Prominent, Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Brown-tail, Yellow-tail, Black Arches, Fen Wainscot, Rosy Footman, Dingy Footman, Scarce Footman, Common Footman, Garden Tiger, Ruby Tiger, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Double Square-spot, Nutmeg, Dot Moth, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brown-line Bright Eye, Southern Wainscot, Smoky Wainscot, Knot Grass, Dun-bar, Dark Arches, Cloaked Minor, Common Rustic agg., Dusky Sallow, Uncertain, Rustic, Nut-tree Tussock, Silver Y, Spectacle and Snout.

Knot Grass, Weybourne, 21st July

Due to the sheer number of moths trapped at this location relatively little attention has been paid to the micros, and so Dave and I were keen to record as many of these as possible.  Among them was my first adult Lime Bent-wing Bucculatrix thoracella.

Lime Bent-wing Bucculatrix thoracella, Weybourne, 21st July

There were also Daisy Bent-wing Bucculatrix nigricomella and Hawthorn Bent-wing Bucculatrix bechsteinella, bringing the total number of Bucculatrix species I saw that morning to four (including the Oak Bent-wing Bucculatrix ulmella that I had at home - see my last blog post) - which must be a record!

Daisy Bent-wing Bucculatrix nigricomella, Weybourne, 21st July

Hawthorn Bent-wing Bucculatrix bechsteinella (male, gen det), Weybourne, 21st July

Arguably the best record was 2 Spikenard Case-bearers Coleophora conyzae, a species only recorded in Norfolk 8 times previously and never on the north coast (previous records included one in my garden last year, 4 larval records from Foxley Wood and 3 records from the Brecks).

Spikenard Case-bearer Coleophora conyzae (male, gen det), Weybourne, 21st July

Other species I rarely see included 2 Copper Ermels Roeslerstammia erxlebella, White-legged Case-bearer Coleophora albitarsella, Long-winged Shade Cnephasia longana and 3 Pine Leaf-mining Moths Clavigesta purdeyi.

White-legged Case-bearer Coleophora albitarsella (male, gen det), Weybourne, 21st July

Long-winged Shade Cnephasia longana (male, gen det), Weybourne, 21st July

Pine Leaf-mining Moth Clavigesta purdeyi (male, gen det), Weybourne, 21st July

Probably the most numerous moth was Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella - I guesstimated over 100 of these, far more than I've ever seen before on one night.  Other species included Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, White-triangle Slender Caloptilia stigmatella, Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae, Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella, Purple Argent Argyresthia albistria, Bird-cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella, Wainscot Smudge Ypsolopha scabrella, Common Oak Case-bearer Coleophora lutipennella, Body-marked Case-bearer Coleophora clypeiferella, Golden-brown Tubic Crassa unitella, Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Burdock Neb Metzneria lappella, Dull Red Groundling Bryotropha senectella, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, Orange Crest Helcystogramma rufescens, Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, Marbled Cosmet Mompha propinquella, Common Cosmet Mompha epilobiella, Burdock Conch Aethes rubigana, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, Cnephasia sp., Barred Marble Celypha striana, Grey Poplar Bell Epinotia nisella, White-foot Bell Epiblema foenella, Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, Two-coloured Bell Eucosma obumbratana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, Codling Moth Cydia pomonella, Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana, Pearl Grass-veneer Catoptria pinella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis and Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella.

All in all a pretty good showing, so thanks for having us Ben and Maureen.

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