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, 5 May 2018

Dotted Chestnut

There weren't so many moths on 23rd April but they did include a Dotted Chestnut, my second here following my first last spring.  As the species spreads northwards I shouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be annual going forward.

Dotted Chestnut, North Elmham, 23rd April

Another Lunar Marbled Brown was noteworthy - my third this year of a species I only added to my garden list last year.  Also trapped were Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, 2 Common Plumes Emmelina monodactyla, Frosted Green, Brindled Pug, 2 Brindled Beauties, 2 Common Quakers, 5 Hebrew Characters, 2 Chrysoperla carnea agg. and a Common Wasp.

Common Wasp, North Elmham, 23rd April

The next night there were just 5 moths in the trap: Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (new for the year), Early Thorn, Brindled Beauty and 2 Hebrew Characters.  A Brown-lipped Snail was the first I'd noticed this year.

Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, North Elmham, 24th April

Next day I returned to the meadows.  It was relatively unproductive but there were 3 species of hoverfly: Melanostoma scalare, Platycheirus albimanus and Syrphus ribesii.

Melanostoma scalare, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

Platycheirus albimanus, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

Syrphus ribesii, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

Another ant proved to be Small Black Ant Lasius niger - that's probably the two commonest ant species knocked off now - I wonder how hard it will be to find any others?

Small Black Ant Lasius niger, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

I think this yellow mushroom must be a Yellow Fieldcap, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Yellow Fieldcap, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

There is a good display of Cowslips in the wildflower meadow.

Cowslips, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

I found some Rue-leaved Saxifrage growing on the chapel ruins, along with plenty of Ivy-leaved Toadflax.

Rue-leaved Saxifrage, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

Ivy-leaved Toadflax, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

This tree growing near the chapel doesn't look like an ordinary Cypress to me - I'm erring more on the side of Nootka Cypress, but if anyone can confirm or put me right please let me know.

possible Nootka Cypress, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

I think these sheep thought I was going to feed them.  They were disappointed.

sheep, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 25th April

That night 3 Hebrew Characters were the only moths in the trap but there was also another Springtail, Orchesella cincta again I think.

Orchesella cincta, North Elmham, 25th April

A fractionally warmer night on 26th secured a small number of moths: Brindled Beauty, Muslin Moth, 2 Hebrew Characters and Nut-tree Tussock. Also a hoverfly Melanostoma scalare, my first here this year.

Early the next morning I popped up to the Cathedral Meadows where I found my first moths for the site at last.  At least 6 Beech Midgets Phyllonorycter maestingella (2 retained and confirmed) were flying around nettles beneath a beech tree, at least 2 Common Thorn Midgets Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae were flying around the track flanked by Hawthorn and a Common Oak Purple Dyseriocrania subpurpurella was flying beneath oaks on the railway.  Although I'd already counted an unconfirmed example the oxyacanthae were my first confirmed individuals of this species anywhere.

Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 27th April

Common Thorn Midget Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae (male, gen det), North Elmham, 27th April

Common Oak Purple Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, North Elmham, 27th April

I then went to the patch at Bittering and saw my third Pyllonorycter species of the morning, a White Oak Midget Phyllonorycter harrisella.

Later that day I found my first Waxfly of the year, inside my study.  It was a Conwentzia sp., but like every other Conwentzia I've caught it was a female and so cannot be identified to species-level.

Conwentzia sp. (female), North Elmham, 27th April

That night there were no moths in the trap but 2 more hoverflies, both Melanostoma scalare.  Nothing at all the following night and just 1 Hebrew Character and another Melanostoma scalare on 29th.

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