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.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Fiery Oak Midget

Some pretty poor nights towards the end of April continued with a catch of just 2 Hebrew Characters on Friday 26th.  The following night was marginally better with Muslin Moth and 4 Hebrew Characters but the sixth and last moth of the night made all the difference - a Lunar Marbled Brown, a new species for my garden.

Lunar Marbled Brown, North Elmham, 27th April

On Sunday 28th April Shuttle-shaped Dart was new for the year.  Otherwise just Muslin Moth, 5 Hebrew Characters and 2 Early Greys.  Also 2 Varied Carpet Beetles in the house. 

Shuttle-shaped Dart, North Elmham, 28th April

I spent quite a lot of time trying to key out this ichneumon but after a couple of hours of hitting dead ends I had to give up - I will have to leave it at Ophion sp.

Ophion sp., North Elmham, 28th April

My first Small Copper of the year was at Burnham Overy on Monday 29th, along with 2 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, 2 Cinnabars and the hoverfly Helophilus pendulus.

 Small Copper, Burnham Overy, 29th April

A wander round Thursford Wood proved very productive with another 20 Oak Satin Lifts Heliozela saricella (hot on the heels of my first 20 or so at Honeypot Wood a week earlier).  Even better was my first ever Fiery Oak Midget Phyllonorycter lautella.  Many of the Phyllonorycters are stunning little moths but this one beats them all!  My photos don't do it justice but it was a real gem.

Fiery Oak Midget Phyllonorycter lautella, Thursford Wood, 29th April

Other moths included 2 Plain Golds Micropterix calthella, 2 Common Oak Purples Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Feathered Bright Incurvaria masculella, 2 Green Long-horns Adela reaumurella and 2 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana. Other orders were represented by a Large Red Damselfly, Chocolate Mining Bee and Common Carder Bee, and the Brown Lacewing Hemerobius micans - a new one for me.  Another fly similar to the one I tentatively identified as Thaumatomyia notata the other day was, this time, I think one of the similar Chlorops species with a very different triangular marking on the head.

Chlorops sp., Thursford Wood, 29th April

Chocolate Mining Bee Andrena scotica, Thursford Wood, 29th April

Hemerobius micans, Thursford Wood, 29th April

 Oak Satin Lift Heliozela saricella (male, gen det), Thursford Wood, 29th April

Later in the afternoon I met Dave at Litcham Common where we found the wind had picked up so moth activity was much less than we'd hoped. Arguably the highlight was a Rowan Midget Phyllonorycter sorbi - a moth I had seen a couple of times before but with a specimen, albeit a female one, this was the most soundly confirmed example. The only other moths were 3 Large Long-horns Nematopogon swammerdamella and Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella.  A Brown Lacewing proved to be Hemerobius humulinus and Leafhoppers included Empoasca vitis and what was probably Zygina flammigera.  Finally a leafmine in Honeysuckle turned out to belong to the fly Aulagromyza cornigera.

vacated (probably) leaf mine of Aulagromyza cornigera, Litcham Common, 29th April

probable Zygina flammigera, Litcham Common, 29th April

Rowan Midget Phyllonorycter sorbi (female, gen det), Litcham Common, 29th April

Large Long-horn Nematopogon swammerdamella, Litcham Common, 29th April

Dave thought this was a St Mark's Fly but for some reason it didn't look right to me - almost bug-like.  Dave was right though.

St Mark's Fly, Litcham Common, 29th April

I often see Brown Rats when I'm at Great Ryburgh and this one was particularly keen to get inside the bird feeders...  It was a bit wobbly walking the spiky tight-rope of a barred wire fence and eventually fell off, crashing onto the barbs of the wires below on its way down.  It was completely unharmed though and straightaway resumed attempting to gain entry to the bird feeders.

Brown Rat, Ryburgh, 26th April

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