Sunday, 30 June 2013

Alder Hills - 24th June 2013

William had an inset day and asked if we could have a walk on one of the local heaths. We were a bit limited with time so we went to a little oasis in one of the other parts of Poole called Alder Hills as it's only 5 minutes drive away. He specifically wanted to try and see Sand Lizard which can be quite numerous in these parts but it wasn't particularly warm and we failed to find any. We did however manage to find a few bits and pieces and he was very happy to see a new butterfly in the form of a Green Hairstreak

 Green Hairstreak

William isn't really into our avian friends but that doesn't really bother me as he is very keen on other aspects of our wonderful Natural History so it was nice to show him a couple of damsels and dragons.
If any of my id's are wrong please let me know

 Common Blue Damselfly - brown form

 Common Blue Damselfly

 Common Blue Damselfly - male

 Scarce Chaser

Oedemera nobilis - Swollen-thighed Beetle (thanks Dr Duff)

Neofaculta ericetella
The above moth is common on it's foodplant - heather, and sure enough there were a few around.

However, I didn't notice any Horse Chestnut trees but I'm fairly certain this next moth is HC Leaf-miner
 Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner

Whilst I was trying to photograph a Common Heath moth, unsuccessfully, I noticed this caterpillar which appears to be an Emperor Moth larva. As it's a moth I've only seen once before and one that William is very keen to see we are going to try and breed it out. So far so good and it seems to prefer Hazel and is growing at a good rate.

 Emperor Moth

I think it had just moulted out of it's 2nd instar skin and left this behind:

 Emperor Moth 2nd instar?

This beast of a fly posed nicely for photos, anybody able to put a name to it please?

 Brown Heath Robberfly (thanks Warren and Stuart Elsom)

Lastly, another plea for id help please. One of the shrubs in the front garden has good numbers of this caterpillar but I can't work out what it is.

Berberis Saw-fly (thanks @stewchat)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Moths 20th June 2013

A really nice selection in the moth trap this morning with some nice big fluffy ones for the kids to appreciate. The first Pine Hawk-moth for the garden was particularly well received:

 Pine Hawk-moth

 The Sycamore

 White Ermine

 Peppered Moth

I was most pleased with the next moth as I'm not sure I've ever actually pulled one out of my own trap before, just a shame it was a bit tatty. I thought it might be interesting to show how the colours change when photographed in the shade and in direct sunlight.

 Bird's Wing

 Dagger agg

 Foxglove Pug

Eudonia mercurella

Moths 18th June 2013 - more micros

Another half decent haul in the trap but nothing new on the macro moth front so had to settle for a couple of new micros for the year.

As ever, loads of time spent peering down the microscope and looking on the internet trying to determine a correct id - probably! The wonderfully named "Bird-dropping Tortrix Moths of the British Isles" by Clifton & Wheeler is always a great resource too and is the best laid out moth guide available I believe

 Hedya pruniana

The next moth derives it's scientific name from the whitish streak along the costa, or forewing edge. The larva feed on gorse, of which there is plenty around here.

Coleophora albicosta

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Moths 17th June 2013

By far and away the best night of the year so far with 152 moths of 36 species including some good micros. 

Nice to be getting the below species on a fairly regular basis in the moth trap. 
 Orange Footman

Another species which I don't think I've seen that many times before is this:
 Sharp-angled Peacock

 Small Yellow Wave

The next species shown is always a bit of a nightmare and I think I've got it right!
 Dusky Brocade

 Green Pug

Another species which I can't recall seeing that many of before:
 Marbled White Spot

Most Common Marbled Carpet I've been seeing down here have been dark ones so this individual threw me a swerve ball for a couple of minutes until the penny dropped.
 Common Marbled Carpet

Up until 2010 there had only been two records of the following micro but I suspect there's been plenty more since as has been witnessed elsewhere nationally.

Argyresthia cupressella 

As per the previous species this next one is surely under-recorded with only 4 records up to 2010

 Argyresthia trifasciata

Another tricky family of micros but I think the id is correct:
 Bactra lancealana

Pandemis cerasana Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix

I do like a nice Caloptilia, at least you can work the family out quick enough!
 Caloptilia azaleella

Cryptoblabes bistriga

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Moths 10th June

A decent catch at home with 64 moths of 25 species but still not as good as it should be and not an awful lot to get excited about. A couple of highlights below:

 Scalloped Hazel

 Clouded-bordered Brindle

As Mumsy and Duffy were down for the weekend myself and Dr D went off to do a bit of sweeping on some chalk grassland in the afternoon but it was hard going with quite a stiff breeze and low temperature.
Only 5 species of moth were found as well as three species of Butterfly. On the bird front it was nice to hear a singing Yellowhammer.

 Adela fibulella

 Dingy Skipper

With news of a rather splendidly plumaged male Ruff on my patch at Swineham we headed off out again after dinner. The resplendent Ruff was soon located and this species is apparently not always an easy one to get in Poole Harbour so it was good to catch up with it. There wasn't an awful lot else to be seen so we carried on out to the point to carry out a bit more sweeping. As with elsewhere it seemed pretty quiet but we caught 30 or so of a micro we didn't recognise so we potted a couple up to id once home. They appear to be Bucculatrix maritima of which only 18 individuals have ever been recorded in Dorset so it seems it is well overlooked.

 Bucculatrix maritima

Otherwise we caught just 2 Elachista argentella and a Coleophora sp.

On reaching the line of bushes between the point and the pits I noticed a rather pretty little moth and swiftly potted it up. Photos of the stunner below.

Eulia ministrana

No moths were harmed in the taking of these photos and they were returned home safely.