Moth Sightings - 2006 Archive - Upper Thames Branch
(Berks, Bucks & Oxon)

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This is an archive of the UTB moth sightings for January to April 2006.

Photographs have been removed to save space.



~ Saturday 29th April 2006 ~


Peter Hall ran his moth trap in Ballinger Common on 25/04/06 which produced the following moth species:

Small Quaker; Common Quaker; Clouded Drab; Hebrew Character; Early Grey; Early Thorn; Purple Thorn; Brindled Pug; Brimstone Moth; Swallow Prominent; Lunar Marbled Brown; Red Chestnut; Blossom Underwing; Nut-tree Tussock; Herald and these micros: Diurnea fagella; Alucita hexadactyla; Agonopterix heracliana.


Wendy & Mick Campbell found a Streamer in their house on Tuesday 25th April.


26/4 - Alastair Driver reports that he had the first session of the year at Ali's Pond LNR, Sonning, on 25th April: “Apart from the usual spring suspects - Clouded Drab, Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Early Grey and Hebrew Character - I had my first Scarce Tissue, Muslin Moth and Brindled Pug of the year. Photos of the Scarce Tissue are below, one of which is the underside, showing the diagnostic dark wavy terminal line on the hindwing and the two dark marks on the costa, as detailed in Skinner.” (The diagnostic marks distinguish the Scarce Tissue from the Tissue.)


Ben Carpenter had a few more moths to add to his report for 24th April: On 24th - 1 Chinese Character and 1 Brindled Beauty. Also, for the 25th April: 1 Brindled Beauty.


Dave Wilton sent this report on 26th April: “On Monday 24th I found five Common Heath moths flying along the disused railway cutting west of Westcott Airfield and another visit there today (26th) produced a total of seven. I also disturbed a Carpet there today but it disappeared into some undergrowth before I could identify it. The Common Heaths seem quite difficult to approach (and can be confused with Dingy Skipper - so beware!). The only reason that I was able to get a picture of this one was that it couldn't fly very well because one of its hindwings was slightly deformed. Last night's trap results were much reduced in number because there was no cloud cover and we nearly had a frost. However, amongst the 12 species caught were four new ones for my garden this year: Streamer, Purple Thorn, Pebble Prominent and Swallow Prominent.”


~ Tuesday 25th April 2006 ~


On 24/04/06 Ben Carpenter sent the following list of moths that he’s recorded since his February report:

25/02/06 - March Moth – Wytham Field Station, in trap

27/02/06 & 09/03/06 - Early Moth - Wytham Field Station, outside trap

10/03/06 & 16/03/06 - Dotted Border - Wytham Field Station, moth trap

24/03/06 - Clouded Drab & Common Quaker - Wolfson College, by outside light

26/03/06 - Common Quaker & Small Quaker - Wytham Field Station, in trap

29/03/06 - The Engrailed - Wytham Woods, flying and Dotted Border - Wolfson College, by outside light

30/03/06 - Hebrew Character - Wytham Field Station, in trap

02/04/06 - Shoulder Stripe - Wytham Field Station, outside trap

06/04/06 - Early Grey - Wolfson College, by outside light and Oak Beauty - Wytham Field Station, in trap

16/04/06 - Twenty-Plume Moth - Wolfson College, by outside light

21/04/06 - Double-striped Pug - Wolfson College, by outside light and Early Grey - Wytham Field Station, in trap

22/04/06 - White-pinion Spotted - Wytham Woods, flying.


On 24th April Danny Howard sent this report: “I saw a colony of nearly full grown Scarlet Tiger caterpillars at the end of the platform at Long Hanborough train station on 20th April. They had nearly demolished a patch of nettles and common comfrey.”


23rd April - Mark Calway provided the following list of species which have been recorded in Berkshire in 2006 but have not yet appeared in the UTB 2006 Species List:

Eriocrania subpurpurella; Agonopterix alstromeriana; Tortricodes alternella; Acleris ferrugana/notana; Acleris cristana; Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum); Grapholita jungiella; Early Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx carpinata); Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata); Oak Nycteoline (Nycteola revayana).


~ Saturday 22nd April 2006 ~


On 21st April Derek Brown recorded the first Nut-tree Tussock of the season in his garden at Beenham. Then on the 22nd April he had a Purple Thorn and Pebble Prominent.


Wendy & Mick Campbell ran their moth trap for a few hours on 22nd April and caught the following:

Common Quaker (6); Early Grey (2), Hebrew Character (1), Early Thorn (1 – very worn), Double-striped Pug (1) and Clouded Drab (1).


Dave Wilton ran an overnight moth trap in his garden in Westcott on 20th April and recorded the following:

Double-striped Pug (1); Early Thorn (2); Engrailed (1); White-marked (1); Small Quaker (34); Powdered Quaker (10); Common Quaker (42); Clouded Drab (13); Hebrew Character (15); Mullein (1); Pale Pinion (1); Early Grey (1); Agonopterix heracliana (1); Acleris hastiana (1); Emmelina monodactyla (2). The White-marked and Mullein are new records for Dave’s garden.


Peter Hall recorded the following moths in his overnight moth trap in Ballinger Common on 21st April:

Small Quaker; Common Quaker; Clouded Drab; Twin-spotted Quaker; Hebrew Character; Double-striped Pug; Dotted Chestnut and one micro: Diurnea fagella.


20th April - Dave Maunder reported a few more moths seen in Aylesbury recently: Chestnut (1), Common Quaker (1), and another 7 Emmelina monodactyla.


~ Wednesday 19th April 2006 ~


Peter Hall added the micro Mompha subbistrigella to this year’s UTB Species List, found in his house in Ballinger Common yesterday, 18th April.


Ched George and Martin Harvey tried to find Barred Tooth-striped at Grangelands yesterday, 18th. No luck, but besides a Water Carpet they were surprised to see a very early Small Waved Umber.


David Redhead sent the following email on 19th April: “Yesterday there was an Early Thorn on my Mother-in-Law's kitchen window. Whilst out dog walking the window cleaner arrived and I returned to find the Early Thorn on the dining room table sitting in a glass covered with perforated cling film. My Mother-in-Law (in her nineties) had ventured forth and rescued it - now not many men can claim to have their Mothers-in-Law that well trained! This morning there was an Engrailed and a Hebrew Character on the same window but no need to worry about the window cleaner.”


~ Tuesday 18th April 2006 ~


18th April - Danny Howard sent the following news: “A bit of a cheat this one but I found a pregnant female Emperor Moth last May and reared the resulting larvae. A female adult hatched overnight Friday and a male and female overnight Saturday (in my shed in Oxford!).”


Ched George recorded a Brindled Beauty on the night of the 15th April.


Keith Mitchell reports: “More of the usual suspects this weekend in the Skinner trap in Stoke Goldington. Blossom Underwing was a bit more unusual on Saturday night, 15th (photo below). This was the third individual in three years of this scarce moth.”


On 16th April - Alastair Driver sent the following: “After a prolonged period of "hibernation" for yours truly, last night (15th) was very belatedly the first night when it hasn't been raining or freezing, when I've had time to set the Robinson trap in my garden at Sonning. Although there were no new garden records, I had a reasonable catch as follows:

Small Quaker 21, Common Quaker 13, Hebrew Character 6, Chestnut 2, and singles of Brindled Beauty, Pine Beauty, Lunar Marbled Brown, Clouded Drab, Epiphyas postvittana and Diurnea fagella.”


Derek Brown had a couple of new Pugs in Beenham overnight on 15th April: Brindled Pug and Double-striped Pug. The following night (16th) he trapped: Brindled Beauty, Lunar Marbled Brown and Powdered Quaker.


On 15th April Dave Wilton’s garden trap at Westcott managed to bring in 199 moths of 18 species:

Shoulder Stripe (2); Early Thorn (2); Oak Beauty (1); Red Chestnut (4); Small Quaker (92); Lead-coloured Drab (2); Powdered Quaker (5); Common Quaker (39); Clouded Drab (11); Twin-spotted Quaker (1); Hebrew Character (24); Early Grey (3); Dark/Grey Dagger (1); Herald (1); Diurnea fagella (2, one melanic); Agonopterix heracliana (5); Alucita hexadactyla (1); Emmelina monodactyla (2).


Welcome to the website, new contributor May Webber, who recorded 8 moth species, two of which are new to this year’s UTB Species List: “As it was so warm on Saturday night 15th April I decided to use the moth trap. I left it on all night and switched the light off at around 7:00am.” The following moths were caught:

Early Thorn (1); Common Quaker (2); Early Grey (4); Hebrew Character (3); Streamer (1); Small Quaker (13); Clouded Drab (3); Powdered Quaker (1).


Friday 14th April – Jan Haseler reports from Tilehurst: “2 Brindled Beauties were new for my garden on Friday 14/4.”


~ Saturday 15th April 2006 ~


14/04/06 – Shirley & John Spencer sent their latest moth records from their garden in Riseley:

“On April 12th - Early Thorn 1, attracted to our outside light.

On April 13th - Our box caught 5 moths: Early Grey 2, Hebrew Character 1, Common Quaker 1, Small Quaker 1.

All these were positively identified, the Small Quaker being a more distinctive specimen this time. My husband has a digital camera and when he is available we try to photograph the moths, not always an easy task! I do the identification, using several good identification books, the UK Moths website or by asking for help (see the Introduction at the top of this page). John made the box, fixed up the electrics and takes the photos, as well as devising ways of catching and keeping the moths while I look at them under the magnifying glass.”


Peter Hall ran his garden moth trap in Ballinger Common on 13th April and recorded the following 11 species:

March Moth; Oak Beauty; Dotted Border; Small Quaker; Common Quaker; Clouded Drab; Twin-spotted Quaker; Hebrew Character; Early Grey and micros: Diurnea fagella and Alucita hexadactyla (Twenty-plume).


Dave Maunder reports that the only moths he’s seen around Aylesbury over the past week were Early Greys (see photos below), on the 9th, 10th and 13th April.


~ Monday 10th April 2006 ~


On 9th April Tony Towner sent the following sightings in from Tilehurst, as follows:

7th April - My first sightings of the year in my garden trap at Tilehurst: Common Quaker (4).

8th April - Unfortunately drowning in the bird bath a lovely Oak Beauty.

9th April - On the ceiling in the bathroom - 1 Common Quaker.


08/04/06 - Derek Brown managed a new moth last night, 7th April, an Early Thorn (see photo below) in his garden in Beenham.


~ Friday 7th April 2006 ~


Jan Haseler sent the following on 07/04/06: “We ran the trap next to sallow blossom at Moor Copse for 2 hours Thursday evening, 6th, and caught 13 species of moth, including White-marked and Water Carpet.”


~ Thursday 6th April 2006 ~


Dave Maunder sent this report on 4th April: “After my early Cabbage moth (see Dave’s report of 30th March), only two more moths from me - a Clouded Drab on 1st April, and Emmelina monodactyla on the 2nd.”


On Monday 4th April David Redhead found this Engrailed sitting on one of the glass panes in his front door:


~ Sunday 2nd April 2006 ~


2nd April – Shirley and John Spencer sent the results of their first catches of the year in their garden at Riseley: “We have upgraded our box and fitted it with an actinic tube instead of an ordinary bulkhead light, which I hope will bring more to the box. On our first attempt with it a month or so ago, we caught nothing, but last night April 1st there were 8 moths, 5 of which I positively identified as Early Grey 1 (a first for me and fortunately easy to identify); Hebrew Character 1; Common Quaker 3. Of the other three, two may have been Clouded Drab, which I have not recorded before and which I know are very variable. The remaining one was small, pale and undistinguished!”


On Friday 31st March Keith Mitchell had an Oak Beauty and an Early Grey attracted to his front door lights in Stoke Goldington.

Then on 2nd April Keith sent the following report: “Yet again my front door lights came up trumps in preference to the Skinner Trap. Last night (Saturday) produced: 2 Small Quaker; 1 Common Quaker; 1 Red Chestnut; 1 Yellow Horned (new moth for me).”


Mark Calway, Jan Haseler and Grahame Hawker spent lunchtime on Friday 31st identifying a bumper crop of moths from the Skinner trap run overnight at Shinfield Park on 30/03/06. The Small Quaker topped the chart with 86 individuals. The Pale Pinion and the plume moth, Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, both appeared on MapMate as “First for the site, 10k square and tetrad”. A summary of the catch follows:

Diurnea fagella  2; Agonopterix heracliana  3; Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla)  1; Amblyptilia acanthadactyla  1; March Moth (Alsophila aescularia)  2; Oak Beauty (Biston strataria)  7; Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria)  2; Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata)  1; Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  86; Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  19; Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  6; Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda)  18; Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  10; Pale Pinion (Lithophane hepatica)  1 and Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)  4; plus two or three species of micro yet to be determined.


30th March – Dave Maunder got home today to find his wife had a Cabbage Moth in a box for him: “Unusually early, isn't it? Strangely enough, about 3 weeks ago I'd dug up a pupa of this species in my back garden (see Dave’s report of 11th March) and today, 30th, Jo had found one on our living room carpet! Possibly upsetting it in the garden made it hatch early? No other moths seen, unfortunately.”

[Peter Hall comments: “It is indeed very early. It’s possible that this one was indoors as a pupa, maybe from vegetables stored inside for example, and has hatched unusually early due to central heating. Attached is the Cabbage Moth distribution graph for adult emergence in Bucks – note that 30th March is week 13.”]


Derek Brown ran his MV trap on 29th March in his garden at Beenham and recorded the following moths:

Common Quaker (4) and singles of Small Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Twin Spotted Quaker, Oak Beauty, and Yellow Horned (see photo above).


~ Monday 27th March 2006 ~


Dave Wilton says things have started to pick up now with 18 moths in his trap at Westcott Saturday night, 25th. “New species here for the UTB list over the past few days have been Clouded Drab, Common Quaker and Lead-coloured Drab.”


Keith Mitchell ran two traps in his Stoke Goldington garden at the weekend (24th/25th) which produced a grand total of 5 moths:  3 Small Quaker; 1 Dotted Border; 1 Grey Shoulder-knot. “A Twin-spotted Quaker preferred the shelter of the front door lights.”


Tony Croft sent the following report on 26th March: “Whilst hammering in fence posts this afternoon at Whitecross Green Wood I disturbed a Herald moth which crawled out of the leaf litter and settled down on the post on which I was working. I'm not sure if I disturbed its hibernation or whether it was just hiding out for the day.”


~ Saturday 25th March 2006 ~


Derek Brown had a new moth turn up in his house in Beenham today, 25th March - a Shoulder Stripe (see photo below).


A couple of moths seen recently in the Aylesbury area by Dave Maunder were: Early Moths (2) on 15th and a Pale Brindled Beauty on the 18th March.


25/03/06 - Peter Hall has sent in his first list of moths for the year. His garden moth trap in Ballinger Common produced the following species on 23rd March: March Moth; Oak Beauty; Hebrew Character; Chestnut and one micro: Agonopterix heracliana.


~ Friday 24th March 2006 ~


Derek Brown chanced the MV trap for a few hours amongst the showers on Friday 24th March and had a Hebrew Character and an Oak Beauty. Both are new for his garden.


~ Tuesday 21st March 2006 ~


20/03/06 – Dave Wilton reports a sign of Spring in his moth trap at Westcott on Sunday 19th with the arrival of his first Hebrew Character of the year: “That and a Chestnut were the only occupants when I emptied the contents this morning, although each time I checked the trap before midnight there seemed to be plenty of activity from flies, midges, lacewings and even a couple of ichneumon wasps.”


~ Wednesday 15th March 2006 ~


The following email came in from Ched George today: “Finally another moth to report. On the night of the 14th March I had an Early Moth, Satellite and Grey Shoulder-knot at MV in Radnage. I’ve seen honey bee and bumble bee, probably Bombus pratorum, today.”


Tony Towner sent the following news on 13th March: “I have only seen one moth in my garden so far in 2006 and that was on 15th February at 17:00. This was a Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas Postvittania) on my Cotoneaster wall shrub.”


~ Saturday 11th March 2006 ~


Dave Maunder recorded the following moths in Aylesbury during the last few weeks:

“Early Moths (2), on 27th February & 9th March and Pale Brindled Beauties (2) on 8th & 10th March. Two pupae I found were Cabbage Moth pupa, dug up in my garden, and a Pale Tussock pupa found at work on a beer-crate.”


~ Friday 10th March 2006 ~


On David Redhead’s return home from the Berks Moth Group on 9th March he found a Pale Brindled Beauty settled on the porch.


Dave Wilton has at last had some activity around his trap at Westcott: “On Monday 6th March: Pale Brindled Beauty (2), Agonopterix heracliana (2) and on Tuesday 7th March: Early Moth (1), Chestnut (1), Agonopterix heracliana (1)”.


Derek Brown had his first moth of the season on 6th March: “Not new to your list as it was a Dotted Border, but new for me. It was sitting on the front door” (see photo below):


~ Friday 24th February 2006 ~


22nd Feb - Dave Maunder had three moths to report from last week: “ 2 Early moths and 1 Emmelina monodactyla. I wish the weather would get a bit milder!”


On 22/02/06 Ched George reported that he and Dave Wilton were searching for Brown Hairstreak ova at a farm site near Chinnor, at Hinton Crossing. As expected, no luck; but they did find 4 egg batches of Blue-bordered Carpet moth.


22/02/06 - Dave Wilton’s oecophorid on 12th February turned out to be Agonopterix heracliana and he’s had a couple more of them in the house since then. “The trap at Westcott continues to bring in zero returns. This is a little disappointing as whenever I drive past Holly Wood, Bernwood Forest and Rushbeds Wood after dark on my way home from work my car headlights always seem to find moths, usually of more than one species.”


~ Sunday 19th February 2006 ~


On 18th February – Peter Hall reports a March Moth at his window in Ballinger Common.


Jan Haseler found Agonopterix heracliana at her dining room window in Tilehurst on Wednesday 15th February.


~ Friday 17th February 2006 ~


Ched George recorded ran his trap on the night of Feb 13th and recorded the following moths: 1 Early Moth, 1 Pale Brindled Beauty and 1 Spring Usher. “I am a long way from the nearest oak and the Spring Usher was the first in my garden since arriving in Radnage in 1990.”


Dave Wilton got his first February moths in his overnight moth trap at Westcott on 12th February: “The grand total was four, comprising Small Brindled Beauty (1), Pale Brindled Beauty (1), Chestnut (1) and an Oecophorid micro which has yet to be identified.”


~ Sunday 12th February 2006 ~


11/02/06 - Ben Carpenter sent in the following list and a couple of photos of moths that he’s recorded so far this year:

Winter Moth, Wytham- Field Station, 02/01/06, in moth trap

Mottled Umber, Wytham- Field Station, 03/01/06, outside the moth trap

Winter Moth, Wytham- Field Station, 04/01/06, in moth trap

Winter Moth, Wolfson College, 11/01/06, by outside light

Winter Moth, Wolfson College, 19/01/06, by outside light

Early Moth, Wytham- Field Station, 02/02/06, outside the moth trap

Early Moth, Wytham- Field Station, 09/02/06, outside the moth trap

Pale Brindled Beauty, Wytham- Field Station, 09/02/06, outside the moth trap.


~ Wednesday 8th February 2006 ~


08/02/06 - Jan Haseler spotted a Dotted Border on an exterior wall at Shinfield Park this morning, 8th February.


Dave Maunder reported the following recent sightings from Aylesbury:Emmelina monodactyla (1) on the 5th; also two Large Yellow Underwing larvae while digging my allotment in Ardenham lane on the 5th and a Ruby Tiger larva climbing up the wall of my old flats at Dormer close on the 7th.”


~ Sunday 5th February 2006 ~


31/01/06 - After a couple of zero returns over the previous two weeks, Dave Wilton’s trap at Westcott brought in two male Early Moths.


~ Sunday 29th January 2006 ~


Dave Wilton says his unidentified tortrix from the 18th January has now been confirmed as Acleris hastiana.


Jan Haseler took the following photo of a Spring Usher in Shinfield Park on 19th January:


~ Sunday 22nd January 2006 ~


Dave Wilton ran his overnight trap at Westcott on 18th January: “The warmest night of the year to date succeeded in getting Pale Brindled Beauty (1), Chestnut (1), Dark Chestnut (2) and an as yet unidentified tortrix. The only other species from three earlier sessions in the month were Winter Moth and Mottled Umber.”


The following was received from Dave Maunder on 19th January: “After a mild night on 18th Jan, I could only muster three moths - 2 Emmelina monodactyla, and a late Winter moth in Aylesbury.”


~ Saturday 14th January 2006 ~


12/01/06 – Dave Maunder reports his first sightings of the year from Aylesbury:Emmelina monodactyla (1)- on new year’s day; Winter Moths (2)- 3rd and 5th; Mottled Umber (1)- 4th and Chestnut moth (1), on 12th January. No butterflies as yet!”


~ Wednesday 4th January 2006 ~


03/01/06 - Jan Haseler offers her first 2006 moth sighting of 2006 - a Winter Moth on an external wall at Shinfield Park, 3rd January. Then, on 4th January, 2 Mottled Umbers and 3 Winter Moths at Shinfield Park, 1 Light Brown Apple Moth indoors.


02/01/06 - Susan Nicholls took the following photo of a Drinker Moth caterpillar at the Brown Hairstreak Egg Hunt held in Bernwood Forest on Monday 2nd January:


01/01/06 - Peter Hall kicks off the new year with a Pale Brindled Beauty seen in Great Missenden on January 1st 2006.




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