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Moth Sightings Archive - January to May 2008

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~ Thursday 5th June 2008 ~

Keith Mitchell, Stoke Goldington, sent this moth report on 4th June: "The better conditions before the rain at the weekend produced garden firsts on 31st May: The Shears and Cochlylis atricapitana, plus a Lychnis, new to UTB this year. Other moths caught: Brimstone, Broken-barred Carpet, Buff-tip, Common carpet (2), Common Marbled Carpet (2), Common Swift (8), Epiblema cynosbatella, The Flame (2), Flame Shoulder (4), Garden Carpet, Garden Pebble (2), Green Carpet (9) - a record, Heart and Dart (4), Large Nutmeg (24), Light-brown Apple Moth (2), Marbled Minor agg (6), Middle-barred Minor (2), Mottled Pug (4), Pale Mottled Willow (2), Pale Tussock, Rustic Shoulder-knot (11), Scorched Wing, Setaceous Hebrew Character (4), Shuttle-shaped Dart, Small Magpie (3), Small Square-spot (8), The Spectacle (3), Swallow Prominent, Treble Lines (4), Vine's Rustic (2) and White Ermine (2).

Lychnis
Photo © Keith Mitchell

Maureen Cross reported that the following moths were seen during the Lardon Chase Field Meeting on 31st May: Heart & Dart 1, Burnet Companion 4, Yellow Shell 5, Common Carpet 1, Mother Shipton 2 and two grass moths Thisanotia chrysonuchella 16, Crambus lathoniellus 1.

Ched George reported the following moths in his garden trap at Radnage, Bucks on 30th May: Small Waved Umber (2), Poplar Grey and Orange Footman (2).

Nigel Partridge found another moth which isn't on the sightings year list yet: Lime-speck Pug, Loosley Row, 30-05-08.

May Webber ran two moth traps in her garden near Witney, Oxon on 28th & 30th May:
28th May - Green Silver-lines x1, Common Marbled Carpet x2, Common Wainscot x4, Shuttle-shaped Darts x4, Treble Lines x6, Garden Carpet x1, Shears x2, Rustic Shoulder-knot x1, Clouded Silver x1, Flame Shoulder x3, Setaceous Hebrew Character x1, Scalloped Hazel x1, Silver-ground Carpet x1, Double-striped Pug x1, Vine's Rustic x1, Red-green Carpet (very raggy) x1, Water Carpet x1.
30th May - Green Carpet x6, Scorched Wing x2, Rustic Shoulder-knot x6, Brimstone Moth x1, Treble Lines x7, Flame Shoulder x8, Pale Tussock x5, Scalloped Hazel x1, Common Wainscot x9, Shuttle-shaped Dart x6, Shears x4, Heart and Dart x3, Setaceous Hebrew Character x2, Large Nutmeg x2, Marbled Minor agg.x2 (Darker Brown version being one of them), Common Marbled Carpet x2, Common White Wave x1, Swallow Prominent x1, Bright-line Brown-eye x1, White Ermine x1, Vine's Rustic x1, Red-green Carpet x1, Pebble Hook-tip x1, Snout x1, Pale Prominent x1.

Dave Wilton spent three hours at Finemere Wood, Bucks on 29th May: "The moth trap produced Nemophora degeerella (1), Scrobipalpa costella (1), Teleiodes luculella (1), Ptycholoma lecheana (1), Celypha lacunana (1), Hedya pruniana/Plum Tortrix (8), Epiblema cynosbatella (2), Common Swift (3), Pebble Hook-tip (2), Chinese Character (1), Cream Wave (7), Silver-ground Carpet (2), Broken-barred Carpet (4), Green Carpet (29), Mottled Pug (4), Small White Wave (1), Seraphim (1), Clouded Border (2), Scorched Wing (6), Brimstone Moth (5), Scalloped Hazel (1), Pale Oak Beauty (12), Brindled White-spot (5), Common Wave (6), Common White Wave (2), Clouded Silver (5), Lime Hawk-moth (1), Eyed Hawk-moth (1), Poplar Hawk-moth (1), Pebble Prominent (1), Swallow Prominent (1), Coxcomb Prominent (1), Pale Prominent (1), Marbled Brown (16), Great Prominent (1), Pale Tussock (16), Orange Footman (18), White Ermine (5), Flame Shoulder (5), Small Square-spot (9), Alder Moth (2, photo below), Angle Shades (1), Treble Lines (2), Marbled White Spot (10) & Straw Dot (3). My first Marbled Minor sp of the year was also trapped there, as were several other micro-moth species, all of which still require close inspection to confirm identity.
Further new arrivals for this year to my garden trap at Westcott, Bucks have included: Hedya pruniana/Plum Tortrix & Peppered Moth (both on 27th May), plus Elachista canapennella, Aproaerema anthyllidella, Acentria ephemerella/Water Veneer, Blood-vein, Scorched Wing, Elephant Hawk-moth, Flame, Common Wainscot & Middle-barred Minor (all on 30th May). The UTB field trip to Lardon Chase, Berks (see report above by Maureen Cross) on 31st May produced daytime flying Thisanotia chrysonuchella, a visit to a private site further south in Berkshire in the afternoon added Drab Looper, while a trapping session that night in BBOWT's River Ray Reserves brought in more than 40 species which included Elachista maculicerusella, Cataclysta lemnata/Small China-mark and Miller."

Alder Moth
Photo © Dave Wilton

~ Thursday 29th May 2008 ~

This afternoon, Thursday 29th May, David Redhead found his first Straw Dot of the year on some grassland near his house in Littlemore, Oxon.

Nigel Partridge says he had quite a good night's mothing at Loosley Row, Bucks on 27th May, before the storm arrived: "A new species for our garden was a Brindled White-spot (photo below) which I don't think is on the list yet. Other species were: Green Carpet, Angle Shades, Brimstone, Treble Lines, Orange Footman, Mottled Pug, Scalloped Hazel, Brown Rustic and a micro that I've yet to get an ID on."

Brindled White-spot
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Ched George ran his garden moth trap in Radnage on the night of 26th May and had his first Setaceous Hebrew Character of the season.

On 26th May Adam Bassett reported that he ran his Marlow Bottom (Bucks) garden trap on May 23rd and caught 23 moths! "1 Mocha, 1 Vine's Rustic and 1 Buff-tip are currently new to the list."

Alastair Driver set the Robinson trap in his garden at home in Sonning on 22nd May: "I caught only 7 species but added Marbled Brown (see photo at top of page) to my garden list and Setaceous Hebrew Character, Pale Prominent and Pale Tussock to my yearlist. Then on 23rd May I set the trap at a lovely property called Rose Garden in Sonning and caught 19 macro species. The following were new to my yearlist: Least Black Arches, Flame Carpet (photo at top of page), Clouded Border (photo at top of page), Spruce Carpet, Light Brocade, Small Square-spot, Cabbage Moth, Shears, Green Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Treble-lines and Broken-barred Carpet. Also caught the micro Evergestis forficalis (Garden Pebble)."

Buttoned Snout
Photo © Alastair Driver
Pale Prominent
Photo © Alastair Driver

Evergestis forficalis
Photo © Alastair Driver
Broken-barred Carpet
Photo © Alastair Driver

Dave Wilton sent this report of his recent moth sightings: "Daytime fliers recorded in Bucks over the past couple of weeks have included Opsibotys fuscalis (14th May) at BBOWT's Lapland Farm Meadows, Anthophila fabriciana/Nettle-tap Moth & Celypha lacunana (both 17th May) near Waddesdon Manor, Silver-Y (18th May) in BBOWT's River Ray Reserve, Lathronympha strigana (19th May) near Ludgershall, Crambus lathoniellus (21st May) at Grangelands, the very pretty tortrix Commophila aeneana (22nd May) near the Calvert land-fill site and Chimney Sweeper (23rd May) near Salden Wood. New species for the garden trap at Westcott which may not yet have made the UTB list include Scrobipalpa costella (15th May), Udea olivalis & Buff Ermine (both 17th May) and Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie and Heart & Dart (both 23rd May). On the latter date the tiny micro Phyllonorycter leucographella emerged from a leaf mine I'd found on one of our pyracantha bushes. It measured just under 3mm from head to wing-tip. Amongst the moths trapped at other sites have been Poplar Lutestring, Clouded Border, Common Wave & Common White Wave all at Rushbeds Wood (BBOWT) on 21st May and Eulia ministrana & Epiblema cynosbatella at a private site in Kingswood on 22nd May."

Commophila aeneana
Photo © Dave Wilton
Phyllonorycter leucographella
Photo © Dave Wilton
Poplar Lutestring
Photo © Dave Wilton

David Redhead was rather pleased when he examined the contents of his overnight garden moth trap on the morning of Friday 23rd May: It was his best trap to date this year with 90 macro-moths from 36 species with 16 additions to his 2008 garden list. The newcomers were Small Seraphim (4), Spectacle (4), Mottled Pug (2), Poplar Grey (2), Small Phoenix (2), Angle Shades (1), Chinese Character (1), Clouded-bordered Brindle (1), Common Pug (1), Common Swift (1), Freyer's Pug (1), Marbled Minor spp (1), May Highflyer (1), Rustic Shoulder-knot (1), Sandy Carpet (1) & Tawny-barred Angle (1). Previous visitors were Green Carpet (17), Treble Lines (7), Flame Shoulder (5), Chocolate-tip (4), White Ermine (4), Common Marbled Carpet (3), Swallow Prominent (3), Brimstone (2), Clouded Silver (2), Common Carpet (2), Orange Footman (2), Pale Prominent (2), Pale Tussock (2), Poplar Kitten (2), Red Twin-spot Carpet (2), White-spotted Pug (2), Bright-line Brown-eye (1), Brown Rustic (1), Least Black Arches (1) & Mottled Beauty (1). That evening he found a Small Yellow Underwing in the grassland between his house in Littlemore and the Oxford ring road - a first for this site.

25th May - Ched George sent the following update: "My overnight moth trap results for 22nd May (see report below) also produced a form of Eulia ministrana which I have not seen before, hence the delay."

Dave Ferguson's walk in the area of Black Park (Bucks) around the heathland on Saturday morning 24th May produced about 20 Speckled Yellows and c10 Common Heaths.

~ Saturday 24th May 2008 ~

Peter Holland (Wallingford) sent the following two reports today, 24th May: "23 May 2008: A Poplar Hawk-moth larva collected last year (2 September 2007) in Cholsey emerged from its pupa this evening - it turned out to be a female of the unusual buff-coloured form. I have never seen this variant before; it really is quite striking. I released it onto an apple tree in my garden (in Wallingford) where it immediately crawled up the trunk to about 3 metres. When checked in the morning it was still there, but now paired with a male Poplar Hawk-moth of the normal colouration (see photo).
23 May 2008: Ran my moth trap last night (Wallingford), finding: Shuttle-shaped dart (7), Treble lines, Brindled Pug (2), Light Brocade (2), Garden Carpet, Spectacle, Green Carpet, Rustic Shoulder-knot (2), Common Pug. Fortunately, a Poplar Hawk must have flown straight past, preferring to follow the scent of the female above!"

Poplar Hawkmoth pr.
Photo © Peter Holland

Nigel Partridge sent this report on 24th May: "This one is a new species for our garden - Tinea trinotella on 23-05-08. Also on the same night, Evergestis forficalis (Garden Pebble)."

Tinea trinotella
Photo © Nigel Partridge

On 23rd May Ched George reported a daytime record of: "A Pale Oak Beauty at Saunderton on the 13th May followed by a Cinnabar on the 20th. The night of the 22nd brought an Alder Moth, Silver-ground Carpet and Figure-of-eighty to light in Radnage (plus 30 ichneumons - where are they all coming from?)."

Keith Mitchell's Stoke Goldington garden moth trap on 22nd May produced a slightly greater variety than recently: "It included The Campion (photo below), Brimstone, Common Swift, Large Nutmeg, Pale Tussock, Small Square-spot, The Spectacle and Shuttle-shaped Dart."

The Campion
Photo © Keith Mitchell

Adam Bassett, Marlow Bottom (Bucks), sent this update on 23rd May: "Unfortunately, almost a complete absence of mothing so far this year, with the trap only run once so far. However, I noticed the species list is missing Pretty Chalk Carpet, a moth which came to my kitchen window recently (approx. May 14th)."

On Thursday morning, 22nd May, Upper Thames Branch members, David Redhead & Thomas Merckx assisted Earthwatch volunteers from HSBC Bank, who are helping Oxford University Wild CRU to study the effects of woodland fragmentation and climate change on woodland species, identify the contents of six 6W Heath traps they had set up in Wytham Woods near Oxford. A total of 50 macro-moths from 17 species were identified including an Ingrailed Clay and a Coronet, which are both firsts for the UTB 2008 list.

Ingrailed Clay
Photo © David Redhead

Mike Wilkins did his Lardon Chase, Berks, transect on 22nd May: "Along with the butterflies seen were the following moths - Common Carpet, several Yellow Shells and a Common Swift."

Mick & Wendy Campbell visited Yoesden Bank on Wednesday 21st May: Moths seen were Mother Shipton (1, fresh), Burnet Companion (5) and a Treble-bar (1) along with some unconfirmed Pyraustas.

Tony Towner ran his Tilehurst, Reading, garden moth trap on the 9th May: "Here are my sightings - Waved Umber (1), Lime Hawkmoth (2, both males), Scalloped Hazel (1), Brimstone Moth (7), Light Brown Apple (6), Common Quaker (1), Foxglove Pug (1), Brindled Pug (1 + 6 probables), Aethes smeathmanniana (1)."

~ Wednesday 21st May 2008 ~

On 20th May, Peter Hall had Argyresthia trifasciata in his garden in Ballinger, Bucks.

Keith Mitchell sent this news on 20th May: "I'm excited because I actually had a moth at the front door lights last night so it had to be photographed this morning - a Mottled Pug. The Skinner trap managed just 1 Flame Shoulder and 1 Shuttle-shaped Dart but we did have a frost in Stoke Goldington (Bucks)."

Mottled Pug
Photo © Keith Mitchell

On Sunday on 18th May, David Redhead noted a number of moths while out walking: "After a few dismal days it was nice to see the sun shining this morning and my early morning dog walk in Littlemore, Oxon, produced two Common Carpets by 8:40am. Later in the morning Wendy and I went to Chilswell Valley, an outcrop of calcareuos grassland immediately to the west of Oxford. 4 species of moth were seen - six Common Heath and singletons of Mother Shipton, Common Carpet & Lesser Treble-bar. Back home in the garden our broad beans were playing host to a Lesser Yellow Underwing caterpillar and a Pyrausta Aurata. I think it is the year of the Green Carpet - at 7.45pm on 20th May there were dozens flying above the nettles and coarse grass near my house. An order of magnitude greater than I have noticed in previous years. Not that many of them are all that green any more."

Lesser Treble-bar
Photo © David Redhead
Lesser Yellow Underwing caterpillar
Photo © David Redhead
Pyrausta Aurata
Photo © David Redhead

The following came from Mark Calway on 17th May: "Amongst other seasonal moths in the garden trap (Earley, Reading) last night (16th May) I got one, Aspilapteryx tringipennella, which was new to my garden. The larvae of this micro feed on plantain - and my "lawn" comprises ribwort plantain instead of grass in places so perhaps it is a resident?? I also spotted these two moths, a Small Dusty Wave and Argyresthia trifasciata, in my garden between showers today, Saturday 17th May."

Small Dusty Wave
Photo © Mark Calway
Argyresthia trifasciata
Photo © Mark Calway

David Redhead sent the following report on 15th May: "My overnight garden moth trap (Littlemore, Oxon) contained six additions to my 2008 list - two Treble-lines and singletons of Bright-line Brown-eye, Brown Rustic, Mottled Beauty, Scalloped Hazel & Yellow-barred Brindle. The books give June as the start of the flight period for Brown Rustic & Mottled Beauty and I have never caught them before in May - so perhaps a sign that the recent gorgeous weather has accelerated the season. Previous visitors were Poplar Hawkmoth (7), Green Carpet (5), Flame Shoulder (5), Swallow Prominent (5), Chocolate-tip (2) & Orange Footman (1). The number of Poplar Hawks is also exceptional for this time of year as I usually have to wait until July before I get this sort of number."

Yellow-barred Brindle
Photo © David Redhead

Peter Hall's garden moth trap in Ballinger, Bucks, on 10th May produced: Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Brimstone Moth, Brindled Pug, Chinese Character, Esperia sulphurella, Flame Shoulder, Green Carpet, Hebrew Character, Nut-tree Tussock, Pale Pinion, Scalloped Hazel, Small Fan-foot, Small Phoenix, Syndemis musculana, Waved Umber, White Ermine, White-pinion Spotted and Yellow-barred Brindle.

The following batch of moths came from Dave Maunder on 15th May: "On 10th May I ran my garden m.v. trap (Aylesbury, Bucks) and caught:- Lime Hawk-moth (1); Least Black Arches (1); Buttoned Snout (1); Muslin moths (2); Swallow Prominent (1); Early Grey (1); Poplar Grey (1); Grey Dagger agg.(1); Spectacle moth (2); Pebble Hook-tip (1); Scalloped Hazel (1); Brimstone moths (11); Green Carpet (1); Garden Carpet (1); Double-striped Pug (1); Currant Pug (1). The day before I found numerous Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Moths (Cameraria ohridella) on Chestnuts along Ellen road in Aylesbury, seemingly ovipositing on the leaves! And finally I found another Least Black Arches at Walton court shops on the 11th."

Buttoned Snout
Photo © Dave Maunder
Swallow Prominent
Photo © Dave Maunder
Scalloped Hazel
Photo © Dave Maunder

~ Saturday 17th May 2008 ~

The following moth species turned up in Nigel Partridge's garden on 13th May: Square Spot, 13-05-08, Loosley Row.

Square Spot
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Keith Mitchell sent this news on 13th May: "Not many moths flying outside, but on Monday morning (12th) I discovered this pristine Scorched Carpet on a wall inside the house!"

Scorched Carpet
Photo © Keith Mitchell

Dave Ferguson reported the following moth trap results: "On 11th May after my moth trap had been running for an hour I decided to inspect it to see if it had actually caught anything. To my alarm a Hornet was ready to fall into the trap so I hurriedly switched it off. In the morning I gingerly inspected the egg boxes. No hornet (thank goodness), several cockchafers (as usual) and just one moth - an Iron Prominent (thanks to Martin Albertini for identifying it - the sideways view in the guide baffled me). A photo is below. Last night's trapping (13th May) produced 5 moths: Flame Shoulder, Hebrew Character, Brimstone, Shuttle-shaped Dart and Treble Lines. As the last isn't on your year list I assume it's the first."

Iron Prominent
Photo © Dave Ferguson

12th May - Dave Wilton says that things have continued to improve in his garden at Westcott: "Each catch over the past week has produced a minimum of thirty species. Most of the new arrivals on the scene have already been covered by others, although Hypsopygia costalis/Gold Triangle and Spectacle (both 5th May), Cochylis atricapitana & Poplar Grey (both 9th May) and Broken-barred Carpet, Mottled Pug & Clouded-bordered Brindle (all 11th May) may still be new to the UTB list. Away from the garden, a trapping session at Finemere Wood on 4th May brought in 42 species, of which the micros Incurvaria masculella & Syndemis musculana are worth mentioning. The only other noteworthy moths there were Plutella xylostella/Diamond-back Moth (a pair, my first migrants of the year) and Pine Beauty. Another session at Finemere Wood with Peter Hall on 10th May produced a similar number of species, including my first of Pseudococcyx posticana, Phoenix, Clouded Silver, Lime Hawk-moth & Marbled Brown for 2008. Moth species active or disturbed during the daytime in the disused railway cutting west of Westcott Airfield on 12th May comprised Adela reaumurella, Elachista argentella, Aethes hartmanniana (awaiting confirmation), Pyrausta purpuralis, Common Carpet, Green Carpet, Common Heath, Cinnabar & Burnet Companion. The Aethes species tortrix was quite a stunner and is illustrated below. Further day-flying species seen on 13th May included Grass Rivulet, Common Carpet, Green Carpet & Small Yellow Underwing at Bernwood Meadows, Bucks along with Micropterix calthella & Glyphipterix simpliciella/Cocksfoot Moth at Finemere Wood, Bucks. The latter two species can be found by inspecting buttercup flowers."

Aethes hartmanniana
Photo © Dave Wilton

Mark Calway sent this news on 11th May: "This weekend (10th and 11th May) the tiny plume moth Adaina microdactyla has been flying in my Reading garden during the day and the evening."

David & Wendy Redhead went to Hartslock on the afternoon of 11th May: "Along with the butterflies seen, and where the main concentration of wild strawberries are, I did come across a Mother Shipton and about 4 Pyrausta nigrata."

~ Sunday 11th May 2008 ~

On 10th May Tom Stevenson reported as follows: "At last more than a single moth in my trap last night, 9th May!Pebble Hook-tip, Garden Carpet (2), Hebrew Character, Early Grey and Common Pug. Hardly earth shattering but a couple new for the garden."

Pebble Hook-tip
Photo © Tom Stevenson

This news came from Mark Calway yesterday, 10th May: "I saw a male and a female Small Yellow Underwing (Panemeria tenebrata) today - 10 May 2008 near to J11 of the M4 (Shinfield, Nr Reading)."

Keith Mitchell sent this report on 10th May: "Moth numbers and variety in Stoke Goldington (Bucks) are decimated compared with previous years. In seemingly perfect conditions last night (9th May) my trap just managed: 1 Green Carpet, 7 Muslin, 11 Hebrew Character, 1 Chocolate Tip, 1 Early Grey, 1 late Clouded Drab (dark phase)."

Ched George's Radnage (Bucks) moth trap gave: White-spotted Pug, Oak Hook-tip, White Ermine and Yellow-barred Brindle on 9th May.

David Redhead sent the following email on 9th May: "The recent good weather at last seems to be having an effect on the moth population in my garden (Littlemore, Oxon) with a record catch last night, 8th May, for the year of 41 macro-moths from 21 species including my first Poplar Hawk-moth of the year. Other firsts for the year were singletons of Flame Carpet, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Red Twin-spot Carpet, V-Pug & White Ermine. The most numerous was the Swallow Prominent with 6."

Poplar Hawk-moth
Photo © David Redhead

Alastair Driver set his Robinson trap in a large private garden in Sonning, Berks, for the first time on 7th May: "I caught the following new to my yearlist : Buttoned Snout (only my second record for the parish), Shuttle-shaped Dart, Swallow Prominent, Poplar Hawk-moth and Dark Sword-grass. I also caught Hebrew Character, Muslin Moth, Common Quaker, Brimstone Moth and Angle Shades. Numbers are still well down on previous years and I presume that is due to last year's very wet summer which must have decimated adult survival and thus breeding."

Nigel Partridge reports that things are continuing to improve in Loosley Row, Bucks: "On 07-05-08 I had Depressaria pastinacella/D.heraclei (Parsnip Moth), White Ermine, Bright-line Brown-eye, Garden Carpet and White-spotted Pug."

Mick & Wendy Campbell visited the BBOWT Reserve at Seven Barrows in Berkshire on 7th May and saw Ruby Tigers, the third of which was trying to join in with this mating pair!

Ruby Tigers (mating pair)
Photo © Wendy Campbell

Peter Hall sent the following report: "On 4th May my Ballinger garden moth trap produced : Alucita hexadactyla (Twenty-plume), Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth), Barred Hook-tip, Flame Carpet, Brindled Pug, V-Pug, Double-striped Pug, Scorched Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Waved Umber, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Lunar Marbled Brown, Pale Tussock, Orange Footman, Muslin, Least Black Arches, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Pale Pinion, Early Grey and Nut-tree Tussock."

Early Grey
Photo © Peter Hall
Flame Carpet
Photo © Peter Hall
Scorched Carpet
Photo © Peter Hall

~ Saturday 10th May 2008 ~

Dave Wilton and Dennis Dell visited Ivinghoe Beacon, Steps Hill and Pitstone Hill, Bucks on 7th May looking for butterflies. "Day-flying moths included Adela reaumurella, Burnet Companion & Small Purple-barred."

Peter Holland wrote this on 7th May: "I ran my moth trap in Wallingford (Oxon) for the first time this year on 27th April 2008 recording Hebrew Character (3), Brimstone moths (2), Double-Striped Pug (2), Brindled Pug, Clouded Drab, Purple Bar and Pinion-Spotted Pug. The latter is a Nationally Scarce species, recorded rarely in our area. Photograph below."

Pinion-Spotted Pug
Photo © Peter Holland

On 7th May Nigel Partridge reported the following moths, all seen at Loosley Row, Bucks: Yellow-barred Brindle 03-05-08, Alucita hexadactyla 04-05-08, Cameraria ohridella 06-05-08 (daytime), Pale Tussock 06-05-08 and Aphomia sociella 06-05-08 (photo below). It seems very odd, when everything else has been so late this year, to catch Aphomia sociella this early. It was early June last year before I saw one."

Aphomia sociella
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Danny Howard sent this news on 7th May: "Angle Shades and Currant Pug both seen in the garden (Temple Cowley, Oxon) on Sunday 5th May. The Angle Shades was newly hatched and drying its wings."

Angle Shades
Photo © Danny Howard
Currant Pug
Photo © Danny Howard

David Redhead ran his moth trap again in his Littlemore, Oxon garden on 5th May: "I located the trap in a new hotspot behind the veggie garden - but it did not prove so hot due to lower temperature than the previous night - 11 species again mainly singletons - 5 new for my garden this year - Common Carpet, Green Carpet, Muslin Moth, Pale Tussock & Poplar Kitten. Previous visitors : Brimstone, Brindled Beauty, Least Black Arches (2), Nut-tree Tussock, Swallow Prominent (2) & Waved Umber. (Poplar Kitten confirmed by Martin Townsend as it's a bit early and even so a bit the worse for wear.)"

Muslin Moth
Photo © David Redhead
Waved Umber
Photo © David Redhead

On a visit to the disused railway west of Westcott, Bucks on 5th May Dave Wilton recorded the following: "Moths included Esperia sulphurella, Pyrausta purpuralis, Common Carpet & Common Heath (six seen, evenly split between males and females).

Ched George sent this update on 5th May: "Had a Lobster Moth, Pale Prominent and a Clouded Brindle in the Radnage trap on the night of the 4th May. I have had an amazing 20 ichneumons come to light over the last 2 nights, too. Much work for Gavin Broad at the Natural History Museum, who is the curator of hymenoptera there."

In spite of heavyish rain moving in overnight on 4th May, David Redhead ran his overnight garden moth trap in Littlemore, Oxon: "I managed to add one species to my garden all time list - Water Carpet (1) - and nine to my 2008 list - Waved Umber (2) and singletons of Brindled Pug, Chocolate Tip, Common Marbled Carpet, Double-striped Pug, Iron Prominent, Orange Footman, Pale Prominent & White-spotted Pug. Another seven previous visitors brought the total macro-moth species count to 17 - Swallow Prominent (3), Nut-tree Tussock (2), and singletons of Brimstone Moth, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Least Black Arches, Seraphim.
Also, I went to Hartslock on Friday afternoon, 2nd May, and saw my first day flying macro-moth of the year - a Common Carpet."

Peter Hall sent the following report on 4th May: "3 MV traps and 1 Actinic were run at Littleworth Common on Saturday May 3rd as part of a Bucks Invertebrate Group meeting. Here are the results from 2 of the MV traps: Brindled Pug, Orange Footman, Frosted Green, Yellow-barred Brindle, Maiden's Blush, Nut-tree Tussock, Great Prominent, Brown Silver-line, Pebble Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Pine Beauty, Chestnut, Hebrew Character, Pale Tussock, Grey Birch, May Highflyer, Eriocrania subpurpurella, Plutella xylostella, Epinotia immundana and Common Quaker."

~ Tuesday 6th May 2008 ~

Tom Stevenson ran his trap overnight on 3rd May: "A 25w Blacklight Blue bulb sited under my car port in Benson, Oxon. Just a single moth - a Shuttle-shaped Dart."

Shuttle-shaped Dart
Photo © Tom Stevenson

Dave Wilton sent this moth report on 4th May: "New species to my garden trap at Westcott, Bucks over the past few days have included Chocolate-tip & Muslin Moth (both 1st May), Currant Pug, Swallow Prominent & Mullein (all 2nd May) and Spruce Carpet, Puss Moth & Knot Grass (all 3rd May). The Puss Moth is an addition to my all-time garden list. Day-flying species seen on 3rd May comprised Cydia succedana near Greatmoor, Bucks and Grapholita jungiella, Pyrausta purpuralis (confirmed) & Common Heath in the disused railway cutting west of Westcott Airfield. I took the MV trap to Rushbeds Wood, Bucks on 3rd May and my three hours there produced 118 moths of 43 species, by far the best session for variety that I've had anywhere so far this year. Species new to me for 2008 included Pebble Hook-tip, Chinese Character, Small Phoenix, Common Pug, Small White Wave, Scorched Carpet, Grey Birch, White-pinion Spotted, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Pale Prominent, Orange Footman & Nut-tree Tussock (20)."

Orange Footman
Photo © Dave Wilton
Puss Moth
Photo © Dave Wilton
White-pinion Spotted
Photo © Dave Wilton

Derek Brown had an early Green Carpet overnight on 3rd May at Beenham (Berks).

Green Carpet
Photo © Derek Brown

Ched George visited a site near to Lodge Hill on 3rd May and recorded: Red Twin-spot Carpet 1, Pyrausta aurata 2.

30th April - Moths seen recently around Aylesbury by Dave Maunder include: Nut-tree tussock (1); Hebrew character (4); Light-brown apple moths (4), and Emmelina monodactyla (4).

~ Tuesday 29th April 2008 ~

The Berkshire Moth Group had a walk round Thatcham Reedbeds on 20th April. Jan Haseler sent this report today of their findings: 19 Scarlet Tiger caterpillars on comfrey leaves, 1 Angle Shades, 1 Balsam Carpet and 3 Psyche casta larvae.

Alastair Driver set the Robinson trap at Ali's Pond LNR in Sonning on Saturday night, 26th April: "I added to my (so far) pathetic year list: Lunar Marbled Brown, Pine Beauty, Clouded Drab, Nut-tree Tussock, Powdered Quaker and Brindled Pug."

Dave Wilton has been out and about with his moth traps again and sent this update on 28th April: "Mothing results have continued to show signs of improvement in woodland but elsewhere the season still seems reluctant to get going! On 24th April an actinic trap in my garden at Westcott, Bucks produced just six moths of four species, while on 26th April the same trap managed eleven moths of nine species but they included Epinotia immundana, Emperor (a female, my first ever to light) and Pebble Prominent. Three hours at Finemere Wood on 25th April brought in 127 moths of 27 species from three traps but the only new species for the year was Purple Thorn. However, trapping for the same length of time in a private wood at Kingswood, Bucks on 26th April with a single MV attracted 144 moths of 29 species: Eriocrania sp. (6), Semioscopis steinkellneriana (2), Pammene argyrana (1), Frosted Green (43), Shoulder Stripe (1), Streamer (1), Water Carpet (10), Red-green Carpet (1), Brindled Pug (9), V-Pug (1), Double-striped Pug (1), Seraphim (3), Brimstone Moth (1), Brindled Beauty (1), Waved Umber (1), Engrailed (3), Sallow Kitten (1), Swallow Prominent (1), Coxcomb Prominent (1), Lunar Marbled Brown (4), Great Prominent (2), Least Black Arches (4), Small Quaker (15), Common Quaker (19), Clouded Drab (1), Twin-spotted Quaker (1), Hebrew Character (4) and Chestnut (6). Contrast that with three hours at BBOWT's new River Ray acquisition at Gallowsbridge Farm, Bucks on 27th April where the MV only managed Agonopterix heracliana (1), V-Pug (1), Double-striped Pug (1), Early Thorn (3), Flame Shoulder (2), Common Quaker (1), Clouded Drab (1), Powdered Quaker (1) and Hebrew Character (1). Even though the trap was placed in the only bit of decent shelter, this is mostly a very large, exposed grassland site with thrashed hedgerows so it is no real wonder the catch was low!"

~ Monday 28th April 2008 ~

Derek Brown's moth trap produced a few more moth species overnight on 26th April at Beenham: "In a few hours I had Brimstone, Small Quaker, Iron Prominent, Early Grey, Hebrew Character, Nut-Tree Tussock and Lunar Marbled Brown."

Lunar Marbled Brown
Photo © Derek Brown

This report was sent by Ched George yesterday, 27th April: "Hopefully some of the following arrivals to my Radnage (Bucks) garden MV trap on the night of April 26th, make the first sightings list. Acleris literana, Waved Umber (typical form), Purple Thorn, Engrailed, Double-striped Pug. Lunar Marbled Brown arrived on the 23rd. A second Pale Pinion arrived during the week, too. On the 22nd April Martin Albertini and I recorded Orange Underwing moths (id confirmed) in Oakend Wood near Denham."

Nigel Partridge reported the following moth species on Sunday 27th April: "Last night (26-4-08, Loosley Row) produced two new species: Purple Thorn and Waved Umber."

Peter Hall's Ballinger garden moth trap on 25th April produced 14 moth species: Double-striped Pug, Frosted Green, Muslin, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Early Thorn, Nut-tree Tussock, Twin-spotted Quaker, Lunar Marbled Brown, Powdered Quaker, Brindled Pug, Chinese Character, Eriocrania subpurpurella.

On Friday night, 25th April, David Redhead and Martin Townsend triangulated Heyford Hill Cottages with moth traps to produce some live specimens for a workshop Martin was running at the Oxfordshire Local Environmental Group Conference today (26th). Their strategy proved successful with a total of 43 macro-moths from 20 species being caught of which the prize exhibit was a pristine female Emperor Moth - only the second ever to be caught at this site. An all time first for the site was a Grey Pine Carpet and there were ten other firsts for the year - Oak-tree Pug 4, Least Black Arches 2, Nut-tree Tussock 2, Brimstone 1, Flame Shoulder 1, Lunar Marbled Brown 1, Pebble Prominent 1, Red-green Carpet 1, Seraphim 1 and Swallow Prominent 1. The catch was completed by Common Quaker 11, Hebrew Character 5, Brindled Beauty 2, Clouded Drab 2, Early Grey 2, Small Quaker 2, Powdered Quaker 1 and Twin-spotted Quaker 1. Also two micros awaiting definite identification. Three-quarters of the moths came from one of the traps - not in a position used before - perhaps the strategy does need rethinking! Minimimum temperature 6.4C.

Emperor Moth f.
Photo © David Redhead
Lunar Marbled Brown
Photo © David Redhead

Derek Brown sent this email on 25th April: "I can't believe how badly the moth trapping in the garden at Beenham (Berks) has gone so far this year. Tonight, 25th April, this Iron Prominent takes me onto only 10 species for the garden! One of only 3 moths last night. Where are they all!!"

Iron Prominent
Photo © Derek Brown

Nigel Partridge reported the following on 25th April: "This one wasn't on the moth list last time I looked: Agonopterix arenella, 22-04-08, Loosley Row. Thanks to Peter Hall for the confirming the ID."

Agonopterix arenella
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Welcome to the website new contributor David Church: "This morning, 24th April, I had a Lime Hawk-moth on the wall of my stone cottage in North Newington, Banbury, Oxon. I am by no means an expert and have taken a photograph (see below)."

Lime Hawk-moth
Photo © David Church

Dave Wilton sent these reports of some recent moth traps he's run: "A female Emperor Moth emerged today, 21st April, one of five pupae from 2006 that have over-wintered twice here at Westcott, Bucks. She was placed out in the garden at 5.30pm and attracted a "wild" local male Emperor Moth within 15 minutes.
Conditions have been dire for the past few weeks but the slightly warmer weather of recent days seems to have started things moving again. I trapped until midnight at Finemere Wood, Bucks on 21st April and got few moths, but amongst them were Frosted Green and Lunar Marbled Brown. My garden trap perked up at Westcott, Bucks on 22nd April, bringing in 35 moths from 16 species which included Phyllonorycter blancardella, Pseudoswammerdamia combinella, Mompha epilobiella and Flame Shoulder. Of the rest, Brimstone Moth, Brindled Beauty and Blossom Underwing (only the second I've ever had here) were new to me for the year. Three hours spent at Rushbeds Wood, Bucks on 23rd April were also slow going but the range of species showed signs of improvement with Early Tooth-striped, Scalloped Hazel, Coxcomb Prominent, Scarce Prominent and Chocolate-tip making appearances."

Lunar Marbled Brown
Photo © Dave Wilton
Blossom Underwing
Photo © Dave Wilton
Scarce Prominent
Photo © Dave Wilton

~ Friday 18th April 2008 ~

David Redhead sent the following garden (Littlemore, Oxon) moth report on 15th April: "The Pale/Tawny Pinion I caught overnight 3rd/4th April (see report below) turned out to be a Pale Pinion which still appears to be an addition to the UTB list. Below are photos of the additions to my 2008 garden list during that moth trap and a subsequent one on 13th/14th: Brindled Beauty, Early Grey, Pale Pinion, Powdered Quaker & Red Chestnut. Numbers very low owing to cold nights and just 5 macro-moths on 13th/14th April.
Then on 16th April David ran another overnight garden moth trap: "The recent series of cold nights seems to be having an unwanted effect on moth numbers in my garden. Last night's overnight garden moth trap, in spite of a slightly milder night (min temp 2.3C), produced just two moths - Early Grey & Hebrew Character. This is an all time low for an April moth trap in my garden!"

Brindled Beauty
Photo © David Redhead
Early Grey
Photo © David Redhead
Pale Pinion
Photo © David Redhead

Powdered Quaker
Photo © David Redhead
Red Chestnut
Photo © David Redhead

14th April - Lloyd Garvey disturbed this moth in his garden: Newbury, Berkshire, a Grey/Dark Dagger agg.

Grey/Dark Dagger
Photo © Lloyd Garvey

~ Sunday 13th April 2008 ~

13th April - A few more moths seen over the last few weeks by Dave Maunder in Aylesbury were: Oak Beauty (1), Early Grey (7), Dotted Border (3), Common Quaker (1), Diurnea fagella (1), Light-brown Apple Moth (1), and an Orange Underwing agg. seen flying through Hartwell cemetery on March 31st.

[To differentiate the Orange Underwing from the scarcer Light Orange Underwing the outer band on the underside of the hindwings needs to be examined. The dark border on the underside of the hindwing of the Orange Underwing is less well defined (broken or notched). There are some excellent photos on the Suffolk Moths website, which shows the notching on the underside of the Orange Underwing - see the following links:
- Orange Underwing:
http://www.suffolkmoths.org.uk/cgi-bin/mos/account.cgi?code=1661
- Light Orange Underwing: http://www.suffolkmoths.org.uk/cgi-bin/mos/account.cgi?code=1662 ]

12th April - Lloyd Garvey and Keith Tomey (West Berks Ranger) did a small trapping session (2 hours) on Snelsmore Common, Berks, from 8:30pm to 10:30pm and got the following: 38 Small Quaker, 9 Common Quaker, 1 Hebrew Character, 1 Oak Beauty, 3 Oak-tree Pug, 1 Nut-tree Tussock, 1 Pine Beauty, 1 March Moth, 1 Satellite, 1 Early Thorn, 2 Twin-spotted Quaker, 3 Clouded Drab and 1 Diurnea fagella.

Diurnea fagella
Photo © Lloyd Garvey

~ Thursday 10th April 2008 ~

Jan Haseler sent this report on 8th April: "We ran the moth trap in a wood at Winterbourne, Berks on Friday 4th April and took 14 species of moth, including 2 Water Carpets, 3 Brindled Pugs and a Dotted Chestnut."

Alastair Driver set his Robinson trap at home in Sonning on Friday night 4th April: "I caught the following: Small Quaker (10), Common Quaker (7), Early Grey (2), Hebrew Character (1) Double-striped Pug (1) and the quirky little micro Acleris cristana (1) - see picture attached."

Acleris cristana
Photo © Alastair Driver

Ben Carpenter sent the following news on 5th April: "I used to email moth sightings around Wolfson College a couple of years ago, but then we moved to a flat with no garden. However, we are now in a house with a garden, and so hopefully will be able to start moth trapping again (once the trap is fixed). Here are a few recent records from Nuneham Courtenay (5 miles south of Oxford):
Water Carpet - 02/04/2008, Early Grey - 04/04/2008, Small Quaker - 04/04/2008, Hebrew Character - 04/04/2008, Brimstone Moth - 05/04/2008 (seen during day on shed)."

Another report received from Dave Wilton on 5th April: "Two more moth species new to me for the year have been Streamer, trapped in BBOWT's River Ray Reserves in Bucks on 3rd April, and Dotted Chestnut (photo below) which came to my garden trap at Westcott on 4th April."

Dotted Chestnut
Photo © Dave Wilton

David Redhead ran a garden trap in Littlemore, Oxon, on 3rd April: "A bit disappointed with the overall catch (min temp 5.9C) with 9 species and only 19 moths but my first Brindled Beauty and Powdered Quaker of the year. Below are photos of the Blossom Underwing and Diurnea fagella trapped at Bullingdon on 25th/26th March (see report below).

Blossom Underwing
Photo © David Redhead
Diurnea fagella
Photo © David Redhead

Tony Croft sent this moth sighting report on 4th April: "On March 31st Josie saw a Brimstone Moth at Chinnor, Oxon.

3rd April - Eddie Napper sent the following moth trap report: "On 01/04/08 I ran the trap again in my Wokingham garden but only 5 moths of 4 species. Highlight was a Double-striped Pug.

Double-striped Pug
Photo © Eddie Napper

3rd April - The poor weather during most of the second half of March meant that Dave Wilton found little new at Westcott, Bucks: "Only Double-striped Pug (20th) and caterpillars of Large Yellow Underwing (26th) were added to my garden list for the year. Rushbeds Wood (27th) produced 174 moths from 15 species of which only White-marked was new. Seven were trapped, as opposed to only two of the usually more common Red Chestnut (see photo below). Finemere Wood (31st) was more productive with 270 moths of 23 species, including Agonopterix ocellana, Water Carpet, Brindled Pug, Powdered Quaker and Tawny Pinion. Some Orange Underwing species activity was noted at Kingswood on 31st March with four examples seen flying around the tops of some aspens but they steadfastly refused to come down low for identification! On 2nd April I ran a trap in the private woods there with the owner's permission and it brought in 65 moths of 16 species, including Semioscopis steinkellneriana and Agonopterix alstromeriana."

Red Chestnut & White-marked
Photo © Dave Wilton

~ Monday 31st March 2008 ~

Eddie Napper sent this news from Wokingham, Berks, yesterday 30th March: "Despite the recent bad weather I have been putting out the trap without much success. However following another abandonment due to the heavy rain on 28th March and on checking the trap the following morning I found an Eriocrania subpurpurella. I have attached a not very good photo."

Eriocrania subpurpurella
Photo © Eddie Napper

Overnight Tuesday 25th/Wednesday 26th March (min temp 4.3C) Stuart Jenkins and David Redhead ran a couple of moth traps at Bullingdon Prison. David sent this report: "It produced 98 macro-moths from 11 species: Small Quaker 40, Clouded Drab 23, Common Quaker 15, Hebrew Character 8, Lead-coloured Drab 5, Shoulder Stripe 2, Blossom Underwing 1, Chestnut 1, Early Thorn 1, Red Chestnut 1 and Twin-spotted Quaker 1. There were also two species of micro-moth, Diurnea fagella 3 but the other one escaped before we could identify it!".

~ Tuesday 25th March 2008 ~

Dave Ferguson said he had his first moth of the year on 20th March: "A Pale Mottled Willow managed to find its way into the bathroom of my house in Beaconsfield, Bucks."

~ Monday 17th March 2008 ~

15th March - Tony Towner sent his latest sightings:
"11th February 07:00 - Attracted to a lighted window at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Dotted Border & 1 Pale Brindled Beauty.
22nd February - In my garden Moth trap at Tilehurst = 2 Small Quakers & 1 Light Brown Apple Moth.
25th February 07:00 - Attracted to a lighted window at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Small Quaker.
13th March 19:45 - Attracted to the car park lights at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Oak Beauty."

Dave Wilton sent the following report on 15h March: "Another trapping session at Finemere Wood on 13th March produced 241 moths from 22 species but the only new ones were Red-green Carpet and Early Thorn. At Westcott on 14th March I added another species to my all-time garden list with the appearance of the distinctive micro Epermenia chaerophyllella, illustrated below."

Epermenia chaerophyllella
Photo © Dave Wilton

12th March - Dave Maunder reported seeing a few more moths in Aylesbury during the last few weeks: "Oak Beauty (1, on 12th March); Hebrew Character (1, on 29th Feb); March moth (1, also 29th); Dotted Border (28th Feb); Emmelina monodactyla (2); Tortricodes alternella (1) and Epiphyas postvittana (Light Brown Apple Moth) (1, on 23rd Feb). I also found a batch of Vapourer moth eggs."

Oak Beauty
Photo © Dave Maunder
Hebrew Character
Photo © Dave Maunder
Vapourer moth eggs
Photo © Dave Maunder

~ Sunday 9th March 2008 ~

On 7th March, in Derek Brown's garden at Beenham (Berks): Small Quaker (6), Common Quaker (1), Yellow Horned (1) and Early Grey (1). Then on 8th March at Beenham - Hebrew Character (1).

Small Quaker & Common Quaker
Photo © Derek Brown
Yellow Horned
Photo © Derek Brown

Early Grey
Photo © Derek Brown
Hebrew Character
Photo © Derek Brown

Dave Wilton sent the following report on 7th March: "Further species caught in my garden trap at Westcott, Bucks over the past couple of weeks have included Dotted Border (27/2), Clouded Drab (28/2), Grey Shoulder-knot (2/3), Oak Beauty (6/3) and Lead-coloured Drab (6/3). Trapping sessions in local woodland have included trips to Rushbeds on 2nd March (173 moths of 17 species, including Engrailed and Twin-spotted Quaker) and Finemere on 5th March (343 moths of 16 species, of which 261 individuals were Small Quaker!). Finally, while visiting the Hodges' residence in Steeple Claydon, Bucks on 29th February, Stuart showed me two Herald moths which he'd found hibernating in his shed. The photographs below illustrate one of seven Twin-spotted Quakers from Rushbeds on 2nd March which had barely discernible spots, while the Oak Beauty was from my garden on 6th March and shows a particularly dark, almost melanic, individual."

Twin-spotted Quaker
Photo © Dave Wilton
Oak Beauty
Photo © Dave Wilton

On 4th March Eddie Napper sent the following report: "One late sighting on 23/02/08 - I ran the trap overnight in my garden in Wokingham with reasonable results including 1 each of Oak Beauty, Pine Beauty and Grey Shoulder-knot. On 03/03/08 outside the sports hall at the Holt School Wokingham was a Twin spotted Quaker on a wall near a security light. The earliest I 've seen one."

Pine Beauty
Photo © Eddie Napper
Twin-spotted Quaker
Photo © Eddie Napper

Martin Harvey saw a couple of micro-moths on Sunday 3 March: "A male Diurnea fagella was on a tree trunk near the Chilterns Ridgeway path, and in my front room at home in Great Kimble the pretty Esperia sulphurella was flying around - its larvae feed inside dead wood so may have hatched from small logs by the fireplace. Photo attached for Esperia sulphurella."

Esperia sulphurella
Photo © Martin Harvey

Nigel Partridge reported two more sightings on 28th February: "On 27-02-08 at Loosley Row, Twin-spotted Quaker and Diurnea fagella."

Diurnea fagella
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Alastair Driver set the Robinson trap in his garden at Sonning, Berks, on 24th February: "After foolishly believing the BBC when they said that it would be dry and mildish after 8 p.m. I set the trap and it then rained steadily for a couple of hours before I went to bed. I woke up to a sharp frost, so I was amazed to find 5 Small Quaker in the trap. Nothing else mind you, so they must be a particularly hardy little species!"

Dave Wilton sent the following update on 24th February: "Since my last report in January I've added Tortricodes alternella (29th Jan), Hebrew Character (9th Feb), Agonopterix heracliana (13th Feb) and March Moth, Small Quaker, Common Quaker and Chestnut (all 22nd Feb) to this year's garden list at Westcott. I trapped at Rushbeds Wood on 7th February and got Tortricodes alternella (3), March Moth (2), Pale Brindled Beauty (2), Dotted Border (8, including one f. fuscata) and Early Moth (3). A better session at Finemere Wood on 23rd February produced Tortricodes alternella (91), Acleris ferrugana/notana (1), Acleris cristana (1), Yellow Horned (7), March Moth (6), Shoulder Stripe (5), Small Brindled Beauty (28), Oak Beauty (6), Spring Usher (5), Dotted Border (3), Red Chestnut (2), Small Quaker (4), Lead-coloured Drab (1), Common Quaker (4), Satellite (1) and Chestnut (7)."

David Redhead ran his garden moth trap overnight on 23rd February: "It produced a reasonable haul, owing to a minimum overnight temperature of 7.6C, consisting of 35 macro-moths from 9 species - Common Quaker (16), Small Quaker (6), Twin-spotted Quaker (4), Hebrew Character (3), Oak Beauty (2) and singletons of Clouded Drab, Lead-coloured Drab, March Moth and Small Brindled Beauty. The last is an addition to my all time garden list."

Common Quaker
Photo © David Redhead
Hebrew Character
Photo © David Redhead
Lead-coloured Drab
Photo © David Redhead

March Moth
Photo © David Redhead
Small Brindled Beauty
Photo © David Redhead
Twin-spotted Quaker
Photo © David Redhead

Derek Brown recorded two new species for the year at his home in Beenham (Berks): "Several Small Quakers on the 22nd February and a Satellite on the 23rd February."

Satellite
Photo © Derek Brown
Small Quaker
Photo © Derek Brown

~ Friday 22nd February 2008 ~

22nd February - Dave Maunder reported seeing the following moths in Aylesbury recently: "Pale Brindled Beauties (4), Early moth (1), Chestnut moth (1), and Emmelina monodactyla (1) all in the first week of February. Then a Common Quaker (1, 20th - my first success in my garden m.v. trap this year!); also Pale Brindled Beauty (1, on 11th), Dotted Border (1, on 11th), Emmelina monodactyla (2, on 13th) and a White-shouldered House moth (Endrosis sarcitrella) (1, on 13th)."

Common Quaker
Photo © Dave Maunder

11th February - news from Nigel Partridge about his latest moth sightings in Loosley Row, Bucks: "Amblyptilia acanthadactyla on 27-1-08 (thanks to Peter Hall for confirming the ID) and a March Moth on 10-02-08."

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
Photo © Nigel Partridge
March Moth
Photo © Nigel Partridge

~ Thursday 7th February 2008 ~

The following are Tony Towner's first moths for 2008, sent in on 5th February:
23rd January 18:00 - In the Caretaker's shed at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Brown House Moth.
24th January 18:00 - In the Caretaker's shed at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Case-bearing Clothes Moth (Tinea pellionella)(unconfirmed record - usually requires dissection).
26th January - In my garden Moth trap at Tilehurst = 1 Hebrew Character
4th February 07:00 - Attracted to a lighted window at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Pale Brindled Beauty.
5th February 07:00 - Attracted to a lighted window at the Dolphin school, Hurst = 1 Dotted Border.
The two species of moth in the shed are a bit worrying as presumably my work overalls are in severe danger!! The Hebrew Character was a surprise in the garden moth trap, as previously I have never caught anything until March."

Nigel Partridge added another record to his moth list on 30th January: "Thanks to Martin Albertini for the confirmation - Acleris hastiana, 23-01-08, Loosley Row."

Acleris hastiana
Photo © Nigel Partridge

Here are some recent moth sightings sent by Jan Haseler:
"On a wall at Shinfield Park (Wed 30/1): 1 Dotted Border, 1 Spring Usher, 1 Pale Brindled Beauty.
At light at Tilehurst on 20/1: Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella) (a tiny migrant, with no previous January records on the Berks Moth database)."

David Redhead ran his garden moth trap in Oxford on Saturday 26th January: "As the overnight temperature was forecast to drop to only 6C I fired up my garden moth trap on Saturday evening for the second time this year. The next morning my thermometer showed the temperature had actually fallen to 3.5C during the night so I was pleasantly surprised to find eleven moths in the trap - 9 Pale Brindled Beauty and 2 Spring Usher. Both these species are 2008 additions to my all time garden list but then again I have never run my garden trap in January (or February) which just goes to show to get a full list it needs to be a year round activity. One of the Pale Brindled Beauties was noticeably darker than the others but I don't think it qualifies as the monacharia form."

Pale Brindled Beauty (dark specimen)
Photo © David Redhead
Pale Brindled Beauty (light specimen)
Photo © David Redhead
Spring Usher
Photo © David Redhead

Dave Maunder says he's managed to up his moth count to two recently: "An Early Moth seen at Dormer close flats in Aylesbury on 21st, and two more Pale Brindled Beauties - one on 22nd and another today (27th)."

Pale Brindled Beauty
Photo © Dave Maunder

Alastair Driver sent this news on 27th January: "I was awoken from my mothing hibernation last night (26th Jan) by the presence of an early specimen of Hebrew Character which had come to light at my porch window in Sonning (Berks). I must start thinking about trapping again now!"

Derek Brown tried his garden moth trap in Beenham, Berks, on 25th January: "I got a single Spring Usher. First moth of the year."

Spring Usher
Photo © Derek Brown

Dave Wilton sent the following on 24th January: "Here at Westcott I had Acleris hastiana (1) and Winter Moth (3) to the garden trap on 10th January, Agonopterix heracliana (1) to a lit window on 15th January and Pale Brindled Beauty (1), Spring Usher (1) and Early Moth (1) to the trap on 22nd January. The Spring Usher is a first-timer to the garden and comes as a bit of a surprise as we have no oaks adjacent to us. Sheltered woodland is best for moths at this time of year so, with another warm night in prospect, on 23rd January I decided to take the trap to Finemere. By midnight it had brought in 244 moths from 10 species: Tortricodes alternella (10), Winter Moth spp (5), Small Brindled Beauty (3), Pale Brindled Beauty (87), Oak Beauty (1, rather early), Spring Usher (122), Dotted Border (1), Mottled Umber (5), Early Moth (2) and Chestnut (8)."

Dotted Border
Photo © Dave Wilton
Spring Usher
Photo © Dave Wilton
Tortricodes alternella
Photo © Dave Wilton

Dave Maunder sent this report from Aylesbury on 21st January: "My first and only moth of the year was a Pale Brindled Beauty seen on a block of flats near where I live, on 18th January. Let's hope the weather settles down a bit soon!"

Helen Hyre took this photo on 16th January around 9.45am: "This Angle Shades moth was sitting on a sunny wall in Miles Court, Bierton (Bucks), for about half an hour. The only way to get a good photo was to cast a shadow over it with the camera case!"

Angle Shades
Photo © Helen Hyre

John Parsons, Newbury, sent his first sightings for the 2008 season on 20th January: "Bowdown Woods (Berks) today 20/01/08 several Spring Usher fluttering around."

Spring Usher
Photo © John Parsons

14/01/08 - So far this year Nigel Partridge reports seeing the following moth species at his home in Loosley Row: Mottled Umber 2 (01-01-08), Chestnut 2 (10-01-08 & 13-01-08).

~ Saturday 12th January 2008 ~

Martin Townsend reported his first moth of the year on 11th January: "An Early Moth on my bedroom window (Littlemore, Oxford) as I type!"

Dave Wilton's first moth of the year at Westcott was the tiny micro: Mompha subbistrigella (wing length just over 5mm) found flying around inside his house during the evening of 8th January.

Mompha subbistrigella
Photo © Dave Wilton

David Redhead sent his first moth report for 2008 on 3rd January: "On the moth front 4 species can already be claimed for 2008 :-
1st January : Heyford Hill Cottages, Oxford = 3 Winter Moths on the kitchen window this morning.
1st January : RSPB Otmoor Reserve = 2 Blue-bordered Carpet Moth eggs and 16 Winter Moth eggs found by UTB members whilst searching for Brown Hairstreak eggs.
2nd January : Heyford Hill Cottages, Oxford = an overnight garden moth trap (min temp 5.5C) produced 2 Mottled Umber, 1 Pale Brindled Beauty and 1 Winter Moth. Another Winter Moth and Mottled Umber were found on the kitchen window and in the porch respectively.
3rd January : Heyford Hill Cottages = no moths on kitchen window or in porch but overnight min temperature of 1.3C.
The Pale Bindled Beauty picture is a bit blurred as it would not keep still!"

Mottled Umber
Photo © David Redhead
Pale Bindled Beauty
Photo © David Redhead

Peter Hall starts off the 2008 season with these moth sightings: "At 2.43am on my front door in Ballinger Common, January 1st: Winter Moth. I did run the trap from midnight onwards, but it was empty in the morning. Also on 1st, in flight at Champneys, Bucks, a Northern Winter Moth (confirmed via dissection)."

  » Sightings Archive

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Butterfly Conservation: Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)