| Upper Thames Branch|
Moth Sightings Archive - January to December 2013
MOTH SPECIES COUNT FOR 2013 (as at 27/01/14) = 1013
~ Monday 27th January 2014 ~
Dave Wilton sent this final round-up for the year on 18th January:
"Peter Hall has now completed inspection of moths caught in Bucks which I'd retained during the second half
of the year for confirmation of ID and the following are new to the UTB list:
Pine Carpet (Westcott 7th Oct),
Anacampsis blattariella (Westcott 4th Aug),
Bryotropha senectella (Westcott 29th Aug),
Carpatolechia fugitivella (Homefield Wood 1st Aug),
Cnephasia genitalana (Weston Turville 21st Aug),
Coleophora coracipennella (Homefield Wood 1st Aug),
Depressaria badiella (Pitstone Hill 28th Aug),
Depressaria pulcherrimella (Pitstone Hill 28th Aug),
Dioryctria simplicella (Westcott 29th Sep),
Ectoedemia atrifrontella (Bernwood Forest 30th Aug),
Ectoedemia septembrella (first adult, Finemere Wood 22nd Sep),
Elachista bisulcella (Wendover Woods 4th Sep),
Epinotia cinereana (Bernwood Forest 30th Aug),
Eudonia truncicolella (Bernwood Forest 30th Aug),
Gypsonoma minutana (Westcott 19th Aug),
Phyllonorycter cerasicolella (Westcott 2nd Aug),
Phyllonorycter joannisi (Westcott 14th Aug),
Phyllonorycter lautella (Homefield Wood 1st Aug),
Phyllonorycter rajella (Westcott 3rd Sep),
Prays ruficeps (Westcott 10th Aug),
Psoricoptera gibbosella (Bernwood Forest 30th Aug),
Stigmella hemargyrella (Wendover Woods 4th Sep),
Stigmella salicis (Westcott 14th Aug),
Swammerdamia pyrella (Wendover Woods 14th Aug) &
Ypsolopha vittella (Westcott 12th Sep).
~ Saturday 7th December 2013 ~
Marc Botham sent this report on 30th November: "Another addition, and I didn’t think it would be an addition, is Plumed Prominent last night (29th November) at the Warburg Reserve, Oxon. I have tried on 3 separate occasions since the end of October, trying to cherry-pick mild(ish) nights when I’ve had the chance, but each time it has been considerably colder than the nearest (Henley) forecast I’ve been following. As a result I have caught very few moths and last night was the first and only Plumed Prominent (a male) which is both considerably later than I caught it at Warburg in previous years and also at considerably lower numbers (last year we caught over 20 in one night), though one has to factor much colder weather into that of course. I have also tried putting black-light traps out at a couple of potential sites in Oxfordshire but to no avail as yet."
~ Friday 29th November 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "My garden actinic trap at Westcott, Bucks produced a reasonable return on 27th November: December Moth (5), Winter Moth (11), Northern Winter Moth (1), Feathered Thorn (1), Scarce Umber (4), Mottled Umber (1), Brick (3) & Red-line Quaker (1). That is the largest number of December Moths I've ever had in one trap in the garden and the odd thing about them is that all five were females! Going back in time, I had an adult Mompha jurassicella indoors at Westcott on 23rd November and leaf-mines of Stigmella catharticella were found on buckthorn at Edlesborough, Bucks on 1st November.
Peter Hall recently completed another batch of dissections for me of moth species caught in Bucks during July which could not, for one reason or another, be identified and amongst them were the following: Angle-barred Pug (Westcott 15th July), Lesser Common Rustic (Finemere 31st July), Pimpinel Pug (Steps Hill 16th July), Slender Pug (Westcott 17th July), Small Rufous (Finemere 31st July), Acleris kochiella (Westcott 26th July), Anacampsis populella (Finemere 31st July), Caryocolum tricolorella (Finemere 31st July), Coleophora anatipennella (Finemere 31st July), Coleophora hemerobiella (Weston Turville 25th July), Coleophora lutipennella (Westcott 17th July), Coleophora saxicolella (Bradenham 24th July), Coleophora trigeminella (Steps Hill 16th July), Cydia illutana (Bernwood 18th July), Elachista apicipunctella (Westcott 31st July), Elachista subocellea (Ivinghoe 22nd July), Endothenia marginana (Bradenham 24th July), Gelechia senticetella (Westcott 15th July), Gelechia sororculella (Finemere 31st July), Monochroa lutulentella (Westcott 29th July), Neosphaleroptera nubilana (Steps Hill 16th July), Oegoconia deauratella (Westcott 21st July), Oxyptilus pilosellae (Bradenham 24th July), Phyllonorycter quercifoliella (Bernwood 18th July), Stigmella assimilella (Bernwood 18th July), Syncopacma larseniella (Bernwood 18th July) & Ypsolopha alpella (Finemere 31st July). The tiny plume moth Oxyptilus pilosellae was a very significant find because the species has not been recorded anywhere in the UK since 1964 and it was thought that it might have become extinct."
Nigel Partridge had a Scarce Umber in his garden at Loosley Row, Bucks on 25th November.
Marc Botham sent this report on 25th November: "Moths are almost non-existent in my garden (at Benson, Oxon) now – I usually get a few more winter species than I’m currently getting. Since the 1km length of hedgerow near my house has been removed I can’t determine whether it is a bad year for winter species or habitat destruction, but it does seem weird that I still haven’t seen a single Winter Moth in the garden. I did have my first Scarce Umber of the year last night though, along with a single December Moth and a single Sprawler."
~ Wednesday 20th November 2013 ~
Nigel Partridge sent this update: "Sorry, I forgot to send this one in from earlier this year. As usual, it's from our garden in Loosley Row, Bucks: Cochylis molliculana 23-08-2013."
~ Tuesday 12th November 2013 ~
Dave Wilton sent this message: "9th and 10th November proved to be too chilly, even for the hardier moths around here (Westcott, Bucks), and those two nights brought my first nil returns of the winter. However, on 11th November the garden actinic light brought in Blastobasis lacticolella (2), Acleris emargana (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Common Marbled Carpet (1), Red-green Carpet (4), Winter Moth (1), Feathered Thorn (7) & Sprawler (3). Winter Moth first appeared here on 6th November and although it doesn't really seem to have got going locally yet I did find an egg on blackthorn at Greatmoor, Bucks on 10th November.
Tony Rayner reports: "It happens every year - we get a late record of a Buttoned Snout in our cottage (at Cholsey, Oxon). So no real surprise to find one in our bedroom on the evening of 8th November."
~ Thursday 7th November 2013 ~
This report was received from Marc Botham: "Moths have been few and far between in my garden at Benson, Oxon but I did my regular monthly surveys at Harcourt Arboretum and Bagley Woods, Oxford last week during one of the warmer evenings (30th October). Nothing exciting, but amongst relatively modest catches there was Diurnea lipsiella at both sites and genitalia examination of November moth males revealed all three species at Bagley Woods, with a single Pale November Moth and a single Autumnal Moth along with 20+ November Moth. Having heard murmurs of it being a good year for Merveille du Jour I expected to see more than the single individual I found at both sites, given that traps at both were surrounded by large oaks. Personally, I have only seen a handful this year, certainly no more than last year."
~ Sunday 3rd November 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "My garden actinic trap at Westcott, Bucks managed a reasonable 19 species on 31st October: Depressaria heraclei (1), Acleris rhombana (1), Acleris variegana (1), Udea ferrugalis/Rusty-dot Pearl (1), Nomophila noctuella/Rush Veneer (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Common Marbled Carpet (1), Red-green Carpet (4), November Moth (1), Feathered Thorn (7), Dark Sword-grass (1), Sprawler (5), Grey Shoulder-knot (1), Blair's Shoulder-knot (3), Green-brindled Crescent (1), Satellite (1), Chestnut (1), Red-line Quaker (1) & Lunar Underwing (1). Additional species caught over the previous four nights included Caloptilia rufipennella, Phyllonorycter messaniella, Plutella xylostella, Spruce Carpet, Brick, Yellow-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Angle Shades & Pale Mottled Willow. The migrant Dark Sword-grass appeared each night and I got two more in the trap on 1st November so would be quite happy to see something else now, please! While out hunting for Brown Hairstreak eggs on 29th October, a search at the A34 junction for Weston-on-the-Green, Oxon produced a young Oak Eggar caterpillar. Drinker larvae are regularly encountered when searching blackthorn at this time of year (they climb out of their foodplant grasses to hibernate on the blackthorn stems) but I haven't found Oak Eggar in the same way since November 2005 and have only once had an adult female to light in Bucks. The species is either significantly under-recorded or must exist at a very low population level in Bucks, Berks and Oxon. There are actually few records for any of our three counties, even though the heathy areas of southern Berkshire could be expected to harbour reasonable numbers."
New arrivals keep coming to Martin Wainwright's Robinson trap at Thrupp, Oxon - the latest being a December Moth and a Grey Shoulder-knot on 30th October. The first was a regular at Martin's former home in Leeds, albeit later in the year, but the Grey Shoulder-knot is unfamiliar with the delights of the West Riding (and vice versa).
Steve Trigg sent this report: "Amongst the moths found in my light trap on 30th October, located in my Cookham, Berks garden, was a Palpita vitrealis. This doesn't seem to be on the 2013 UTB moth list as yet."
~ Sunday 27th October 2013 ~
Tim & Colleen Watts took the picture below of a Red-green Carpet in their Whitchurch, Bucks garden on 22nd October. On 19th October they had a late Hummingbird Hawk-moth nectaring briefly on Hebe flowers. Tim also reports that on 10th and 12th October they were in the garden after dark and from the light in the kitchen they both glimpsed a massive moth! There was no sign of it around flowers still in bloom and turning the floodlight on to try and locate it proved unsuccessful. Both sightings were just after sunset and they wondered if it might have been a Convolvulus Hawk-moth (or maybe even a Death's-head Hawk-moth!).
David Rowe reports a Streak found on 21st October at a window at his workplace in rural Winkfield, Berks by colleague and fellow moth-er Dom Pia. Back on 16th October they also saw a Cypress Carpet.
Martin Wainwright sent this report: "The procession of Autumn moths to my Robinson trap at Thrupp, Oxon continues with a handsome Sprawler on 20th October, alongside the familiar cast of assorted sallows, chestnuts and carpets."
~ Monday 21st October 2013 ~
Steve and Xander Goddard have had no new species for the region in recent weeks in Wolvercote, Oxon but, like others, they've had some unseasonal Beautiful Hook-tips (on 7th and 16th October) and a reasonable variety of immigrants such as Dark Sword-grass on the 6th and 17th October, a Vestal on 7th October and a Silver Y on 17th October. In fact the 7th was their most decent recent night, featuring a first and only Satellite among 52 individuals of 24 species. Overall it's fair to say things are slowing down noticeably, though Steve has some hopes that a mild, cloudy and windless night may yet throw up a few surprises.
Martin Wainwright's Robinson trap at Thrupp, Oxon continues to attract a steady stream of arrivals - a male Feathered Thorn was the star on 18th October with a Merveille du Jour on 17th October - a moth Martin has wanted to meet since starting trapping (in Leeds) eight years ago. Earlier in the month he saw Vestals aplenty and a lot of Green-brindled Crescents. Has anyone else had a good number of the Capucina form of these? Martin had one among 11 Green-brindled Crescents on 7th October and then three Capucinas against two standard forms on 8th October. A further Capucina flew in on 17th October. The commonest moth for the last few weeks has been the Beaded Chestnut, with up to eight a night. Other macro species in the last fortnight include Chestnut, Dark Chestnut, Black Rustic, Burnished Brass, Brown-spot Pinion, Lunar Underwing, Red-line Quaker, Angle Shades, Sallow, Silver Y, Snout and Willow Beauty.
Dave Maunder sent this report on 14th October: "I've been busy for quite a while, but here are some results from my garden trap here in Aylesbury, Bucks over the last five weeks or so: Orange Sallow (1), Barred Sallow (5), Sallow (2), Brindled Green (1), Beaded Chestnut (3), Red-line Quaker (2), Yellow-line Quaker (1), Lunar Underwing (102), Large Ranunculus (4), Green-brindled Crescent (2), Red Underwing (2), Blair's Shoulder-knot (39), Deep-brown Dart (2), Black Rustic (6), Feathered Gothic (10), Bulrush Wainscot (1), Frosted Orange (2), Rosy Rustic (4), Dotted Rustic (2), Canary-shouldered Thorn (4), Dusky Thorn (7), Mallow (2), Nomophila noctuella/Rush Veneer (5) & Plutella xylostella/Diamond-back Moth (24). A few other moths seen locally around Aylesbury include Dusky-lemon Sallow (1), Pink-barred Sallow (2), Brick (2), Grey Shoulder-knot (1), Large Wainscot (1) & Copper Underwing (1)."
~ Monday 14th October 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "On 6th October a fully-grown Peppered Moth caterpillar was found on blackthorn in our garden at Westcott, Bucks (measured at 7cm, it was a giant!). Over the past week adults of Pale November Moth on 7th October and Phyllonorycter leucographella (2) & Phyllonorycter messaniella (4) both on 8th October have been the only new sightings for the year in the garden trap. Considering the very poor weather overnight on 11th October (intermittent heavy rain and a north-easterly gale) I was surprised to get anything at all even though the trap was positioned in a relatively sheltered spot. However, more than 50 moths of 20 species were attracted to the light: Common Marbled Carpet, November Moth, Feathered Thorn, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Black Rustic, Grey Shoulder-knot, Blair's Shoulder-knot, Green-brindled Crescent, Merveille du Jour, Satellite, Red-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut, Lunar Underwing, Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Sallow, Angle Shades & Beautiful Hook-tip. The night of 12th October saw calmer conditions but there was constant moderate rain instead. Even so, 17 species turned out, of which Acleris rhombana, Red-green Carpet, Turnip, Chestnut, Dark Chestnut, Yellow-line Quaker & Red Underwing were additional to those caught on the 11th. Leaf-mine searching has continued apace and those seen in northern Bucks recently have included Stigmella ulmariae on meadowsweet (at Woodham on 6th October), Stigmella oxyacanthella on apple (at Gallowsbridge Farm on 7th October), Stigmella viscerella on elm (at Chicheley on 8th October), Phyllocnistis saligna on willow (at Sherington on 8th October), Ectoedemia angulifasciella on dog rose (near Stoke Goldington on 10th October), Stigmella floslactella on hazel, Ectoedemia atricollis & Stigmella regiella both on hawthorn (all at Gayhurst Wood on 10th October) and Ectoedemia septembrella on Perforated St John's Wort, Stigmella splendidissimella on bramble, Stigmella anomalella on dog rose, Ectoedemia subbimaculella & Stigmella atricapitella both on oak, Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella & Stigmella confusella both on birch (all at Finemere Wood on 12th October)."
~ Thursday 10th October 2013 ~
Another report from Marc Botham was received on 9th October: "I caught a Cypress Carpet in my Benson, Oxon garden last night and realised just now that it is new for the year for UTB. There were a spattering of migrants as well, including another Scarce Bordered Straw (female this time), three Vestals (two of which had different markings to those I have caught before and one of which was not in the trap but sitting on the shed), Silver Y, two Rush Veneers and three Diamond-back Moths. More interestingly, as Dave Wilton pointed out but I hadn’t noticed myself up until two nights ago, there has been a sudden crop of Beautiful Hook-tip and Light Emerald and I also caught a fresh Blood-vein last night too."
Dave Wilton sent this report: "Peter Hall has very kindly confirmed for me another batch of damaged, difficult or unusual micro-moths found in Bucks earlier this season and the following are new to the UTB list: Acleris notana (Mop End 13th July), Argyresthia conjugella (Mop End 13th July), Argyresthia glaucinella (Bernwood 9th July), Carpatolechia notatella (Weston Turville 8th July), Cnephasia stephensiana (Holtspur 5th July), Coleophora albitarsella (Aston Clinton 14th July), Coleophora betulella (Mop End 13th July), Coleophora flavipennella (Bernwood 9th July), Coleophora gryphipennella (Ashridge 12th July), Coleophora ibipennella (Ashridge 12th July), Coleophora kuehnella (Bernwood 9th July), Coleophora niveicostella (Ashridge 12th July), Coleophora prunifoliae (Bernwood 9th July), Coleophora spinella (Ivinghoe 7th July), Coleophora taeniipennella (Weston Turville 8th July), Ectoedemia albifasciella (Ivinghoe 7th July), Ectoedemia decentella (Ashridge 12th July), Elachista gleichenella (Steps Hill 29th June), Epinotia tenerana (Bernwood 9th July), Eucosma fulvana (Steps Hill 29th June), Homoeosoma sinuella (Holtspur 5th July), Isotrias rectifasciana (Steps Hill 29th June), Orthotaenia undulana (Westcott 6th July), Phalonidia manniana (Weston Turville 8th July), Piniphila bifasciana (Mop End 13th July), Syncopacma taeniolella (Aston Clinton 14th July) & Thiotricha subocellea (Holtspur 5th July)."
Marc Botham sent this report on Saturday 5th October: "Last night the moths came in thick and fast at Benson, Oxon and with them a nice selection of migrants. I've had a few Vestal throughout the year but last night I had 5 including the nice pink form, but better still were two garden firsts that I also don't see on the 2013 list, though my eyes are bleary as it took over an hour to go through traps at 6.45 this morning: they were Delicate and Scarce Bordered Straw."
Mark Griffiths had the following in his garden trap at Garsington, Oxon on 4th October: Epiphyas postvittana/Light Brown Apple Moth (2), Nomophila noctuella/Rush Veneer (1), Vestal (2), Common Marbled Carpet (1), Large Yellow Underwing (12), Lesser Yellow Underwing (1), White-point (1), Black Rustic (1), Blair's Shoulder-knot (7), Beaded Chestnut (2), Lunar Underwing (2), Sallow (1) & Angle Shades (1). Additions on 5th October were Mallow (1), Yellow-line Quaker (1) & Brown-spot Pinion (2).
~ Saturday 5th October 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "I found a fully-grown Chinese Character caterpillar on blackthorn in our Westcott, Bucks garden on 22nd September and a fresh adult appeared in the garden moth trap on 3rd October, suggesting an attempt at a third brood. The moth has certainly been one of this year's winners here, with 106 individuals recorded (the previous highest tally was 38 in 2006). Beautiful Hook-tip (four seen on 2nd October) and Light Emerald (one on 3rd October) also seem to be attempting an extra brood again locally. I had high hopes for the night of 3rd October, when there were quite strong southerly winds, but out of some 200 moths from 30 species the only migrant recorded in the garden trap was Dark Sword-grass (the third example in five days). Other recent first timers for the year list have included Figure of Eight (1st October), Mallow & Feathered Thorn (2nd October) and November Moth (3rd October, examined under a hand lens to confirm). While shopping in Aylesbury, Bucks on 4th October, a quick check of the London Plane trees outside Staples produced several active leaf-mines of Phyllonorycter platani."
Marc Botham sent this report on 30th September: "Just got back from a week away with work so missed last week's good weather. However, it was pretty good this weekend and I had a glut of moths in my Benson, Oxon garden (especially last night, 29th). Those that may be new, but possibly not anymore, were Mallow (first adult 27th September), Yellow-Line Quaker (28th September) and Brick and Red-line Quaker (29th September). Good numbers of Mallow, with 8 last night - I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the number of larvae I saw earlier in the year feeding on the Common Mallow that is quite abundant in the garden, but I don't often see that many at light. I've also had first for the garden 2013 brood Dark Chestnut, Satellite and Red-green Carpet. Over 500 moths of 46 species last night including 150 Large Yellow Underwing and late but reasonably fresh Heart and Dart and Oak Hook-tip. Also, 14 Brown-spot Pinion which I can't remember ever catching more than 2 or 3 of in a night before." Marc adds that on 30th September he got Crocidosema plebejana in the garden trap, a new species for him.
Mark Griffiths, a welcome new contributor to our website, tells us that he's recently started moth-trapping in his Garsington, Oxon garden. Species caught over the weekend of 28th/29th September included Common Marbled Carpet, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Black Rustic, Blair's Shoulder-knot, Large Ranunculus, Beaded Chestnut, Lunar Underwing, Pink-barred Sallow, Angle Shades & Rosy Rustic.
~ Monday 30th September 2013 ~
Peter Hall and Dave Wilton ran traps on Pitstone Hill, Bucks for three hours from dusk on 25th September as part of a continuing survey for the National Trust and got a reasonable selection of about 250 moths of 30 species. They included Common Marbled Carpet, Treble-bar, Brimstone Moth, Dark Sword-grass, Turnip, Dotted Rustic, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Autumnal Rustic, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Square-spot Rustic, Common Wainscot, Deep-brown Dart, Black Rustic, Merveille du Jour, Yellow-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut, Brown-spot Pinion, Lunar Underwing, Barred Sallow, Copper Underwing, Svensson's Copper Underwing, Flounced Rustic, Angle Shades & Snout. Recent additions to Dave's garden year-list at Westcott, Bucks have included Red-line Quaker (25th September), Merveille du Jour (26th September) & Yellow-line Quaker (28th September). Lunar Underwing has quickly established itself as the second most numerous species of the year at Westcott, having already passed 1,100 individuals, and is going to give Square-spot Rustic (the current leader on 1,800+) a run for its money. Large Yellow Underwing is currently relegated to 7th place behind a couple of micros!
John Lindley recorded a Jersey Tiger during a walk along footpaths around South Stoke, Oxon on 26th September, while in the village itself he noted 30+ fully-grown Buff-tip caterpillars feeding on a small area of mixed hedgerow.
~ Thursday 26th September 2013 ~
David Gantzel reports seeing a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on buddleia at Loudwater, Bucks on Thursday 26th September.
Dave Morris says he's had mainly Lunar Underwings and Large Yellow Underwings of late in his Seer Green, Bucks garden, but over the last couple of nights he's attracted Oak Lutestring, Barred Sallow and Deep-brown Dart and last night (24th September) a Blair's Shoulder-knot. Also, on 25th September: Large Ranunculus, Figure of Eight (first adult) and Beaded Chestnut.
Nigel Partridge reports a few more from his garden in Loosley Row, Bucks: Acleris sparsana 21-09-13, Acrolepia autumnitella 24-09-13 late afternoon. Also, Cacoecimorpha pronubana on 25-09-13.
Rob Payne sent this report: "Dave Morris and I were trapping by the vols hut at the RSPB reserve at Hedgerley, Bucks on 20th September. Though it was a quiet night with only 14 moths of 10 species being recorded including Pink-barred Sallow and Acleris emargana, we also found 3 Green Silver-lines caterpillars feeding in the Oaks near the trap."
Martin Wainwright's Robinson trap in Thrupp, Oxon, has been lit up by the autumnal Sallow family, including this vividly-coloured Barred Sallow recorded on 22nd September along with Sallow (6) and Centre-barred Sallow (1). Also in the trap were Bordered Beauty (1), Burnished Brass (6), Brindled Green (1) and Large Yellow Underwing (20). Nearby on the grass was a mint condition Ruby Tiger, spangled with drops of morning drizzle. On 23rd September Martin had another newcomer, a Green-brindled Crescent (first adult) in tip-top condition.
Dave Wilton has continued to run his garden trap regularly at Westcott, Bucks. "New for this year's garden list have been Eudonia angustea (17th September), Vestal & Brown-spot Pinion (both 18th September), Brick & Barred Sallow (both 21st September), Beaded Chestnut & Dusky-lemon Sallow (both 22nd September) and Blair's Shoulder-knot (24th September). It is disappointing to think that there are only about a dozen macro-moths left to appear locally this year now! A three-hour trapping session in Finemere Wood, Bucks on 22nd September produced very little although Acrocercops brongniardella and Epinotia maculana were nice to see."
Steve & Xander Goddard sent this report: "We've had an inevitable autumnal slowdown in Wolvercote, Oxon but still some new species coming through, and one or two quite large catches when conditions are right - 89 individuals of 27 species on 21st September, for instance. A few notable individuals, which I think are new to the year list, over the past few days have included a Large Ranunculus (our first) and Acleris sparsana both on 21st September and a Black Rustic on the 22nd September."
Dave Ferguson found this example of Choreutis pariana on 20th September, sitting on a Japanese Anemone in his Beaconsfield, Bucks garden. The caterpillars feed on apple and Dave says that there is a tree about five metres away from where the moth was seen.
~ Thursday 19th September 2013 ~
Dave Wilton has had little of excitement in his Westcott, Bucks garden trap over the past week. "On 14th September I had my first Deep-brown Dart and Barred Sallow of the season, on 15th September Epermenia chaerophyllella turned up (it is supposedly a common moth but the last time I saw it here was five years ago), while on 16th September I had an Orange Sallow, the first in the garden for a couple of years. In order to swell the notebook at this time of the season I find it necessary to go out looking for leaf-mining species, the adults of which are not often recorded because they are so small. Starting in the garden here, on 5th September I found examples of Callisto denticulella, Leucoptera malifoliella (one of several vacated mines is illustrated below), Lyonetia clerkella, Phyllonorycter blancardella & Phyllonorycter leucographella all on our solitary fairly small apple tree, while another search in the garden on 14th September produced mines of Bucculatrix albedinella, Phyllonorycter schreberella & Stigmella lemniscella on hedgerow elm, Phyllonorycter corylifoliella & Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae on hawthorn and Phyllonorycter salictella on willow. While rummaging around in unrecorded VC24 tetrads along the border with Northants on 16th September, in Shirehill Wood north of Lillingstone Lovell, Bucks I found mines of Mompha terminella on Enchanter's Nightshade. They are quite distinctive, starting as a corridor in semicircles then opening out into a large blotch. Two of them still had larvae within and one is illustrated below."
Dave Ferguson had a pleasant surprise when this female Gem entered his garden trap at Beaconsfield, Bucks on 15th September.
Marc Botham sent this report from his garden in Benson, Oxon: "Before the stormy weather arrived I had a fantastic garden catch on the Thursday evening (12th September). Amongst 100+ Large Yellow Underwings (they were bound to turn up eventually) and a similar number of Setaceous Hebrew Characters, I had well over 50 species including a nice range of sallows: Sallow (3), Pink-barred Sallow (1), Dusky-lemon Sallow (2), Orange Sallow (1) and Barred Sallow (1). I don’t usually see such a nice selection of sallow species in one trap together so this was a welcome surprise. A few nights earlier there was an amazing movement of Angle Shades in which I caught over 20 in one trap, something else I have not ever really witnessed in my garden."
~ Monday 9th September 2013 ~
Mary Elford passed on this exciting report from Adrian State in Witney, Oxon: "On Thursday 22nd August I was working late on my computer. I always keep the study window open to welcome any interesting moths that may be flying past but on this evening I got a real surprise. At approximately 1.45am something large and dark flew in through the window and for a few seconds I thought that a pipistrelle bat had lost its bearings, but as it settled next to the ceiling light I was amazed to see that it was a huge moth and what was more it had a clearly defined skull shape on the thorax. It could only be a Death's Head Hawk-moth which I had never before seen in the living form. What really impressed me was its size; I often get Poplar Hawk-moths flying in and although they are large this was clearly quite a bit larger still. I typed "Deaths Head moth" into my computer's browser and on finding the Natural History Museum page on this moth I read that it squeaked when touched. Well, nothing ventured.... I gently pushed it with the tip of a wooden ruler and was immediately rewarded by a very loud and distinct squeak! Whilst I marvelled at this, the moth decided it had had quite enough of satisfying my curiosity and flew back out through the open window. At this point I was extremely cross with myself as my camera had been on my desktop beside me throughout the visit. Ah well, next time."
Steve & Xander Goddard sent this message: "Something of a slow-down in Wolvercote, Oxon in recent days, not surprisingly. However, one striking record to report for 5th September: our first ever Dog's Tooth."
Tim Watts reports: "Colleen found this caterpillar stranded in an upturned bucket under an apple tree in our Whitchurch, Bucks garden on 31st August. I think it is an Eyed Hawk-moth. Colleen thought it was called a One eyed Hawkmoth which is still making me giggle - wish it was called that!! Also a Red Underwing in the garden on 2nd September flying then landing in daylight and two visits from a Hummingbird Hawk-moth this week."
Marc Botham forgot to mention that on 29th August in Bagley Woods, Oxon he had Oak Lutestring (9) and Euleioptilus carphodactyla (1). Also, despite catching the common Eudemis profundana since July he noticed it wasn't on the website yet. He had quite a few at Bagley Woods in July and a handful on 29th August as well. Subsequently, in his garden at Benson, Oxon Marc has had Lunar Underwing (4th September), Black Rustic and Brindled Green (6th September) then Brown-spot Pinion and Dusky-lemon Sallow (both 7th September).
Adam Hartley writes: "Things have quietened down noticeably over the last couple of weeks in my central Oxford garden (using a 40W actinic trap), with year ticks much scarcer now. However over the last three days I did manage three new moths for the year: on 3rd September a Centre-barred Sallow and a Eudonia angustea and on 5th September a Nephopterix angustella."
Dave Ferguson asked the following question:
"My moth trap in Beaconsfield, Bucks has been visited by a plague of
hornets. I had 5 two nights ago and 4 last night (4th September) by 10 pm when I aborted the session.
Has anyone else had this problem?"
~ Saturday 7th September 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "Some of the autumn macros have begun to emerge locally, with Black Rustic first seen in my Westcott, Bucks garden on 1st September, followed by Sallow on 3rd September and Pink-barred Sallow on 4th September. Square-spot Rustic seems to have taken on plague proportions here with 254 individuals counted in the trap on 5th September. I've had well over 1,600 of them in the garden already this season and the moth looks set to provide the year's highest total for a single species. Elsewhere, new species for the year have included Eucalybites auroguttella in Wendover Woods, Bucks on 4th September and Nephopterix angustella in Finemere Wood, Bucks on 5th September.
With thanks to Peter Hall and his microscope I have another small batch of moths from sites in Bucks to add to the year list: Aethes margarotana (Greatmoor 25th June), Caloptilia alchimiella (Bernwood 28th June), Coleophora alticolella, Coleophora lusciniaepennella, Coleophora mayrella, Coleophora siccifolia (all Bernwood 28th June), Epinotia abbreviana (Westcott 29th June) & Swammerdamia caesiella (Bernwood 21st June), while the Rothamsted trap at Marsh Gibbon has produced Cnephasia pasiuana (2nd July), Coleophora adspersella (28th June), Coleophora alcyonipennella (30th June), Coleophora versurella (18th June) & Syncopacma cinctella (30th June). Aethes margarotana has caused a bit of excitement, not only because it is normally a coastal species but also because the moth was previously thought to have become extinct on the UK mainland prior to the Second World War!"
~ Sunday 1st September 2013 ~
Dave Wilton sent this update: "There were plenty of moths in the garden trap at Westcott, Bucks during the last week of August, thanks mainly to Square-spot Rustic (200+ per session) and Feathered Gothic (30-50 per session) which both seem to be having a very good season locally. However, typically for this time of year there have been few new species, the only ones noted being Ypsolopha horridella (27th August) and Large Wainscot (28th August). A few hours in Bernwood Forest on 30th August with Peter Hall added Epinotia brunnichana, Epinotia trigonella & Hypatima rhomboidella."
Dave Ferguson added a new species to his garden list in Beaconsfield, Bucks on 27th August, a White-point.
This report came from Steve & Xander Goddard: "No new species to the region to report in Wolvercote, Oxon over the last ten days or so, I think, but like others we're starting to notice an autumnal theme - several Centre-barred Sallows in the last few days - and a substantial second generation of Poplar Hawk-moths (five on 23rd August) in continuing quite large catches (345 individuals on 21st August, and over fifty species most days). We're also getting quite a few Old Ladies, with six in the trap on 26th August."
Tom Stevenson sent in the photograph below of a Frosted Orange found in the public toilets in Dorchester, Oxon on 27th August.
Nigel Partridge has added the following new records from his garden at Loosley Row, Bucks during the last week of August: leaf-mines of Stigmella microtheriella and Phyllonorycter coryli both on hazel and an adult Dark Spinach in the trap on 25th August.
Dave Morris reports: "Peter Hall's skills have been called upon for a selection of moths from my Seer Green, Bucks garden and a few of these have proved to be new for the UTB list. I was a bit lax on recording the exact dates, I'm afraid: Bryotropha affinis (late-July), Coleophora argentula (late-July), Coleophora laricella (late-July), Coleophora serratella (late-July), Ephestia parasitella (mid-June) and Monopis crocicapitella (mid-June)."
~ Saturday 24th August 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "Prompted by Nigel Partridge's recent leaf-mine records, a quick look around my garden at Westcott, Bucks on 18th August produced active mines of Stigmella aurella (on bramble) and vacated mines of Stigmella hybnerella (on hawthorn), Stigmella obliquella (on willow), Stigmella plagicolella (on blackthorn), Stigmella ulmivora (on elm) & Lyonetia clerkella (on cherry), while on 23rd August I found several larvae of Bedellia somnulentella mining leaves of bindweed. The garden trap is still bringing in reasonable numbers of moths although there have been few new species. The warm night of 23rd August was a bit of an exception with just short of 100 species caught (an excellent total for the time of year), including Agonopterix purpurea & Pale Eggar (both new for the year) and a battered but nevertheless very welcome Tree-lichen Beauty which was yet another addition to the garden list. Square-spot Rustic seems to be doing as well as ever, 117 of them entering the trap on the 23rd, while numbers of second-brood Brimstone Moth, Flame Shoulder, Setaceous Hebrew Character & Straw Dot are building nicely, but Large Yellow Underwing is still noticeable by its absence. Away from home, a visit to Weston Turville reservoir on 21st August added Yponomeuta plumbella, Chilo phragmitella, Twin-spotted Wainscot & Webb's Wainscot to the UTB year list."
Marc Botham had his first Centre-barred Sallow of the year in his Benson, Oxon garden on 22nd August. That same night, after many attempts both last year and this year, he finally had success in catching Butterbur in Millbrook Mead, a small nature reserve in Preston Crowmarsh, Oxon. A single rather worn example came to an actinic light. Marc also mentions that despite not seeing any adult Small Ranunculus moths in his garden this year, there were more than 20 larvae on prickly lettuce at the end of July and into early August.
Keith Mitchell sent this message: "Nothing special to report apart from a new micro for the garden in Stoke Goldington, Bucks last night (20th August): Dichrorampha acuminatana."
Martin Wainwright wistfully reports his first Sallow of the year on 20th August - a Centre-barred Sallow in his Robinson trap at Thrupp, Oxon; an early sign of Autumn on the way. It shared the trap with two fresh-looking Poplar Hawk-moths, the second night running that a pair in good condition had arrived. Along with Mary Elford's report from 12th/13th August of a similarly new-looking Poplar Hawk-moth at Bampton, this seems convincing evidence of a good second generation.
~ Saturday 17th August 2013 ~
Nigel Partridge has added a few more species to the UTB list from his garden at Loosley Row, Bucks: on 2nd August Phyllocnistis saligna (thanks go to Peter Hall and John Langmaid for their help with the ID); on 10th August Phyllonorycter nicellii, a leaf-mine on Hazel; on 14th August Phyllonorycter leucographella, a leaf-mine on Hawthorn; on 16th August Stigmella aurella, a leaf-mine on Bramble.
Dave Wilton sent this message: "As is to be expected at this time of year, things have slowed down a bit now but I do have one or two more species from Bucks to add to the list from the past few days: on 14th August Acleris rhombana at Westcott and Beech-green Carpet & Dotted Clay in Wendover Woods; on 15th August Mouse Moth at Westcott and Epinotia ramella & Devon Carpet in Bernwood Forest; on 16th August Feathered Gothic at Westcott."
Dave goes on: "Going back in time, following microscopic examination, Peter Hall has very kindly confirmed the identities of the following difficult or faded micro species seen in Bucks earlier this year: Caloptilia semifascia (Steps Hill 23rd April), Roeslerstammia erxlebella (Westcott 16th May), Phyllonorycter blancardella, Parornix anglicella & Parornix betulae (all Bernwood 18th May), Elachista canapennella (Westcott 20th May), Stigmella ruficapitella & Epinotia tetraquetrana (both Ashridge 20th May), Parornix finitimella (Finemere Wood 21st May), Coleophora otidipennella (Pilch Fields 26th May), Epiblema cirsiana (Salden railway cutting 26th May), Cnephasia asseclana (Westcott 31st May), Dichrorampha aeratana (Asham Meads 31st May), Deltaornix torquillella (Rushbeds 31st May), Dichrorampha plumbagana & Dichrorampha plumbana (Westcott railway cutting 1st June), Agonopterix assimilella (emerged at Westcott 2nd June, larva collected from broom at Old Wavendon Heath on 2nd May), Bucculatrix demaryella (Bernwood 5th June), Nematopogon schwarziellus (Steps Hill 11th June), Coleophora caespititiella, Elachista humilis, Cedestis subfasciella & Strophedra weirana (all Bernwood 14th June), Coleophora striatipennella (Leaches Farm 17th June), Coleophora discordella (Westcott railway cutting 17th June), Coleophora peribenanderi (Westcott 18th June), Elachista atricomella, Eulamprotes atrella, Scrobipalpa obsoletella & Cnephasia incertana (all Ivinghoe 18th June), Dichrorampha alpinana & Dichrorampha sequana (both Bernwood M40 Compensation Area 19th June), Coleophora deauratella (Westcott 19th June), Bucculatrix bechsteinella, Coleophora trifolii & Cydia nigricana (all Latimer 19th June) and Coleophora milvipennis, Biselachista cinereopunctella & Lampronia luzella (all Bernwood 21st June). A few of these species are very good records for Bucks. Agonopterix assimilella is a first for VC24 while Scrobipalpa obsoletella and Lampronia luzella have only been recorded once previously, the latter from Hell Coppice as long ago as 1928."
Mary Elford sent this follow-up to Martin Wainwright's report about the Poplar Hawk-moth on 12th/13th August: "I had precisely the same thought when a beautifully fresh Poplar Hawk-moth was in my trap here in Bampton, Oxon on the very same morning. Fortuitously, friends called in that morning to see the contents of my trap and as a result I think they are going to buy one and start mothing."
Dave Maunder reports: "A few more moths found locally around Aylesbury, Bucks recently include: Red Underwing (16th August, two roosting together under the porch of Fairford Leys football club), Old Lady (15th August, dead on a path in Fairford Leys) and Small Elephant Hawk-moth larvae (14th August, five found at Grangelands LNR after dark by searching Yellow Bedstraw with a torch!)."
Tom Stevenson has now received a full list from Marc Botham of the moths trapped at Ewelme Watercress Beds LNR, Oxon on 19th July, when three Robinson and one Skinner MV traps and one Skinner actinic trap were deployed. An impressive total of 1,376 moths from 189 species were trapped and the following are still new to this year's UTB list: Argyresthia brockeella, Elachista rufocinerea, Metzneria lappella, Metzneria metzneriella, Cochylis nana, Epagoge grotiana, Eucosma conterminana, Ostrinia nubilalis/European Corn-borer, Myelois circumvoluta/Thistle Ermine, Rivulet, Dark Dagger, Marbled Minor & Rufous Minor.
Steve and Xander Goddard sent this report: "A few more from Wolvercote, Oxon: we've continued with about 60 species and 200 or so individuals most nights for the last week, and some nice ones including Chinese Character, Old Lady and Lime-speck Pug. In terms of new species, we've had Lozotaeniodes formosana and Lobesia littoralis on 8th August and Acleris emargana on 10th August."
~ Monday 12th August 2013 ~
Martin Wainwright wonders whether this Poplar Hawk which roosted overnight in his trap at Thrupp, Oxon, on 12/13 August, is a second generation specimen because of its excellent condition. Poplar Hawks have been a regular arrival since early June but recently most have been showing signs of wear and tear. Martin and Steve Goddard also joined the RSPB's Big Wild Sleepout in Wytham Woods on 11 August where three traps enticed a notably large number of Black Arches. Other moths examined by eager children and their families included Heart and Dart, Bloodvein, July Highflyer, Yellow-tail, Mother of Pearl, Small Fan-footed Wave, Large Twin-spot Carpet and Lime-speck Pug.
Mick Jones tells us that the star item discovered during a work party at Dancersend, Bucks on 11th August was a Satyr Pug caterpillar found on a Field Scabious flower.
Dave Ferguson ran a trap in his Beaconsfield, Bucks garden on 9th August and amongst the contents were Epiblema uddmanniana and Pandemis corylana. On 11th August the same trap produced this rather faded Orthopygia glaucinalis.
Dave Maunder's garden trap in Aylesbury, Bucks caught a worn Garden Tiger back on 18th July, the first he'd seen in Aylesbury since 1986! Other sightings during the third week of July included Blackneck, Olive, Large Twin-spot Carpet, Lilac Beauty, Pine Hawk-moth, Elephant Hawk-moth, Poplar Hawk-moth, Leopard Moth, Maiden's Blush, Peach Blossom, Dotted Rustic, Sycamore and Buff-tip. More recently, Dave made the exciting discovery of a Hoary Footman at the Fairford Leys football fields in Aylesbury on 8th August (confirmed by Peter Hall and extends the range of this species northwards in the county by quite a considerable distance). A Lime Hawk-moth caterpillar was found crawling up the trunk of a Lime tree on 6th August while at Grangelands, Bucks on 11th August a 3rd instar Hummingbird Hawk-moth larva was discovered on Bedstraw.
Dave Wilton managed to get out on all three of this year's National Moth Nights as well as running traps in his garden: "On Thursday 8th August I used two traps at Weston Turville reservoir, Bucks but despite a reasonable haul of 90 or so species there was nothing to show that I was trapping in reed-bed habitat apart from Brown-veined Wainscot (1), Silky Wainscot (1) & Crescent (3). On Friday 9th August Chris Bottrell and I ran three lights for a very successful public event in Brill, Bucks which was attended by around 60 people. The species count wasn't great but sufficient numbers of colourful moths turned up to make the evening very worthwhile. The only additions to the UTB list for this year were Opostega salaciella, Square-spot Rustic and a probable Small Rufous which still needs to be checked. On Saturday 10th August I ran two traps on Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks and recorded about 100 species, including Depressaria douglasella, Mompha miscella, Annulet & Garden Dart. The theme of this year's NMN event was Tiger Moths but Ruby Tiger was as close as I got at all three sites! In the garden at Westcott, Bucks the night of 8th August produced 100 species but nothing of particular note. On 9th August a lower catch of 85 species again included nothing much of note, but on 10th August things improved with a good haul of about 540 moths of 110 species, including Mecyna flavalis (new to the garden), Maple Pug & Red Underwing as well as a bumper collection of 20 Magpie Moths, the most I've ever had in one night."
Ched George caught 63 species in his garden trap at Radnage, Bucks on 9th August and amongst them was a Square-spotted Clay.
Steve & Xander Goddard sent this message: "After a couple of weeks away, a few things to report from Wolvercote, Oxon: a huge catch (by our standards) of Pleuroptya ruralis/Mother of Pearl on 4th August, with at least 117 in the trap. In terms of newcomers, Agriphila geniculea and Mullein Wave on 4th August (a photo of the latter from the 7th, as the one I took on the 4th wasn't very good) and Conobathra repandana, Flounced Rustic and Rosy Rustic on 6th August."
Dave Morris adds that his trapping session at Amersham Museum on 2nd August also produced a Flounced Rustic which he'd forgotten about until he looked at the photos. On 7th August a Toadflax Brocade was caught in his Seer Green, Bucks garden, while on 8th August Dave ran a trap with Tori Summerell at the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park and the contents included a Six-striped Rustic.
Richard Wheeler spent an hour at Sydling's Copse, Oxon on 7th August and saw plenty of Silver Ys there as well as a single Nemophora metallica typically sitting on Field Scabious.
Ali Driver reports: "I set my Robinson trap again at home in Sonning, Berks on 6th August and added Coxcomb Prominent to my garden list and Dusky Sallow, Flounced Rustic, Rosy Rustic and Cypress Pug to my year list."
Adam Hartley reported the following: "Here are my latest NFY caught in my central Oxford garden using my 40w actinic trap. Agriphila geniculea, Argyresthia bonnetella on 2nd August; Apple Leaf Miner (Lyonetia clerkella) and Currant Pug 3rd August; on the 4th August Bucculatrix nigricomella; Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Pale Prominent, Pandemis corylana (Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix) and Bryotropha domestica all on the 5th August and a Spectacle on the 6th August."
Tim & Tony Clark sent the following: "Acleris forsskaleana was a new one for the Banbury, Oxon garden on 1st August. A new location along the old ironstone railway at Horley, Oxfordshire on 3rd August gave Shaded Broad-bar (3), Smoky Wainscot (2), Pale Prominent, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Scalloped Oak and Six-striped Rustic. Our Banbury garden on 4th August gave Phoenix and Shuttle-shaped Dart, whilst Vapourer and Old Lady (first adult) preferred the comfort of the garage rather than the trap!"
~ Monday 5th August 2013 ~
A further report from Marc Botham was received on 4th August: "Another nice surprise for me today at Buttler's Hangings, Bucks during my butterfly transect: I took my pheremone lures with me again as I was convinced that despite failing several times earlier this year and over the previous two years to attract Six-belted Clearwing, it must be there. I also thought I'd check to see if Orange-tailed Clearwing was still out and about and in a different area on the site. It was a bit windy and I thought it was going to be a fruitless venture but when I found a sheltered area with a good stand of Lotus I finally managed to get a Six-belted Clearwing come along. Then, more surprisingly still, a different-looking clearwing arrived at the VES lure - it was a Yellow-legged Clearwing, the species the lure is aimed at, but nevertheless a great surprise. It was also nice to see three Pyrausta species in good numbers (Pyrausta aurata, Pyrausta purpuralis and Pyrausta nigrata) as well as more than ten Dusky Sallows on knapweed flowers."
Dave Wilton reports: "There was a bit of migrant activity at the end of July and beginning of August but the only unusual item to visit my garden at Westcott, Bucks was a Small Mottled Willow on 1st August. However, continuing this year's trend of increased local dispersal, two more unexpected visitors graced the trap with their presence on 3rd August when Antler Moth and Rosy Minor turned up. Amongst the regulars, recent garden sightings have included Athrips mouffetella on 29th July, Limnaecia phragmitella on 31st July and Copper Underwing on 1st August. Elsewhere, a trapping session with Peter Hall at Finemere Wood, Bucks on 31st July added Phyllonorycter harrisella, Ypsolopha parenthesella, Ypsolopha sylvella, Epinotia nisella & Rhyacionia pinicolana to the UTB list, while a visit to Homefield Wood, Bucks with Martin Albertini on 1st August saw good numbers of Mocha and Clouded Magpie as well as sightings of Acleris laterana, Monochroa cytisella, Evergestis pallidata, Dusky Thorn & Lesser-spotted Pinion."
Dave Morris ran a trap for a children's event at Amersham Museum, Bucks on 2nd August: The catch was fairly low and mainly consisted of the usual suspects, but did include an Orange Swift.
Nigel Partridge has added a few more species to his garden list at Loosley Row, Bucks: Pandemis corylana on 28th July, Orange Swift on 31st July, Rosy Minor on 2nd August and Stigmella plagicolella (a mine on Blackthorn) on 4th August.
Alistair Driver tells us that he was delighted to add Jersey Tiger to his parish records for Sonning, Berks on 1st August. He also had his second ever garden record of Scarce Silver-lines and first Lesser-spotted Pinion of the year.
Tim and Tony Clark sent the following report: "We had a Ruby Tiger in our Banbury, Oxon garden on 23rd July, others in the trap included V-Pug, Small Rivulet, Small Blood-vein, Agriphila tristella and Epiblema uddmanniana (Bramble Shoot Moth). The poplar plantation at Horley, Oxon on 27th July proved surprisingly unproductive both in terms of overall numbers and species, but Udea lutealis was new for us. On 29th July we spotted a Magpie Moth (first adult) in a Claydon, Oxon garden, before trapping another in our Banbury garden together with Eurrhypara hortulata (Small Magpie), Yellow Shell, Celypha striana, Trachycera advenella and the distinctive yellow-brown Common Rustic agg. A big hatch of Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl) constituted over half of the 60 or so moths in our trap at Horley larch woods on 31st July, together with our first Dun-bar (3), Large Twin-spot Carpet (2), July Highflyer, Clay, Small Phoenix, Agapeta zoegana, and Hypsopygia costalis (Gold Triangle)."
Marc Botham reports that on 1st August he had a Vestal to his garden trap at Benson, Oxon along with the more usual migrants (Plutella xylostella, Dark Sword-grass & Silver Y).
~ Friday 2nd August 2013 ~
Tony Rayner added a new moth to his Cholsey, Oxon garden list on 31st July with a visit from an Oblique Striped.
Martin Wainwright reports that on
31st July his Robinson trap at Thrupp, Oxon attracted
a Canary-shouldered Thorn while an Early Thorn slept on a tree
branch directly overhead. Also in the catch was a micro with its hindwings curiously raised and Martin
asks if anyone is familiar with this and the reasons for it?
Chris Bottrell had a surprise visitor to his Merton, Oxon garden on 27th July: "Despite a torrential overnight downpour, a new visitor to the trap: a male Four-spotted Footman. Possibly taking shelter in it!"
Steve & Xander Goddard have had some bumper catches in their Wolvercote, Oxon garden trap recently and amongst 67 species on 22nd July were Small Waved Umber & Least Yellow Underwing.
Rob Payne reports on the trapping session at RSPB Otmoor, Oxon on 26th July: "A great night was had by myself, Marc Botham, Dave Morris and Chris Bottrell. We had over 160 species spread over 5 traps and a screen, including a number of new ones for the UTB list: Agonopterix angelicella, Ebulea crocealis, Endothenia quadrimaculana, Eucosma obumbratana, Grapholita funebrana/Plum Fruit Moth, Gypsonoma dealbana, Phtheochroa inopiana, Phycita roborella, Schoenobius gigantella, Common Rustic, Double Dart, Lunar-spotted Pinion, Oak Eggar, Southern Wainscot, Tawny Marbled Minor & Gold Spot. Also of note were 64 Garden Tigers which is the second year in a row where we had an abundance of this species. There were also good numbers of Ruby Tiger, Drinker, Rosy Footman and Four-dotted Footman while September Thorn was also present."
Alan & Juliet Gudge have had some bumper catches in their garden trap at Frieth, Bucks: "Last night (26th July) the highlight was an Ear Moth - a first for our garden and not yet on the Upper Thames list for 2013. The attached picture was taken by Juliet".
Adam Hartley's central Oxford actinic trap
has continued to add new species for the year:
Marc Botham sent this update on 26th July: "Following one of my earlier e-mails I think I can confirm that Ruddy Carpet must be having a good year. I’ve just found one in the Rothamsted trap at CEH Wallingford, Oxon. This trap catches very few moths and is surrounded by buildings and lights. However, on the same night there was a Tissue and a Gem in the trap, the second Gem for the year, so perhaps it is a good passing point?"
Nigel Partridge sent the following report: "A few more from our garden in Loosley Row, Bucks: Shaded Broad-bar & Agriphila tristella on 23rd July, Sloe Pug on 24th July (thanks to Peter Hall for confirming the ID)."
Dave Morris has added the following moths to his Seer Green, Bucks garden list: 20th July Galleria mellonella/Wax Moth; 21st July Least Carpet, Ruby Tiger (first adult); 30th July Ypsolopha scabrella.
~ Tuesday 30th July 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "From a quick scan through my diary here is a selection of species seen in Bucks over the past ten days which have yet to make it on to this year's UTB list: at Aston Clinton on 15th July Paratalanta hyalinalis, Merrifieldia baliodactylus; at Steps Hill on 16th July Scythropia crataegella, Metzneria aprilella, Parachronistis albiceps, Epiblema roborana, Trachycera suavella, Least Yellow Underwing; at Grangelands on 17th July (with Martin Albertini & Peter Hall) Ypsolopha sequella, Coleophora lixella, Ancylis comptana, Epiblema foenella, Platyptilia pallidactyla, Juniper Pug, Slender Brindle; at Bernwood Forest on 18th July Ypsolopha nemorella, Borkhausenia fuscescens, Pseudatemelia josephinae, Batrachedra pinicolella, Mere Wainscot; at Ivinghoe Beacon on 22nd July Agonopterix kaekeritziana, Teleiodes sequax, Acleris variegana, Celypha rosaceana, Chalk Carpet, Antler Moth; at Bradenham on 24th July (with Martin Albertini & Peter Hall) Elachista triatomea, Agonopterix liturosa, Sitochroa palealis, Stenoptilia pterodactyla, Tawny-speckled Pug, Clouded Magpie, Straw Underwing, Dusky Sallow; at Weston Turville reservoir on 25th July Euzophera pinguis, Chevron, Crescent, Bulrush Wainscot, Brown-veined Wainscot. Other personal highlights included seeing Muslin Footman & Royal Mantle at Grangelands on 17th July and Oncocera semirubella at Ivinghoe on 22nd July. Further records from the garden at Westcott have included Endothenia nigricostana (15th July), Ypsolopha dentella & Agriphila tristella (both 17th July), Batrachedra praeangusta & Calamotropha paludella (both 22nd July), Phyllonorycter acerifoliella (23rd July) and Minor Shoulder-knot (26th July)."
~ Thursday 25th July 2013 ~
25/7 - Latest update to the Moth Stats posted (see link at the top of this page).
Tom Stevenson asks: "Can anyone help with this caterpillar? I think it could be a Parsnip Moth (Depressaria heraclei) larva but would like confirmation as, if so, it would be another one for the Ewelme Watercress Beds, Oxon. We put 5 overnight traps out on the site last weekend (20th/21st June) and found two Striped Lychnis amongst those trapped, though strictly speaking neither quite made it into the traps."
David Roy reports a new species in his garden moth trap at Crowmarsh Gifford, Oxon on 22nd July, a Waved Black.
Dave Morris sent in another report from Seer Green, Bucks where an adult male Vapourer and an August Thorn were caught on 23rd July along with one of the Copper Underwing species.
Steve & Xander Goddard have sent in a few records from their garden in Wolvercote, Oxon: "We've continued with some large-scale catches, up to 195 individuals on 21st July, our biggest ever, and never many fewer than 60 species in the last week or so. In terms of new records, on 15th July we had Mompha propinquella, Pleuroptya ruralis/Mother of Pearl and Toadflax Pug; on 19th July Catoptria falsella and Dingy Footman; on 20th July Orthotelia sparganella, Recurvaria leucatella and Shaded broad-bar; on 21st July Epinotia signatana, Helcystogramma rufescens, Large Emerald, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and Morophaga choragella."
Mary Elford sent this report: "Like all of your other correspondents, moth numbers have increased dramatically here in Bampton, Oxon with the advent of the hot weather. This morning (22nd July) there were three Marbled Greens in my garden trap - arriving on precisely the same date as last year and the year before! Also, there were three Marbled Beauties on 19th July - this species arrived on 26th July last year."
Ched George reports a good night's trapping in his Radnage, Bucks garden on 21st July with 80 macro-moth species caught, including Barred Rivulet.
Marc Botham reports: "Another few interesting things here at Benson, Oxon: having caught Ruddy Carpet for the first time in the UK at Shotover, Oxon at the end of June (29th), I then saw a few records cropping up and started to think it must be having a fairly good year. Friday night (19th July) in my garden confirmed this, I think, as I caught one at my MV trap. Not only that, but it was joined by the closely related Royal Mantle which is not only a garden first for me, but also only a UK second, with the only other one I've seen coming last weekend at Wicken Fen - could that be having a good year too? My garden trap is very busy albeit mainly with common stuff, but I did turn up Pempelia formosa and Haworth's Pug seems to be having a good year too. Svensson's Copper Underwing may also be a first for the year? Another garden first for me came today (21st July) as I was on the phone with my mum and went over to see which skipper it was flying round my garden. As I watched a ragwort flower hoping the skipper would settle, a Red-belted Clearwing settled there instead! What luck, especially after doing my butterfly transect on Buttler's Hangings, Bucks during which I observed 8 male Orange-tailed Clearwings come to a pheremone lure and I also found my first ever Oncocera semirubella. Quite a good weekend, making up for the fact that I seem totally inept at finding Hornet Moth despite locating several infected host trees. Others that may still be UTB firsts include Assara terebrella, Sharp-angled Carpet and Waved Black (2) at Harcourt Arboretum, Oxon last night (20th July), where incidentally I have never seen such good numbers of Buff Footman (by far the commonest footman of the night above Common, Scarce, Dingy and Rosy)."
This report was received from Tim and Tony Clark: "A busy few nights with our 22W actinic trap. New species in our small suburban Banbury, Oxon garden on 18th July were Vapourer, Dot Moth, Marbled Beauty, Short-cloaked Moth and Lozotaenia forsterana. The larch woods at nearby Horley, Oxon on 19th July gave us our best night yet with 98 moths of 25 species, including Dingy Footman, Light Emerald, Swallow-tailed Moth, Drinker, Garden Tiger, Burnished Brass, Sandy Carpet and Pleuroptya ruralis/Mother of Pearl. On 20th July the poplar plantation at Horley gave Yellow-tail, White Satin, Common Emerald, Coxcomb Prominent, Garden Tiger, Early Thorn and Anthophila fabriciana/Nettle-tap. A few more micros are appearing in our trap now and on 21st July our Banbury garden produced new species Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Dipleurina lacustrata, Agriphila straminella and Blastobasis adustella."
Darren Seaman sent this report: "I've had a couple of new moths for the year list, a Fen Wainscot and Brown-tail on 18th July and two Plain Pugs on 19th July along with a nice selection of Hawk-moths. They were caught in my Milton Keynes garden in a 25w actinic trap."
Nigel Partridge had the following new species in his garden trap at Loosely Row, Bucks: on 16th July Marasmarcha lunaedactyla; on 17th July Pleuroptya ruralis/Mother of Pearl & Yponomeuta evonymella/Bird Cherry Ermine; on 18th July Carcina quercana; on 20th July Hedya salicella, Bordered Pug, Maple Prominent, Catoptria falsella & Marbled Beauty; on 22nd July Cochylis dubitana & Eupoecilia angustana.
Martin Wainwright had a Leopard in his trap at Thrupp, Oxfordshire on 17th July - the moth sort rather than the mammal. Well over 200 other specimens included a dozen each of Buff-Tip and Buff Arches, four White Satins, two Elephant Hawk-moths and a Poplar Hawk-moth. On 15th July visitors to the trap included a Short-cloaked Moth and a Common Lutestring. On 21st July Martin had a favourite in the trap, a Marbled Beauty which caught his eye in spite of the rival attractions of 43 Mother of Pearls. On the rainy night of 24th July a Black Arches came to the trap, a first for the year and a moth Martin has always wanted to see. Martin adds: "with a Puss Moth and Leopards calling earlier in the season, it makes up a nice 'op art' trio; here's hoping for some of the Kitten moths!".
Adam Hartley sent this trap report from his central Oxford garden: on 16th July Plutella xylostella/Diamond-back Moth, Trachycera advenella, Argyresthia retinella; on 17th July Marasmarcha lunaedactyla/Crescent Plume, Yponomeuta malinellus/Apple Ermine, Helcystogramma rufescens; on 19th July Pebble Hook-tip, Phlyctaenia coronata, Small Fan-footed Wave, Dwarf Cream Wave, Dingy Shears, Eudemis porphyrana, Teleiodes vulgella, Single-dotted Wave, Pterophorus pentadactyla/White Plume; on 20th July Phoenix and Acrolepiopsis assectella/Leek Moth; on 21st July Ethmia dodecea, Small Ranunculus, Triple-spotted Clay, Muslin Footman and Cnephasia longana; on 22nd July Carcina quercana and Recurvaria nanella.
Dave Wilton reports: "I hope that when we look back on 2013 the excellent weather that we've had over the past month won't make us forget just how dire were the first six months of the year for our butterflies and moths! Here at Westcott, Bucks the hot weather seems to have caused quite a bit more dispersal of species than is usual and my all-time garden list has already grown by an unprecedented two butterflies (White-letter Hairstreak & Dark Green Fritillary) and ten macro-moths - and it is only the end of July. These and several new micro-moths take the garden total past 800 species of lepidoptera. The new moth species have included Twin-spot Carpet & Silky Wainscot (both 17th July) and Gem & Kent Black Arches (both 23rd July). However, despite occasional trend-buckers such as Red-necked Footman and Coronet (both of which, but particularly the latter, seem to have undergone a population explosion in Bucks), many moths seem to me to be flying at below their normal numbers. This is particularly noticeable in the garden with that Summer "big-hitter" the Heart and Dart, whose totals are at present far below what I would normally expect to record."
Ben Carpenter visited The Holies, Berks on Friday 12th July and found 2 Mecyna flavalis.
~ Friday 19th July 2013 ~
David Church reports a sighting of a Swallow-tailed Moth during the afternoon of 17th July inside his log-store at North Newington, Oxon.
Martin Kincaid reports that on 16th July the Milton Keynes Natural History Society held a moth evening in College Wood near Nash, Bucks. The event was held in memory of member George Higgs who passed away last December. George was a first rate lepidopterist and he would have been delighted by the fantastic night’s mothing enjoyed, with close to 150 species recorded, including Peach Blossom, Clouded Border, Light Emerald and Poplar Hawk-moth. Several female Glow-worm beetles were also seen to be doing their thing as the night grew darker.
Adam Hartley writes: "I'm still making relatively good catches at present in my central Oxford garden using my 40w actinic trap. New for the year over the last few days have been Yellow Shell, Blood-vein, Pammene regiana, Aleimma loeflingiana, Swallow-tailed Moth, Dun-bar, Common Rustic agg and Spilonota ocellana on 13th July; Barred Straw, Epiblema uddmanniana, Endotricha flammealis, Agriphila straminella, Clepsis consimilana, Batia lunaris and Paraswammerdamia nebulella on 14th July; Scarce Footman, Celypha striana and Eucosma cana on 15th July; Dark Sword-grass, Small Emerald, Yponomeuta evonymella and Batia unitella on 16th July."
Dave Ferguson mentions a few more additions to the year list from the night of 15th July at Beaconsfield, Bucks: Lesser Cream Wave, September Thorn, Phlyctaenia coronata and Yponomeuta evonymella (Bird-cherry Ermine).
Ben Sheldon tells us that, in common with everyone, he has been enjoying a wonderful period of mothing since early July, with many new species to his East Oxford garden. Highlights have been: Red-necked Footman (6th July), Reddish Light Arches (8th & 13th July), Garden Tiger (first adult, 9th July), Pebble Prominent (12th July) and Eyed Hawk-moth (14th July). Potentially of more significance is a single of what appears to be Metalampra italica on 15th July, which seems to be new for the UTB region (the first British record having been in 2003).
Marc Botham reports: "I’m afraid I don’t have time to update you about all my garden records from Benson, Oxon as things have got really busy with both work and moths. However, I thought it would be of wider interest to mention a Striped Lychnis to MV light (though sat on the outside of the trap as seen in the attached photo) on 13th July along with no less than three Festoons, though I also had a single Festoon a couple of weeks back and will need to dig out the date for you."
Ali Driver had a bumper trapping session at last at Ali's Pond in Sonning, Berks on 14th July with a parish record 54 macro-moth species caught. New for the site were Scarlet Tiger and Ghost Moth and new records for the year included Buff Footman, Dwarf Cream Wave and Dun-bar.
Martin Wainwright had White Satin moths in his trap at Thrupp, Oxon two nights running, 14th and 15th July, one specimen on each occasion. On the second, a Yellow-tail also arrived and also chose to perch on the canopy where both slept soundly in bright morning sunshine. Buff-tips are very common in the trap at the moment. On 15th July a lovely Nymphula stagnata (Beautiful China Mark) was caught, along with the form of Acleris forsskaleana which has a smudgy heart-shape on its prettily-dotted wings - appropriately as 16th July is the birthday of Penny, Martin's wife. Later on the 15th she spotted an Ephestia kuehniella or Mediterranean Flour Moth on the kitchen windowsill which may say something mildly alarming about the Wainwright's cereal storage!
This report came from Steve & Xander Goddard: "By our standards, some very substantial catches from Wolvercote, Oxon. For example, 182 individuals of 82 species on the 13th July and 194 of 65 species on the 14th. Some spectacular individuals too, including our first Elephant Hawk-moth and Eyed Hawk-moth and a number of firsts for the garden: 11th July Round-winged Muslin, Short-cloaked Moth, Udea prunalis & Yponomeuta evonymella; 12th July Aleimma loeflingiana, Batia unitella, Lyonetia clerkella, Rustic & Smoky Wainscot; 13th July Acleris forsskaleana, Archips xylosteana, Batia lunaris, Bordered Beauty, Carcina quercana, Double Lobed, Dwarf Cream Wave, Leopard Moth, Marasmarcha lunaedactyla & Pammene aurita; 14th July Argyresthia goedartella, Brachmia blandella, Brown Scallop, Mompha ochraceella, Small Blood-vein & Spilonota ocellana.
~ Monday 15th July 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: Recent highlights have included Rosy Marbled caught during a Bucks Invertebrate Group meeting at the Field Studies Council's Mop End Field Centre near Amersham, Bucks on the night of 13th July, although the evening will probably be best remembered for the number of Red-necked Footman sightings (the moth appeared in virtually every trap and 13 were caught there in all). That same night produced a male Dotted Fan-foot as a first-timer in my garden trap at Westcott, Bucks. A female of the species appeared the following night so a local population may have become established somewhere nearby. Other garden macro-moth sightings over the previous week included Scarce Silver-lines (6th July), Small Scallop (8th July), Lackey (first adult) & Yellow-tail (both 9th July), Brown-line Bright-eye (12th July) and Brown Scallop, Wormwood Pug, Scalloped Oak, White Satin, Olive, Dun-bar & Cloaked Minor (all 13th July). Sightings elsewhere have included Large Twin-spot Carpet & True Lover's Knot at Ivinghoe, Bucks on 7th July, Small Black Arches in Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 9th July and Satin Beauty, Purple Clay & Grey Arches at Ashridge, Bucks on 12th July."
Dave Ferguson's trap results on the night of 12th July in Beaconsfield, Bucks included a July Highflyer.
Adam Hartley writes: "Quite a few year ticks for my central Oxford garden over the last few nights caught with my 40w actinic trap. On 7th July Buff-tip, Coronet, Pandemis cerasana/Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix, a probable Acleris notana and Blackneck; on 8th July Eudonia pallida; on 9th July Acleris forsskaleana, Ditula angustiorana/Red-barred Tortrix, Archips podana/Large Fruit-tree Tortrix and Double Square-spot; on 10th July Udea prunalis, Smoky Wainscot and Blastodacna hellerella; on 11th July Dark Arches; finally on 12th July Ancylis achatana." Adam adds that he had Rustic in his garden trap on 10th July.
Mark Griffiths sent this report on 11th July: "We have a Scarlet Tiger flying around our Garsington, Oxon garden. I had 30-40 caterpillars in various parts of the garden last year - hopefully more will emerge!"
Dave Morris sent the following: "With the recent good weather and a lot of trapping sessions, I have a few moths to add to the UTB year list from in and around Seer Green, Bucks: 5th July at Chiltern Woodland Burial Park (with Rob Payne & Tori Summerell) Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (first adult), Great Oak Beauty, Archips xylosteana, Aleimma loeflingiana & Udea prunalis; 6th July (Seer Green garden) Common Footman; 8th July (garden) Buff Footman, Small Blood-vein; 9th July (garden) Dwarf Cream Wave & Short-cloaked Moth; 10th July (garden) Lesser Yellow Underwing (first adult); 11th July (garden) Small Emerald and at the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park a Beautiful Carpet."
Trevor Davies recorded a Scarlet Tiger in his garden at Aldworth, Berkshire on 10th April.
Nigel Partridge reports a few more new moths for the year from his garden at Loosely Row, Bucks: on 9th July Clepsis consimilana (at dusk) and Udea prunalis (attracted to the house lights); on 10th July Dichrorampha petiverella (caught late-afternoon on a hedge above some yarrow).
Adam Bassett sent this report: "I was at home on Tuesday 9th July as my little boy was off school. As it was a hot day, I decided to try some pheromone lures for clearwings. I had Red-belted Clearwing (2) to a CUL lure just after midday and Currant Clearwing (4) to a TIP lure at around 4pm. My VES lure failed to attract anything, but I think this may have been too old – better luck next year!"
Steve & Xander Goddard report: "More of the same in Wolvercote, Oxon with the recent weather: most notably, by our garden's standards, with 179 individuals of 63 species on 7th July. We had Hypsopygia costalis on 6th July, Common Footman, Dingy Shears, Ancylis achatana & Endotricha flammealis on 7th July, Blue-bordered Carpet on 8th July and Aethes rubigana, Agriphila straminella & Clepsis consimilana on 9th July."
~ Tuesday 9th July 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "All this good weather means that I'm way behind with the admin so a comprehensive update will have to wait for another day, but personal highlights over the past week have included sightings of Sophronia semicostella & Mocha during the UTB event at Holtspur Bottom, Bucks on 5th July, adding Spatalistis bifasciana & Lozotaenia forsterana to my all-time garden list at Westcott, Bucks on 6th July, finding Ruddy Carpet & Marbled Coronet at Ivinghoe, Bucks on 7th July and finally catching a Spinach at Weston Turville reservoir on 8th July, the first I've seen anywhere since 2008."
Dave Maunder sent this message: "I found my first Hornet Moth on Black Poplars at Broughton, Aylesbury, Bucks yesterday (6th July), plus another hatched pupa. I finally got a Privet Hawk-moth (female) in my Aylesbury garden trap last night, also Eyed Hawk-moth (2), Buff-tip (1), Coxcomb Prominent (1), Coronet (1), Poplar Grey (1), Buff Ermine (1), Peppered Moth (3), Willow Beauty (4), Phoenix (1), Blue-bordered Carpet (1, first adult record), Silver-ground Carpet (1), Light Emerald (1), Double Square-spot (1), Plain Golden Y (1), Small Ranunculus (1), Burnished Brass (1) & Barred Yellow (1). I have also ended up with four female and two male Lappet moths hatching over the last few days - I've tried to get them to pair-up in a netted cage but so far without success!"
Chris Pickford sent this photo of one of his Puss Moth larvae (see update for 20th June) which, at two centimetres in length, is probably now about half-grown.
Derek Brown trapped his first garden record of Four-dotted Footman at Beenham, Berks on 6th July.
Steve & Xander Goddard sent this report: "With the warmer nights, some big catches in Wolvercote, Oxon. From the last couple of trapping sessions: 124 individuals of 53 species on 4th July and 145 of 47 species on 5th July. A fair range of species, including on the 4th Gothic, Phoenix, Archips podana, Cydia pomonella, Ditula angustiorana, Orthopygia glaucinalis & Phycitodes binaevella and on the 5th Catoptria pinella & Eucosma campoliliana. A Swallow-tailed Moth was added on the 6th."
Nigel Partridge had the following new moths from a trapping session in his Loosely Row, Bucks garden on 5th July: Freyer's Pug, Crambus pascuella & Archips podana.
Martin Green reports: "There were 40+ Scarlet Tiger moths in Barton Field, near Abingdon weir in Oxfordshire yesterday afternoon (5th July). The moths were mainly in the area of Barton Field nearest to the weir, but there were also a few flying around near the weir itself."
Martin Wainwright in Thrupp, Oxon, recorded a male Lilac Beauty and Muslin Footman in the light trap on 5th July, a very warm night which also brought two Privet Hawk-moths, two Elephant Hawk-moths, six Peppered Moths (none melanic), five Cinnabars, a Swallow-tailed Moth and the first Peach Blossom of the year, among some 150 individual moths.
Adam Hartley writes: "A good catch in my 40w actinic trap in my central Oxford garden last night (5th July) with five new for year for my garden list: Burnished Brass, Light Arches, Rhopobota naevana/Holly Tortrix, Pandemis heparana/Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix and Dipleurina lacustrata."
New sightings for Tim & Tony Clark have been Lychnis at Horley, Oxon on 2nd July and Barred Yellow & Heart and Club in a Banbury, Oxon garden on 4th July.
Chris Bottrell sent this report: "From a session on the night of the 3rd July another new visitor to my Merton, Oxon back garden actinic....and keen to get on its way because immediately wing-trembling made it difficult to photograph: a Dotted Rustic."
~ Saturday 6th July 2013 ~
Dave Wilton has added the following new species over the past few days: on 1st July Gypsonoma oppressana near Grendon Underwood, Bucks, on 3rd July Grapholita compositella near Steeple Claydon, Bucks & Clay in his garden at Westcott, Bucks and on 4th July Cydia fagiglandana in Wendover Woods, Bucks and Acleris holmiana, Cydia pomonella both at Westcott.
Dave Ferguson reports: "A moth trapping session in the garden last night (3rd July in Beaconsfield, Bucks) produced three new species for the garden list: Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Light Arches and Dipleurina lacustrata."
Andy Hoskins sent this interesting report: "I visited Finemere Wood, Bucks on my way home this evening 3rd July, 5.30-7.00pm, a bit dull and cloudy though warm (18.5c). I saw a Hornet Moth and three Narrow Bordered 5-Spot Burnets (2 mating and I suspect the female had only just emerged judging by the empty pupal case on the left).
Jim Asher sent this report on 2nd July: "Moths about in Marcham, Oxon! I was entertained yesterday evening by two Scarlet Tiger moths flying continuously around our front door and windows for up to about two hours. I have attached photos taken using flash while they were in flight. It's not the first time I have seen Scarlet Tigers around our house, but their dancing flight was unsually persistent. This evening I found a Mullein moth larva cheerfully munching on one of the Buddleias (see photo) in our garden. Perhaps this is the way to control escaped Buddleias where they are a nuisance!"
Mark Calway tells us that he had a Golden Plusia to his garden trap in Earley, Berks on 30th June.
Chris Bottrell sent this message: "Given the reduced numbers of moths I have been catching so far this year in my Merton, Oxon back garden trap, it was nice to have three new species for the garden on the night of Saturday 29th June. The first two macros, a singleton each of Barred Yellow and Green Arches, and then the relatively rare micro Phtheochroa sodaliana (confirmed by Martin Corley). Martin indicated that Saturday was one of those warm nights when moths wander, dispersing in search of new sites."
Steve & Xander Goddard report: "The last few days of June were pretty good for us in Wolvercote, Oxon. We had 128 moths of 46 species on the 29th and 134 of 51 species on the 30th. Among those we especially liked were Ghost Moth and Maiden's Blush on 29th June and Green Silver-lines on 30th June. I think we've had three new for the region this year over the last few days: Lozotaenia forsterana on the 28th, Argyresthia curvella on the 29th and Pammene regiana on the 30th."
~ Tuesday 2nd July 2013 ~
Ched George says he was surprised to find a Scarlet Tiger at rest on their recycling bin yesterday morning, 1st July - a first for their garden in Radnage Bucks. Ched also says that last Saturday night, 29th June, his MV attracted 64 species of macro totalling 250 moths. The pick of the night were 2 Privet Hawks and a Lobster moth.
Stuart Hodges discovered a new Chimney Sweeper colony on the roadside verge at the cross-roads west of Steeple Claydon, Bucks on 1st July. Having noticed three there in the morning, he went back later in the day for a closer look with his wife Linda and they found six of the moths active.
Mark Calway sent this report: "Hornet Moths have been late this year and I only found exuvia in small numbers in June in Berkshire. However, as Sunday 30th June was a scorcher in Reading, Berks, I decided to look again early on the morning of 1st July. As I approached the first likely tree, slowly scanning the ground close to the tree trunk, I felt something tickle my ankle and without looking I reached down to brush the whatever-it-was off. I felt something like a bee and knocked it off. Upon inspection I saw it was a female Hornet Moth which had clearly only recently emerged as it was yet to expand its wings. I picked up a nearby twig to provide it with a suitable place to do so and encouraged it to climb on to it. I then stuck the twig into the grass where I was able to watch (and photograph and film) as it immediately commenced inflating its wings. As I watched it, I was also keeping an eye on the immediate general area and quickly saw another female appear. This one used a leaf on the ground as its support for expanding its wings. While these two were still busy, I saw a third female appear. This one climbed a nearby dock plant and began to inflate its wings. There were now three females within six feet of each other all freshly emerged and I hadn’t even inspected the base of the tree yet! I found a fourth Hornet Moth on a bracket fungus growing at the base of the tree - this one may have been a male, but I am not sure. I have also seen the Hornet Moth at another location in Berkshire (near Winnersh) today." Later the same day Mark was also lucky to get his first ever garden record of Six-belted Clearwing.
Adam Hartley writes: "Another good night in my central Oxford garden on 30th June with my 40W actinic trap, with five species that were new for year for the garden, namely: Buff Arches, Mottled Beauty, Riband Wave, Bordered Sallow and The Flame."
Chris Pickford reports that it was a very good night for moths on 29th June at his home on the North Berkshire Downs in South Oxon. Significant moths included Small Elephant Hawk-moth (2), Elephant Hawk-moth (1), Peppered Moth (2), Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie (2), Dagger sp (4), Sycamore (2), Lobster Moth (2 very fresh individuals), Pale Tussock (2), Marbled Coronet (1, the first he'd seen), plus about 20 other species.
Peter Hall and Dave Wilton ran five traps on Steps Hill, Bucks on 29th June. Dave comments: "Even though it was relatively warm and quite still (unusual in the hills!), it wasn't a brilliant occasion to be on the chalk and, for numbers of species, my single garden trap that night produced a greater count. However, we did see some new micros for the year, including Teleiodes vulgella, Blastodacna hellerella, Phtheochroa sodaliana, Agapeta zoegana, Bactra furfurana, Pempeliella dilutella, Merrifieldia leucodactyla & Pterophorus pentadactyla. The macros included the first Drinker adult of the year, while a Chimney Sweeper was an unusual night-time catch. The only moths present in big numbers were Hypochalcia ahenella (100+), Small Elephant Hawk-moth (about 40) & Reddish Light Arches (about 50)."
~ Sunday 30th June 2013 ~
Dave Wilton found a freshly-emerged female Hornet Moth at the base of a poplar north of Ludgershall, Bucks on 27th June. His Westcott, Bucks garden trap played host to two additions to his all-time list on 29th June when Glyphipterix thrasonella and Small Ranunculus put in their first ever appearances. Other first sightings for the year that night included Emmetia marginea, Cochylis hybridella, Common Emerald, Barred Straw, Dot Moth & Blackneck.
Andy King reports: "I've had a small 'flock' of moths dancing in the air next to my apple tree all this week in Chorleywood, Bucks. Because of their small size and astonishingly long antennae they might well get taken for gnats, or similar. However, they are Nemophora degeerella and well worth a close look for their bright, metallic colours. On 1st April I collected some samples of fungi and rotten wood from Rushmere Park, just inside Bucks. This week an adult Triaxomera parasitella emerged from the collection, satisfying for me because it's the first time I've seen this moth."
Peter Hall and Dave Wilton ran four MV traps in Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 28th June. New species for the year included Bucculatrix ulmella, Pandemis heparana, Archips crataegana, Ptycholomoides aeriferanus, Cnephasia longana, Epinotia demarniana, Donacaula forficella, Cryptoblabes bistriga, Elegia similella, Common Lutestring, Small Rivulet, Scallop Shell, Orange Moth, Pine Hawk-moth, Rosy Footman, Double Square-spot & Pinion-streaked Snout.
This report was received from Dave Maunder: "A few more moths seen in Aylesbury, Bucks recently include: Hummingbird Hawk-moth (18th June) on my garden Valerians, also at least four Silver Y at dusk on the Valerians (26th June); Pale Prominent, Willow Beauty, Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion, Cinnabar (four), Aphelia paleana/Timothy Tortrix (seven) & Mullein larva (all 19th June); Drinker larva (23rd June) & Green Pug (27th June). In my garden trap I've had Pale Oak Beauty & Figure of Eighty (26th June) and Swallow Prominent, Brown Rustic, Angle Shades, Buff Ermine & Peppered Moth (all 27th June). I've noticed very low numbers of common species in my garden, such as Heart and Dart and Large Nutmeg. I've also had my first Lappet hatch yesterday from over-wintered larvae - an impressive moth!"
Dave Morris added Olindia schumacherana to his Seer Green, Bucks garden list on 27th June. A two-site trapping session with Robert Payne on 28th June yielded just over 200 moths of 65 species, a few of which were new for this year's UTB list: Church Wood RSPB Reserve at Hedgerley, Bucks Blotched Emerald, Tortrix viridana/Green Oak Tortrix, Small Yellow Wave, Treble Brown Spot & Bird's Wing; Chiltern Woodland Burial Park at Jordans, Bucks Elophila nymphaeata/Brown China-mark. As always seems to be the case, most species were represented by 1 or 2 individuals except for a total of 41 Light Emerald and 15 Lobster Moth at the two sites.
Steve & Xander Goddard have been getting improved catches in their Wolvercote, Oxon garden of late, with Waves to the fore: Small Fan-footed Wave on 25th June followed by Riband Wave and Single-dotted Wave on 26th June. Dipleurina lacustrata was also recorded on the latter date, while their first ever Small Elephant Hawk-moth was seen on 24th June.
Adam Hartley has had two more year ticks in his central Oxford 40w actinic trap, with Enarmonia formosana on 25th June and Phtheochroa rugosana on 26th June, while on 28th June Adam got Eudonia mercurella, Epiblema roasaecolana, Large Yellow Underwing, Snout & Fan-foot.
Rob Payne had a walk in Black Park, Bucks on 26th June and found Epiblema uddmanniana/Bramble Shoot Moth and Tortrix viridana/Green Oak Tortrix.
Martin Wainwright sent this report: "My trap at Thrupp, Oxfordshire played host to both forms of the Peppered Moth on 25th June. Melanics were unusual in Leeds during our 25 years there, although once the dominant form in heavy industrial areas. Interesting to see how frequent they are in Oxfordshire. The trap continues to be busy, with two Privet Hawk-moths among an average of 80 moths nightly, but the most interesting find on 26th June was one forlorn hindwing of a Scarlet Tiger on nettle and Rosebay Willowherb a few feet away. Waring, Townsend and Lewington note that the male of this moth "patrols wildly in late afternoon and early evening"; but not wildly enough, apparently, to escape our many bats or birds."
Richard Wheeler visited Finemere Wood, Bucks on 25th June where sightings included Silver-ground Carpet (1), Cinnabar (3), Burnet Companion (7) & Straw Dot (1). The following day he visited Whitecross Green Wood, Bucks where Tortrix viridana (1), Silver-ground Carpet (1), Grass Rivulet (1) & Burnet Companion (4) were seen.
~ Thursday 27th June 2013 ~
Dave Wilton has added the following new species to the year list over the past week: Luquetia lobella & Pempelia formosa at Westcott, Bucks on 19th June, Adela croesella, Tischeria ekebladella, Scrobipalpa costella, Choristoneura hebenstreitella, Perinephela lancealis & Small Fan-foot all in Bernwood Forest on 21st June, Commophila aeneana at Greatmoor, Bucks on 25th June, Nemapogon cloacella & Light Emerald at Westcott on 25th June and Beautiful Hook-tip near Steeple Claydon, Bucks on 26th June. Dave visited two Chimney Sweeper colonies during the daytime on 26th June and saw the moth in very good numbers at both of them. Pilch Fields near Great Horwood, Bucks produced 43 while the small wildlife area next to the village hall in Akeley, Bucks managed 41.
Ewan Urquhart recorded Scarlet Tiger (2) and Cinnabar (4) during the daytime on 25th June at Radley, Oxon.
~ Tuesday 25th June 2013 ~
Tom Stevenson found a Scalloped Hazel on 21st June in the centre of Benson, Oxon whilst clearing some vegetation, while on 23rd June he found his first Scarlet Tiger of the year on the Broad Beans in his Benson allotment. Tom also reports that he ran two 125w MV traps at Millbrook Mead Nature Reserve in Benson on 14th June with the following results: Common Swift (1), Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (1), Celypha striana (1), Celypha lacunana (4), Hedya pruniana/Plum Tortrix (1), Epiblema cynosbatella (2), Scoparia ambigualis (1), Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie (5), Figure of Eighty (1), Flame Carpet (3), Silver-ground Carpet (2), Common Marbled Carpet (9), Green Carpet (4), Mottled Pug (1), Common Pug (1), Grey Pug (2), Lesser Treble-bar (1), Yellow-barred Brindle (1), Clouded Border (1), Scorched Wing (1), Peppered Moth (5), Clouded Silver (10), Eyed Hawk-moth (1), Poplar Hawk-moth (2), Buff-tip (1), Poplar Kitten (1), Swallow Prominent (1), Pale Tussock (3), White Ermine (2), Cinnabar (1), Heart & Dart (27), Flame Shoulder (3), Large Yellow Underwing (1), Setaceous Hebrew Character (2), Shears (4), Light Brocade (4), Campion (1), Lychnis (1), Shoulder-striped Wainscot (1), Poplar Grey (1), Dagger sp (1), Coronet (1), Marbled Minor sp (8), Large Nutmeg (4), Rustic Shoulder-knot (6), Treble Lines (14), Vine's Rustic (6), Burnished Brass (1) & Spectacle (2). Tom passes on thanks to Marc Botham for help with IDs, otherwise he'd still be at it today!
Wendy Wilson reported the following: "At Otmoor, Oxon on Tuesday afternoon 18th June, Shelagh Harlow and I were checking the Brown Hairstreak larvae and found two in the car-park. They were not yet fully grown, being 10 and 12 mm long; usually they are pupae by now. While we were there, Shelagh spotted a final instar Magpie Moth caterpillar on the blackthorn. It has attractive markings (see photo) and was a first for both of us. It too should be a pupa by now according to the book. Also, on my way to Otmoor, I stopped off at Great Haseley and saw my first Yellow Shell moth of the season."
Steve & Xander Goddard report: "A busy three nights in Wolvercote, Oxon, on the 19th, 20th and 21st June, the 19th especially where in perfect conditions 114 moths of 44 species was, we think, a garden record. We had one more Telechrysis tripuncta that night, but also our first Large Yellow Underwing as well as Clouded Brindle, Green Pug and Argyresthia semifusca. A smaller catch on 21st June included Pandemis cerasana, Snout and Varied Coronet."
Bob Lyle reports seeing a Hummingbird Hawk-moth at Bucklebury, Berks at lunchtime on 21st June.
Chris Pickford had a Privet Hawk-moth in his catch of about 25 species at Chilton, Berks on 20th June, although it was too big to enter the trap!
Dave Morris has a few moths to add to his year list, some with thanks to ID help from Peter Hall: Argyresthia trifasciata, Parornix devoniella & Teleiopsis diffinis at Seer Green, Bucks on 9th/10th June; Coleophora albicosta, Rhyacionia pinivorana, Cnephasia communana, Ptycholoma lecheana, Epinotia bilunana & Bordered White with Marc Botham at a private site near Slough, Berks on 12th June; Tinea semifulvella with Tori Summerell at the Chiltern Burial Park near Jordans, Bucks on 20th June.
Adam Hartley caught three Hedya nubiferana/Marbled Orchard Tortrix in his 40w actinic trap in central Oxford on 20th June.
Keith Mitchell reports that a first for his Stoke Goldington, Bucks garden on 19th June was Teleiodes luculella. The supporting cast included Common Swift, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Celypha lacunana, Udea olivalis, Chinese Character, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Carpet (14), Common Pug, Scorched Wing, Brimstone Moth, Common White Wave, Privet Hawk-moth, Eyed Hawk-moth, Pale Prominent, Pale Tussock, White Ermine, Buff Ermine, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, Flame, Flame Shoulder, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Bright-line Brown-eye, Shoulder-striped Wainscot (3), Brown Rustic, Large Nutmeg, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Marbled Minor agg, Middle-barred Minor (6), Treble Lines, Mottled Rustic, Burnished Brass, Silver Y, Spectacle, Straw Dot & Fan-foot.
~ Friday 21st June 2013 ~
Dave Wilton sent the following report: "At Westcott, Bucks two new macro-moth species have been added to the garden list over the past week. On 16th June a Pretty Chalk Carpet was an unexpected visitor because we're a good 15 kilometres from its normal habitat in the Chilterns and there's no local foodplant (Traveller's Joy) unless its larvae can use cultivated varieties of clematis. In pristine condition the moth does indeed look pretty - unfortunately mine wasn't! Then on 18th June a pristine Red-necked Footman graced the trap. This lichen-feeding species is expanding its range, following (rather more slowly) in the footsteps of the Orange Footman. Other recent sightings here have included the following: on 16th June Nematopogon metaxella & Uncertain; on 17th June Epiblema trimaculana; on 18th June Parapoynx stratiotata/Ringed China-mark & Phlyctaenia perlucidalis; on 19th June Hedya nubiferana, Epinotia bilunana, Rhopobota naevana, Acentria ephemerella/Water Veneer, Phlyctaenia coronata, Udea olivalis, Buff Arches & Dark Arches. Overnight garden trapping sessions have of late been averaging somewhere between 30 and 40 species, against which the list for 19th June was exceptional with more than 370 moths of 92 species recorded that night (the kind of mid-June result I'd expect in a "normal" year). The recent warmer weather also permitted a welcome increase in activity away from the garden and I've managed to record the following species new to this year's list elsewhere in Bucks: Shark (one I forgot about, trapped back on 11th June near Ivinghoe); Forester & Yellow Shell (both in the daytime on 14th June in Bernwood Meadows); Hypochalcia ahenella & Map-winged Swift (trapped during a Bucks Invertebrate Group meeting on 15th June near Radnage); Glyphipterix thrasonella (a daytime sighting on 17th June at Leaches Farm along the River Ray); Argyresthia spinosella, Epermenia falciformis, Ptycholoma lecheana, Ancylis diminutana, Rhyacionia pinivorana, Small Seraphim & Mottled Beauty (all trapped on 17th June in Finemere Wood); Eupoecelia angustana, Eucosma cana, Epiblema uddmanniana, Crambus perlella, Fern, Shaded Pug & Treble-bar (all trapped on 18th June near Ivinghoe); Elachista maculicerusella, Agapeta hamana, Clepsis spectrana, Aphelia paleana, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Nomophila noctuella/Rush Veneer & Small Clouded Brindle (all trapped on 19th June near Latimer)."
~ Thursday 20th June 2013 ~
Adam Hartley writes: "Catches in my central Oxford garden using my 40w actinic trap have improved noticeably over the last week or so. Amongst the usual stuff a couple of micros which may be new for the Upper Thames recording area year list are one Tachystola acroxantha on 17th June and one Mompha raschkiella on 20th June."
Dave Ferguson found Epiblema sticticana at Springfield Farm Landfill, Bucks during the afternoon of 16th June, resting on the larval host plant of Coltsfoot, while on 19th June he saw 20 males and two females of Cataclysta lemnata (Small China-mark) flying around a ditch in the heathland area of Black Park, Bucks.
On 14th June Martin Wainwright's light trap at Thrupp, Oxon attracted a female Ghost Moth, Poplar Hawk-moth, Poplar Grey, Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie, Peppered Moth (non-melanic), Coronet and micro Cochylis atricapitana. On 17th June he got one of the biggest collections of the season so far, including Marbled Minor sp., Middle-barred Minor, Snout (2, one brown, the other grey), Buff Ermine, White Ermine, Buff-tip, Grass Rivulet, micro Celypha lacunana, Large Nutmeg, Brown Rustic and Grey Pug. He was put off trapping the following night because of a bee swarm, but did see a Slow Worm! On 19th June the catch included a Coxcomb Prominent and no less than seven Elephant Hawk-moths (as Martin says, "What more could anyone want?!").
On 19th June Chris Pickford sent these stunning images of Puss Moth eggs and one-day-old larva found at Chilton on the Berkshire Downs.
Adam Bassett reports finding Plutella porrectella around the Sweet Rocket in his Marlow, Bucks garden on 18th June, later than usual.
Tom Stevenson sent this message on 18th June: "I am assured by respondents on the iSpot web-site that the attached photo is of Anthophila fabriciana (Nettle-tap Moth). Lots of these around at Ewelme Watercress Beds, Oxon this morning, on nettles."
Steve & Xander Goddard report some decent catches in their Wolvercote, Oxon garden of late. New species included Celypha striana & Silver Y (14th June), Buff-tip & Shears (15th June), Adaina microdactyla (16th June), Evergestis forficalis/Garden Pebble (17th June, from a catch of 42 moths of 20 species) and Telechrysis tripuncta & Willow Beauty (18th June, the former a good record and new to the All-time UTB list).
Marc Botham reports: "Nothing like the night that Dave and Peter had (see 14th June below), but things are starting to pick up a bit. New for the list, perhaps, are Caloptilia robustella, Teleiodes luculella and Ingrailed Clay from Bagley Woods, Oxford on 15th June, Netted Pug in my garden at Benson, Oxon on 16th June and Snout in the garden on 17th June. Larval records have included Vapourer, Clouded Drab, Green-brindled Crescent and Herald (near Slough, Berks on 13th June) and lots of Mallow larvae all over Common Mallow plants in my garden, first seen on 16th June."
Nigel Partridge has sent in some more new records for the year from his garden in Loosely Row, Bucks: Depressaria heraclei (12th June) and Scoparia pyralella, Netted Pug & Reddish Light Arches (all 16th June).
Welcome to first-time contributors Tim and Tony Clark, who are new to mothing having only recently acquired a trap. "We have mostly run it in our back garden in Banbury, Oxfordshire but have recently bought an inverter to allow us to place it in nearby countryside. Since then our catch has increased, both in number of individuals and number of species. We can report that last night (16th June) we had Ghost Moth, Middle-barred Minor, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana and Scoparia pyralella. The trap was run in woodland near Horley, Oxfordshire."
~ Monday 17th June 2013 ~
Wendy Wilson sent this message: "On Friday 14th June, at Denham Country Park in Bucks I spotted my first Straw Dot of the season. It was flitting about in the long grass in the marshy field during a brief sunny spell. The attached photo was the best I could manage. There were a few butterflies around, including my first Small Copper, but lepidoptera were outnumbered four to one by damselflies. Yesterday a lone Speckled Yellow braved the wind at nearby Black Park where I usually see lots."
Peter Hall and Dave Wilton ran four MV lights for three hours in Bernwood Forest on 14th June, getting Common Swift, Incurvaria oehlmanniella, Nematopogon swammerdamella, Monopis weaverella, Syndemis musculana, Capua vulgana, Spatalistis bifasciana, Hedya pruniana, Apotomis turbidana, Lobesia reliquana, Ancylis mitterbacheriana, Ancylis obtusana, Ancylis laetana, Epinotia immundana, Epinotia tedella, Epiblema cynosbatella, Crambus lathoniellus, Eurrhypara hortulata/Small Magpie, Scalloped Hook-tip, Oak Hook-tip, Pebble Hook-tip, Chinese Character, Peach Blossom, Figure of Eighty, Poplar Lutestring, Little Emerald, Birch Mocha, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Cream Wave, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet, Common Carpet, Purple Bar, Common Marbled Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, Spruce Carpet, Broken-barred Carpet, Green Carpet, May Highflyer, Haworth's Pug, Foxglove Pug, Dwarf Pug, Small White Wave, Seraphim, Yellow-barred Brindle, Tawny-barred Angle, Brown Silver-line, Scorched Wing, Brimstone Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Peppered Moth, Willow Beauty, Pale Oak Beauty, Brindled White-spot, Common White Wave, Common Wave, White-pinion Spotted, Clouded Silver, Lobster Moth, Iron Prominent, Pebble Prominent, Great Prominent, Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Pale Prominent, Pale Tussock, Orange Footman, White Ermine, Least Black Arches, Flame Shoulder, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shears, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Poplar Grey, Miller, Alder Moth, Knot Grass, Coronet, Large Nutmeg, Small Dotted Buff, Marbled White Spot, Green Silver-lines, Oak Nycteoline, Nut-tree Tussock, Beautiful Golden Y, Plain Golden Y, Straw Dot & Common Fan-foot (inappropriately named because it is far from common, the last species is a Bernwood speciality). With more micros in pots still to be confirmed, close to 100 species were trapped and it felt like the first "proper" result of the year. Timing was impeccable because the heavens opened just as the entry barrier was locked up on departure!
Mary Elford reports only four moths in her Bampton, Oxon trap overnight on 13th June but one was a very fresh and neat-looking Elephant Hawk-moth.
Dave Maunder sent another update from Aylesbury, Bucks: "Some moths found in the garden trap over the last couple of weeks have been: Poplar Hawk-moth (3, 8th June), Campion (1, 6th June), Pebble Prominent (2, 7th June), Buff-tip (1, 9th June), Brown Rustic (1, 7th June), Spectacle (1, 7th June), Sycamore (1, 11th June), Waved Umber (1, 8th June) along with regulars Peppered Moth (8), Scalloped Hazel (12), Rustic Shoulder-knot (14), Heart and Dart (11), Cabbage Moth (2) and Bright-line Brown-eye (2). Other species found in a rough field near Coldharbour Way were: Marsh Pug (10+), Small Yellow Underwing (6), Burnet Companion (1), Mother Shipton (6), Silver Y (3 on 11th June, my first of the year), Celypha lacunana (2), Angle Shades (1), Drinker larvae (8), Pyrausta aurata (1), Green Carpet (40+), Common Carpet (2) and Agonopterix arenella (1). All were found on 11th/12th June. I returned to the rough field on 14th June with Peter Hall and despite the strong breeze we recorded a further six Marsh Pugs along with Small Yellow Underwing (6), Mother Shipton (5), Anthophila fabriciana (1), Endothenia gentianaeana (4), Glyphipterix simpliciella (1), Celypha lacunana (5), Epiblema scutulana (2), Lobesia abscisana (1), Elachista argentella (1) & Pammene germmana (1). Marsh Pug is an uncommon species in the county, this being only the fifth location and by far the largest number seen. One more moth we found was a Marbled White Spot (14th June) which Peter netted in my local field near Miles End - I've not seen this species here before. I also found 9 Puss Moth eggs here on 5th/6th June which have now hatched in captivity."
Marc Botham reports an Eyed Hawk-moth in his garden trap at Benson, Oxon on 14th June.
Steve & Xander Goddard report: "Not a bad collection over the last couple of nights in Wolvercote, Oxon. On 11th June, 51 individuals of 28 species, including Blastobasis lacticolella, Broad-barred White, Depressaria heraclei, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana and Straw Dot, which I think are all new to the region this year. Also pleased to get a Sandy Carpet as well as our first garden Peppered Moth." Steve adds that on 13th June they caught Hedya pruniana as well as Lychnis and Cinnabar.
Martin Wainwright adds to his last message that the trap list at Thrupp, Oxon on 11th June also included Spectacle, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Treble Lines, Common Marbled Carpet, Heart and Dart, Common Wainscot and Willow Beauty, while from the 10th June catch Oblique Carpet has now been identified.
~ Friday 14th June 2013 ~
Martin Wainwright tells us he was very excited to have caught a Puss Moth on 9th June, snoozing some 20 yards from the trap in his garden at Thrupp, Oxon. Other species in that catch included Clouded-bordered Brindle, Pebble Prominent, Buff-tip, White Ermine and Lychnis. On 10th June one Pyralis farinalis (Meal Moth) was found indoors by his wife Penny. Martin recorded this moth in similar circumstances last August at his previous home in Leeds and wonders if one of its larvae may have stowed away. On 11th June the overnight catch included an Eyed Hawk-moth, along with Scorched Wing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Pebble Prominent, Iron Prominent, White Ermine, Green Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Shears and about eight other species still to be sorted.
Dave Wilton has added the following new species since his last report: a daytime sighting in the disused railway cutting near Westcott, Bucks Rhopobota stagnana (7th June); trapped in his garden at Westcott Purple Bar (7th June), Bryotropha terrella & Flame (both 10th June), Aproaerema anthyllidella, Elephant Hawk-moth & Dusky Brocade (all on 11th June); daytime sightings at Pilch Fields, Bucks Cochylimorpha straminea & Chimney Sweeper (both on 11th June); trapped on the Ashridge Estate, Bucks Light Feathered Rustic, Nutmeg, Broom Moth, Light Brocade, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Beautiful Golden Y (all on 11th June).
This update came from Dave Morris on 11th June: "Still very quiet in my Seer Green, Bucks garden, but I was pleased to find this garden-first Lime-speck Pug on my trap this morning."
Marc Botham tells us that his catches at Benson, Oxon are still disappointingly low, but he did get his first Small Elephant Hawk-moth of the year on 10th June.
David Rowe reports a small but interesting catch at Bracknell, Berks on 8th June: "My first Pebble Hook-tip – that unfortunately scarpered before I took a photo. The most rewarding moth was Elophila nymphaeata (Brown China-mark), so well detailed that the book illustrations don’t do it justice. Another possible new one, of which I’m not 100% sure, is Freyer’s Pug and I also recorded Buff-tip, Brown Silver-line and Aethes smeathmanniana.
Adam Hartley writes: "Still not much coming to my 40W actinic trap in central Oxford though a Broad-barred White on 8th June was new for the year."
Chris Bottrell reports that, following a query from a colleague at work regarding webs with caterpillars in them that he had seen whilst on a walk at Stratfield Brake, Oxon, he popped out at lunchtime on 7th June to take a look. The bushes in question were spindle along the tarmac entrance path so the caterpillars should be Yponomeuta cagnagella (Spindle Ermine) as there were so many of them.
Dave Morris sent this report: "I ran a trap with Rob Payne up at the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park (Jordans, Bucks) last night, 7th June. Amongst 20 species caught, one was new for the UTB year list: Mottled Rustic. We also ran a trap at Church Wood RSPB reserve (Hedgerley, Bucks) where the list of 36 species included Dingy Shell (3), Peacock Moth, Burnished Brass and Peach Blossom."
~ Sunday 9th June 2013 ~
Andy King sent this message on 7th June: "A week ago, on 1st June, a pristine Campion flew into the house. I attach a photo of the moth which I think is particularly attractive when fresh. On my Hartstongue Fern in the backgarden in Chorleywood, Bucks I have a resident colony of Psychoides verhuella. However, looking for it today I overturned a fern leaf and found a Psychoides filicivora instead. This is not entirely surprising as I have bred them in past years (from other counties) and possibly it is descended from escapees. Then again, maybe not - it has been found in Hertfordshire and Middlesex. This small moth presents a rather austere, minimalist photograph - still attractive in my opinion, for what it's worth. Almost as an afterthought I checked your all-time list: it's not on there!"
Dave Morris found a Figure of Eight caterpillar in his Seer Green, Bucks garden on 7th June.
Steve and Xander Goddard sent the following report: "Relatively quiet but steady trapping the last few nights in Wolvercote, Oxon with three Poplar Hawkmoths on 4th June an unusual treat on a rather quiet night. Since then we've had Buff Ermine on both 5th and 6th June, recording a total of ten and nine confirmed species on those nights respectively, including a Small Dusty Wave on the 5th and two Poplar Kittens on the 6th."
~ Friday 7th June 2013 ~
Ched George had White-point and Puss Moth in his Radnage, Bucks garden trap on 6th June.
Dave Wilton has added the following new species over the past few days: Buff-tip, Marbled Minor sp & Small Square-spot at Westcott, Bucks on 4th June; Ancylis laetana, Gold Swift, Little Emerald, Small White Wave, Barred Red & Green Silver-lines all in Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 5th June; Elachista argentella, Small Purple-barred & Wood Tiger on Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks on 6th June; Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Epinotia subocellana, Buff Ermine, Obscure Wainscot, Large Nutmeg, Silky Wainscot & both forms of Clouded-bordered Brindle at Weston Turville Reservoir, Bucks on 6th June; Grey Pug at Westcott on 6th June. Back on 3rd May Dave visited Grangelands, Bucks with Martin Albertini and Peter Hall to look for larval cases on Hartstongue Fern. Many were found and the first of several examples of Psychoides verhuella emerged from them on 3rd June.
Martin Wainwright's trap at Thrupp, Oxfordshire on 5th June had Shears, Silver-ground Carpet, White Ermine, Pebble Prominent, Green Carpet, Red Twin-spot Carpet and Chocolate-tip. On 6th June he had Common Swift (3, including both main types of male, one brightly marked and the other almost plain), Brown Rustic and the following assorted regulars: White Ermine (3), Brimstone (2), Green Carpet (6), Red Twin-spot Carpet (1), Flame Shoulder (1) and Hebrew Character (1).
Mary Elford was pleased to find a rather battered Privet Hawk-moth in her trap at Bampton, Oxon on 5th June.
This report came from Dave Maunder: "Still struggling in my Aylesbury, Bucks garden to catch much, but I did get a Sycamore on 4th June, also Treble lines (1), Common Swift (2), Bright-line Brown-eye (1), Rustic Shoulder-knot (2), Heart and Dart (4), Scalloped Hazel (2), Mottled Pug (1), Tawny-speckled Pug (1, unconfirmed), Common Pug (4), Garden Carpet (1), Green Carpet (1) and Cinnabar (1). Things should pick up soon, we hope!"
Adam Hartley had a new moth for the year in his central Oxford garden on 4th June, a Lesser Treble-bar. This was followed by a Buttoned Snout on 5th June. Also of note was a Common Marbled Carpet back on 28th May.
Adam Bassett reports: "At Little Marlow Gravel Pit, Bucks this morning (4th June), I came across this Alabonia geoffrella sunning itself on a lakeside twig – obligatory record shot attached!"
Steve & Xander Goddard put their trap out very late at Wolvercote, Oxon on 3rd June and caught only two moths, Poplar Hawk-moth and Epiblema cynosbatella.
~ Monday 3rd June 2013 ~
Andy King sent this report: "On 1st April I collected some Spruce cones from the ground at Rushmere Park, Bucks, near the border with Bedfordshire. On 14th May Cydia strobilella moths emerged from them. This species has a status of Nationally Scarce level B, but I got six moths from 13 randomly-picked cones, so I wonder! Peter Hall identified them for me as there are several similar species. Rather more exciting is the Acleris abietana specimen which came to light in Philipshill Wood, Chorleywood, Bucks on 6th May: it certainly doesn't look the part, being small, brown and tatty, but would appear to be a first for southern and south-eastern Britain. It is a rare and local animal in Scotland and northern England; so far the nearest records I can trace are three in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and then the next is in Cheshire. Interesting speculation may be had as to how and why it got here. Once again, Peter was involved in its identification."
Dave Wilton visited the disused railway cutting west of Westcott, Bucks on 1st June and recorded the following day-flying moths: Micropterix calthella, Adela fibulella, Glyphipterix simpliciella, Aethes piercei, Lathronympha strigana, Crambus lathoniellus, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Common Carpet, Common Heath, Cinnabar, Small Yellow Underwing & Burnet Companion. Trapping for a Bucks Invertebrate Group event near Jordans, Bucks that evening produced Clay Triple-lines and Square Spot amongst other species.
Adam Hartley writes: "I'm still struggling to catch much in my central Oxford garden using my 40W actinic heath trap but have managed a couple of new moths for the year recently: on the 1st June I caught my first Cabbage Moth of the year and on the 3rd June my first Turnip."
Tom Stevenson reports a Mother Shipton at Ewelme Watercress Beds LNR, Oxon on 1st June, a first for the reserve.
Steve and Xander Goddard's garden trap at Wolvercote, Oxon caught Celypha lacunana (1), Green Carpet (9), Pale Prominent (2), Flame Shoulder (1) & Setaceous Hebrew Character (1) on 30th May followed by Scoparia ambigualis (1), Green Carpet (11), Scorched Wing (1), Poplar Hawk-moth (1) & Coxcomb Prominent (1) on 31st May. A better result on 2nd June comprised Epiphyas postvittana (2), Green Carpet (6), Common Pug (3), Clouded Border (1), Brimstone Moth (2), Puss Moth (1), White Ermine (2), Muslin Moth (1), Heart and Dart (1), Flame Shoulder (2), Bright-line Brown-eye (1) & Rustic Shoulder-knot (1).
David Rowe sent this report from Bracknell, Berks: "A warmer evening (30th May) and much better trapping collection: Lime Hawk-moth, Great Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Orange Footman (12), Maiden's Blush, Grey Pine Carpet, Marbled Brown, Nut-tree Tussock (3), Pale Tussock (3) & Shuttle-shaped Dart. On 1st June I recorded Treble Lines, Iron Prominent, Scalloped Hazel, Pale Tussock, Marbled Brown & Orange Footman (5)."
Martin Wainwright reports the following in his trap at Thrupp, Oxon on 30th May: Green Carpet (13), Brimstone Moth (1), Common White Wave (1), Clouded Silver (2), Poplar Hawk-moth (1), Iron Prominent (1), White Ermine (2), Flame Shoulder (1), Bright-line Brown-eye (1) & Pine Beauty (1).
~ Sunday 2nd June 2013 ~
Dave Wilton sent this report: "An improvement in the weather has meant that the last two days of May allowed me to give a small boost to the species total. Heart & Dart came to the garden trap at Westcott, Bucks on 30th May, while Common Swift and Common Marbled Carpet followed on 31st May. Daytime sightings on the latter date included Neofaculta ericetella, Bactra lancealana, Speckled Yellow, Common Heath & Mother Shipton all at Black Park, Bucks and then Adela rufimitrella, Glyphipterix simpliciella, Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Grapholita jungiella, Opsibotys fuscalis, Grass Rivulet, Small Yellow Underwing & Burnet Companion all at Asham Meads, Bucks. No sign of Forester yet at the latter site so, like many other species, it is presumably taking its time about emerging this year. Three hours with one trap in the car-park at Rushbeds Wood, Bucks that evening produced a welcome 50 species, although few moths were present in any numbers (Orange Footman with eight examples being the winner). Species seen included Bucculatrix nigricomella, Eulia ministrana, Cream Wave, Broken-barred Carpet, Sandy Carpet, Scorched Wing, Pale Oak Beauty, Common White Wave, Poplar Grey, Brown Rustic, Small Angle Shades & Treble Lines."
~ Friday 31st May 2013 ~
Adam Hartley writes: "I've been struggling to catch much at all using my 40W actinic Heath trap in central Oxford over the last week. New for the garden for the year have been Pyrausta aurata on 25th May, a dark form of Prays fraxinella (Ash Bud Moth) on 26th May and a Dark/Grey Dagger and a lovely Poplar Hawk-moth both on 28th May."
Further sightings from Steve & Xander Goddard at Wolvercote, Oxon: "A few records from recent nights: on 26th May as many as six Green Carpets (not very notable, except that it's the biggest haul, numerically, of a single species so far this year) and Flame Shoulder starting to show up in decent numbers. On 27th May a spectacularly sized Poplar Hawk-moth and our first Pebble Hook-tips -- two of them -- and other garden firsts in the form of a Flame Carpet, a Cochylis atricapitana and a probable Freyer's Pug."
Martin Wainwright sent this report on 28th May: "Over the Bank Holiday weekend newcomers for me in Thrupp, Oxon were Pale Prominent, Pale Pinion, Iron Prominent, a couple of Cinnabar (didn't know they came to light) and Brimstone Moth, with plenty of support from now-familiar Hebrew Characters, Least Black Arches, Muslin and White Ermine."
Andy King adds a confirmed record for Acleris ferrugana from his garden in Chorleywood, Bucks back on 15th April.
~ Tuesday 28th May 2013 ~
Adam Bassett saw a Small Yellow Underwing on the Chiltern Way at Bledlow Ridge, Bucks on 27th May.
Dave Wilton reports: "Apart from a Pale-shouldered Brocade at Finemere Wood, Bucks on 21st May I can add nothing further to the 2013 UTB species list. However, a May Highflyer in my garden trap at Westcott, Bucks on 26th May was a first record for the site (and for the 10km square) so proved to be a very pleasing discovery. A grand total of eight moths attended the trap that night, the others being Red Twin-spot Carpet (1), Small Phoenix (1), Scorched Carpet (1, only the second example ever recorded here), Muslin Moth (2) & Hebrew Character (2)."
Mick & Wendy Campbell visited the Devil's Punchbowl off The Ridgeway near Wantage, Oxon on 25th May and saw Wood Tiger (22, newly emerged) as well as four larvae of Garden Tiger. Moths seen during a visit to the disused railway cutting near Salden Wood, Bucks on 26th May included Ancylis badiana (3), Cydia ulicetana (2), Common Carpet (1), Common Heath (2), Common Wave (1), Cinnabar (4), Small Yellow Underwing (6), Burnet Companion (8) & Mother Shipton (1).
On 25th May David Gower visited Incombe Hole on the Ashridge Estate, Bucks where moths seen included Pyrausta purpuralis (1), Common Carpet (1) & Small Yellow Underwing (1).
~ Sunday 26th May 2013 ~
Martin Wainwright reports from Thrupp, Oxon: "Last night, 21st May, saw my first hawk-moth, a Poplar Hawk-moth, four days earlier than my earliest record during five years of recording in Leeds. Also a battered Bright-line Brown-eye, a Pebble Prominent and seven Chocolate Tips, one with much more subdued tips than the norm in terms of colour. The night of 20th May saw Clouded Border, two Clouded Silvers, a Rustic Shoulder-knot, a Small Quaker, a Yellow-barred Brindle, a Red Twin-Spot Carpet, an Agonopterix arenella and the year's first Maybug." Martin subsequently added that Aglossa pinguinalis (Large Tabby) was found indoors on 23rd May.
Nigel Partridge has supplied further new records from his garden at Loosely Row, Bucks: Caloptilia syringella (18th May), Mottled Pug (19th May), Cameraria ohridella (21st May) and a larval sighting of Beautiful Hook-tip (23rd May, with thanks to Martin Harvey for confirming the ID).
Marc Botham reports a few more recent finds: Foxglove Pug at Harcourt Arboretum, Oxon on 20th May, Seraphim at Benson, Oxon on 22nd May and confirmation that the Dagger species recorded on 12th May was a Grey Dagger. Larval stage records have included Dark Umber at Crowmarsh Gifford, Oxon on 10th May, Orange Sallow at Harcourt Arboretum on 20th May and Lesser Yellow Underwing, Old Lady & Snout all feeding on Prunus in his garden at Benson, Oxon on 22nd May.
Mary Elford sent this interesting message: "In Bampton, Oxon on the morning of May 20th I went into the garden to peg out the laundry when I noticed something in the middle of the lawn. At first I thought it was feathers but on closer examination, I realised that it was a pair of Puss Moths mating. They remained there into the late evening (with a protective cover to prevent a bird from gobbling them up). I released the male but kept the female overnight and she obligingly laid some of her eggs on some goat willow leaves. I released her in the morning to complete her task."
This message was received from Steve & Xander Goddard on 21st May: "We had rather a good catch (at Wolvercote, Oxon) on 20th May, although actual numbers were low. There were 19 species, including an Iron Prominent, two Red Twin-spot Carpets, a White Ermine and a Pale Tussock."
~ Thursday 23rd May 2013 ~
Adam Hartley writes: "On Sunday 19th May, as part of a rather small catch using my 40W actinic Heath trap in central Oxford, I caught a Parornix sp. Another quiet session with my trap on 21st May did include a Shuttle-shaped Dart and a Cameraria ohridella (Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner) both of which were new for my garden for the year. I would also like to report Scarlet Tiger caterpillars which have been in our garden for several weeks now."
Paul Bowyer reports that a successful butterfly field trip to the Calvert Jubilee Reserve, Bucks on 19th May also produced Common Heath (4), Common Carpet (1), Cinnabar (3), Pyrausta aurata (2) & Pyrausta despicata (2).
~ Tuesday 21st May 2013 ~
Dave Wilton sent this report on 20th May: "New species added over the past few days include Rustic Shoulder-knot at Westcott, Bucks on 17th May, an early Bucculatrix thoracella at Westcott on 18th May, Capua vulgana, Epinotia tedella & White-pinion Spotted in Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 18th May, Small Waved Umber & Lime Hawk-moth at Ivinghoe, Bucks on 19th May, Carpatolechia proximella at Ashridge, Bucks on 20th May and Aethes smeathmanniana, Argyrotaenia ljungiana, Oak Hook-tip, White-spotted Pug, Lychnis & Clouded-bordered Brindle all at Westcott on 20th May. On the latter date the garden trap at Westcott produced a pleasing 25 species, so things are starting to improve at last."
Dave Ferguson saw a Pebble Hook-tip during the daytime while visiting Stoke Common, Bucks on 19th May.
Martin Wainwright was excited to catch a Pebble Prominent at Thrupp, Oxon on 18th May, a species he didn't see in Leeds. Also caught that night were Swallow Prominent (1), Lesser Swallow Prominent (2), White Ermine (1), Nut-tree Tussock (1), Waved Umber (1), Red Twin-spot Carpet (1), Clouded Drab (1) and Hebrew Character (1). An additional species on 19th May was Green Carpet.
Marc Botham reports that numbers of many species are still very low, as expected after last year’s deluge, but that diversity is steadily improving. "Potentially new to the list are: 17th May Benson, Oxon Monopis laevigella (flying around the house); 18th May Bagley Woods, Oxford Pammene argyrana, Syndemis musculana, Adela reaumurella (1 to light, plus hundreds seen during the day on 19th May), Dwarf Pug, May Highflyer, Orange Footman, Pale Tussock, Brown Silver-line, Poplar Kitten, Spruce Carpet, Tawny-barred Angle, Peppered Moth, Clouded Border, plus on 19th May Speckled Yellow (by day); 19th May Benson, Oxon Monopis weaverella, Lobster Moth, Bright-line Brown-eye & Glyphipterix simpliciella (by day)."
Steve & Xander Goddard sent this message: "Nothing very much to report from last week, but the night of 18th May at Wolvercote, Oxon was quite productive. No great numbers, but a dozen different species as follows: Clouded Border (1), Common Pug (1), Early Grey (1), Elachista sp (1), Epiphyas postvittana (3), Green Carpet (1), May Highflyer (1), Muslin Moth (1), Pale Prominent (2), Shuttle-shaped Dart (1), Spectacle (1) & Waved Umber (1). Caught on 19th May were Brimstone Moth (2), Common Pug (1), Common Wave (1), Epiphyas postvittana (2), Grapholita jungiella (1), Mompha sp (1), Muslin Moth (1), Orange Footman (1), Pale Mottled Willow (1) & Pale Prominent (2)."
Mary Elford reports: "This morning (19th May) I was very pleased to find a Poplar Hawk-moth in my garden trap in Bampton, Oxon. Made my day!"
Adam Hartley writes: "Finally a relatively good night (on 18th May) with the 40W actinic trap in my central Oxford garden. A total of 16 moths of 10 species were seen, the best so far this year. It was a night for Carpets with Garden Carpet (7), Red Twin-spot Carpet (1) and Water Carpet (1) all either caught in the trap or at least loitering near it. Also caught were Emmelina monodactyla (1), Yellow-barred Brindle (1), Epiphyas postvittana/Light Brown Apple Moth (1), Muslin Moth (1), Bright-line Brown-eye (1), Brimstone Moth (1) and Waved Umber (1). All bar the Brindle, the Plume and the Garden Carpets were new for the year for the garden, making a total of seven new year ticks."
Sunday 19th May 2013 ~
Dave Morris and Rob Payne ran two traps (a 50W Skinner MV and a 20W Actinic Heath) overnight at the RSPB's Church Wood at Hedgerley, Bucks on 17th May and did rather well: Nematopogon swammerdamella (1), Scalloped Hook-tip (1), Maiden's Blush (3), Red Twin-spotted Carpet (2), Water Carpet (1), Small Phoenix (2), Red-green Carpet (1), Oak-tree Pug (1), Brown Silver-line (5), Brimstone Moth (2), Early Thorn (1), Scalloped Hazel (1), Engrailed (1), Grey Birch (1), Iron Prominent (1), Lesser Swallow Prominent (1), Coxcomb Prominent (3), Great Prominent (9), Marbled Brown (2), Orange Footman (2), Least Black Arches (2), Common Quaker (1), Clouded Drab (1), Angle Shades (2), Nut-tree Tussock (5) & Silver Y (1).
Adam Hartley writes: "Results have been very poor over the last few nights in my garden in central Oxford with mostly an empty trap to show for my efforts. Last night (17th May) though, using my 40W actinic trap, I actually managed to catch a couple of moths: Early Grey (1) and Pale Mottled Willow (1) which is new for the year for my garden."
Ched George ran his garden trap at Radnage, Bucks on 17th May and got Hebrew Character (2), Common Quaker (1), Early Grey (1), Brindled Pug (1), Yellow-barred Brindle (1), Nut-tree Tussock (1), Waved Umber (1), Shuttle-shaped Dart (1) and a Cockchafer.
Martin Wainwright reports a warmer night on 16th May at Thrupp, Oxon: "It brought nice rewards after a very sparse spell, with a big Swallow Prominent, two male Muslin Moths and a Flame Shoulder, plus a battered Hebrew Character and two slugs."
Andy King sent this report: "Running a light-trap doesn't seem particularly worthwhile just at the moment, so I've been out to find them: two female Adela reaumurella were found, looking brand new but a bit forlorn on the wet vegetation and two adult Phyllonorycter maestingella hiding under Beech leaves, where it's a bit drier. I found these while looking for Eriocrania leaf-mines on Birch in Philipshill Wood, Bucks on 14th and 16th May. I'm pleased that I discovered four species: Eriocrania sangii, Eriocrania cicatricella, Eriocrania unimaculella and Eriocrania semipurpurella. It took longer to ID them than to find them!".
Friday 17th May 2013 ~
Dave Wilton has been searching for leaf-mines again: "It is just as well that there's always something to do, even in cool, dull weather. Most of the birch-feeding Eriocrania species are under-recorded locally and now is the time to look for their larval stage leaf-mines. At Finemere Wood, Bucks on 16th May I found active larvae of Eriocrania unimaculella, Eriocrania sangii and Eriocrania semipurpurella, while in Bernwood Forest, Bucks on 17th May I found those three again along with Eriocrania salopiella."
Dave Morris found a Cinnabar at the Chiltern Woodland Burial Park near Seer Green, Bucks on 16th May.
Mary Elford reports: "Still very poor results from my actinic garden trap in Bampton, Oxon when I do run it but I notice that of the miserable total of 12 moth species, 4 have not been recorded here before, including a Puss Moth on 8th May. All very puzzling."
Thursday 16th May 2013 ~
Ched George found a female Muslin Moth in Park Wood, Bradenham, Bucks on 13th May.
Marc Botham reports: "A couple more species from April that Peter Hall has kindly identified for me: Depressaria daucella at Warburg, Oxon on 13th April and Acleris logiana at Bagley Woods, Oxford on 14th April. Also to add to the list are Shuttle-shaped Dart and a Dagger (Grey or Dark not confirmed yet) in my Benson, Oxon garden on 12th May."
Monday 13th May 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "I'm still getting next to nothing in my garden moth trap at Westcott, Bucks and the result from 12th May is typical: Red Twin-spot Carpet (1), Swallow Prominent (1), Powdered Quaker (2), Common Quaker (2), Clouded Drab (3) & Hebrew Character (7). The bats which turn up whenever the light is turned on probably don't help but, apart from the very occasional Hebrew Character wing, there are few signs that they're having much feeding success other than with craneflies. The knock-on effect of so few moths flying must be quite significant higher up the food chain. A nest of early-instar Lackey caterpillars was found on hawthorn in the garden on 13th May. When photographed there were about 50 sunning themselves on their web and another 50 or so feeding on nearby branches."
Steve and Xander Goddard have had little further to report from their garden in Wolvercote, Oxon. On 9th May Muslin Moth (1), Swallow Prominent (1) and Coronet (1), while on 10th May Muslin Moth (3) and Garden Carpet (1).
Saturday 11th May 2013 ~
Tony Rayner reports: "I can't quite believe it - this morning (9th May) just as it started to rain I was buzzed by an insect whilst closing the door on our Cholsey, Oxon barn. Was it a wasp or a bee? No it was a Hummingbird Hawk-moth!"
Dave Morris sent this message on 9th May: "A few new moths for my year list on Tuesday night in my garden (7th May at Seer Green, Bucks), including a couple not yet on the UTB list for the year: Early Thorn (2), Alucita hexadactyla/Twenty Plume Moth (1), Nut-tree Tussock (2), Brimstone Moth (1), Common Quaker (2), Hebrew Character (1), Brindled Pug (2), Early Grey (1), Iron Prominent (1), Flame Carpet (1) & Waved Umber (1)."
Martin Wainwright adds one more moth to his 8th May report from Thrupp, Oxon: "Just quickly to attach a picture of Least Black Arches which I finally identified thanks to your very handy link to the Hants Moths "Flying Tonight" page, which is really good."
In their Wolvervote, Oxon garden, Steve and Xander Goddard caught Clouded Drab (2), Double-striped Pug (5), Epinotia immundana (1), Hebrew Character (3), Incurvaria masculella (1), Muslin Moth (2) on 6th May and Brimstone Moth (1), Chocolate-tip (1), Clouded Drab (3), Double-striped Pug (3), Early Grey (3), Early Thorn (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Esperia sulphurella (2) Flame Shoulder (1), Hebrew Character (2), Incurvaria masculella (1), Knot Grass (1), Least Black Arches (2), Muslin Moth (3), Alucita hexadactyla/Twenty-plume Moth (1) on 7th May.
Darren Seaman reports the following moths from his Milton Keynes garden on 7th May: Sallow Kitten (1), Currant Pug (1, confirmed by Martin Albertini), Purple Thorn (2), Lunar Marbled Brown (1), Streamer (1), Common Quaker (5), Clouded Drab (2) and Early Thorn (1), all taken at actinic light.
Keith Mitchell sent this message on 8th May: "Despite cripplingly low numbers of species in the last couple of days, in my garden trap at Stoke Goldington, Bucks there were a high proportion of garden firsts, including Emperor Moth female on 6th May and Yellow-barred Brindle on 7th May (photos attached)."
Dave Wilton reminds everyone to check their vegetables: "On 28th April, while rinsing some broccoli (purchased loose the previous day from a store in Thame, Oxon), my wife Val noticed a small green caterpillar on one floret. Closer inspection showed that there were in fact three of them so they were kept to rear through. One spun up a loose cocoon almost immediately and pupated overnight 29th/30th April, the adult emerging on 7th May as a pristine Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth). I wonder how many we've eaten over the years?!"
This report was received from Andy King: "No time for resting, now. Five moths which do not yet appear on your 2013 list at my time of looking presented themselves at my light-trap in Philipshill Wood, Chorleywood, Bucks on 6th May: Barred Hook-tip, Coxcomb Prominent, Ochreous Pug, Square Spot and Tinea trinotella. I've added pictures of the pug and the clothes moth if you would like to use them."
Wednesday 8th May 2013 ~
Martin Wainwright sent this report on 8th May: "They're probably very familiar to you and other moth-ers here but I was most excited to find two Chocolate-tips in the trap this morning. We never got them in Leeds though I gather they are found in Scotland, separately from those in the more southerly parts of England. I'm also attaching pics of a nice Powdered Quaker and a Brindled Pug which came calling on the night of 5th May. Otherwise, Thrupp, Oxon is providing a steady flow of Common, Small and Twin-spot Quakers, Clouded Drabs, Hebrew Characters and Early Greys."
Dave Wilton reports: "Dismal catches continue in the garden trap at Westcott, Bucks, although Flame Shoulder (6th May) and Ancylis badiana & Swallow Prominent (both 7th May) did provide a little variety from the usual handful of Orthosia species. On 6th May a three-hour session on the Ashridge Estate, Bucks with Peter Hall, Marc Botham & Dave Maunder added only Plutella xylostella, Scrobipalpa acuminatella & Green Carpet but it was pleasing to get further sightings of our target for the night, Northern Drab. A daytime visit to Ivinghoe Beacon on 7th May added records for Pancalia leuwenhoekella and Cydia ulicetana."
Another message from Marc Botham reports a sighting of Pyrausta aurata at Buttler's Hangings, Bucks on 6th May and a Sallow Kitten in his garden at Benson, Oxon on 7th May.
Chris Bottrell sent this report: "On 7th May, whilst around Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks in search of Dukes, many Pyrausta moths in evidence but a good hatching of Pyrausta nigrata.
Adam Hartley writes: "Finally a bit of variety in the actinic Robinson moth trap in central Oxford on 6th May with a V-Pug, Yellow-barred Brindle, a Bee Moth, a Cnephasia sp. (guessing communana from the size and the time of year) and a Garden Carpet all new for the year for my garden."
On 6th May Darren Seaman got his first V-Pug and Brimstone Moths of the year in his garden at Milton Keynes, Bucks.
This message arrived from Marc Botham on 6th May: "Me again. Not much to report despite the glorious weather but Lesser Swallow Prominent on 3rd May at Bagley Woods, Oxon and Small Phoenix, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Marbled Brown, Pebble Prominent, V-Pug in SE Oxfordshire and Chamomile Shark in my garden at Benson, Oxon last night 5th May."
On 5th May Nigel Partridge caught Small Phoenix, Least Black Arches and Scarce Tissue in his garden at Loosely Row, Bucks.
In his garden trap at Bracknell, Berks on 5th May David Rowe had Lunar Marbled Brown (6), Early Thorn (3) and Early Grey (2), Least Black Arches (1) and Lesser Swallow Prominent (1).
Steve and Xander Goddard caught the following in their garden at Wolvercote, Oxon on 5th May: Epiphyas postvittana (1), a possible Epinotia immundana (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Pale Prominent (1), Pale Pinion (1), Common Quaker (3), Clouded Drab (5), Hebrew Character (3) and Early Grey (2).
Monday 6th May 2013 ~
On 5th May David Gower recorded Pyrausta purpuralis (2) on dandelions at Ivinghoe Beacon, Bucks.
Peter Hall and Dave Wilton ran traps in Bernwood Forest on 5th May where new species for the year included Pseudoswammerdamia combinella, Scalloped Hook-tip, Pebble Hook-tip, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Oak-tree Pug, Great Prominent & Least Black Arches.
While on a walk from Smalldean Lane to the church at Bradenham, Bucks on 3rd May, Paul Bowyer saw Common Carpet (2) while during the field trip to Homefield Wood in Bucks on 5th May Paul reports sightings of Burnet Companion, Mother Shipton and Grapholita jungiella.
Steve and Xander Goddard report the following from Wolvercote, Oxon: On 3rd May Common Quaker (1), Early Grey (2), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Hebrew Character (3), Small Quaker (1), Streamer (1) and on 4th May Clouded Drab (1), Common Pug (1), Common Quaker (3), Early Grey (1), Hebrew Character (2), Pebble Prominent (1) & Spectacle (1).
Derek Brown put his moth trap out at Beenham, Berks on 3rd May and got singles of Yellow-barred Brindle, Brimstone Moth, Mullein and Nut-tree Tussock.
On 3rd May Tony Rayner had a very poor garden trapping result at Cholsey, Oxon but it did include a fresh Silver Y.
Alan Gudge sent this report on 3rd May: "We set an MV Skinner in our garden last night (2nd May, Little Frieth, Bucks) and had a few moths. There was an Early Thorn, 6 Common Quakers, 3 Hebrew Characters, 3 Early Greys and a Mullein, the latter being a first for our garden."
Friday 3rd May 2013 ~
This message was received on 3rd May from new contributor Martin Wainwright: "I'm just emailing after discovering your excellent website to my great delight. My wife Penny and I have just moved to Thrupp, Oxon (on the edge of Kidlington) from Leeds where I ran a moth trap for the last five years and benefited very much from the equivalent site run by the Yorkshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation. I am afraid that I am a rather unscientific person but now that I have retired, I hope to be a bit more diligent about counting the number of Hebrew Characters, assorted Quakers etc lurking in my eggboxes. In the meanwhile, I enclose a pic of the first 'southern' moth new to me, a Nut-tree Tussock which visited the trap on 30th April and again this morning, 3rd May."
Dave Wilton sent this report: "A wild male Emperor Moth came to a captive virgin female in my garden at Westcott, Bucks on 30th April. Subsequent "assembling" has produced further records of wild males from Haddenham (1st May), Saunderton (1st May) and Calvert (2nd May), all in Bucks. Despite the recovery in daytime temperatures, the number of visitors to my garden trap are still very disappointing and the only new species added over the past few days have been Chocolate-tip and Silver Y both caught on 1st May."
Richard Wheeler visited the disused railway cutting near Westcott on 1st May and saw Common Heath (2).
Ben Sheldon tells us that on 1st May a welcome visitor to his trap in East Oxford was a Yellow-barred Brindle.
Trapped by Dave Morris at Seer Green, Bucks on 1st May were Early Thorn (1), Streamer (2), Brindled Pug (1), Hebrew Character (1), Double-striped Pug (2), Common Quaker (1), Early Grey (1) and Muslin Moth (1).
David Rowe reports another Frosted Green from his garden at Bracknell, Berks on 26th April, illustrated below.
Marc Botham has added another species to our year list with a sighting of Waved Umber in his garden at Benson, Oxon back on 25th April.
Wednesday 1st May 2013 ~
Adam Hartley sent this report: "One more to report which might well be a new species for the year: Caught on the 25th April in my central Oxford garden a Caloptilia rufipennella. The ID has been confirmed from photos by Richard Lewington and Phil Sterling no less!"
Andy King is no longer so sure about his 'avalanche' of moths! "There do seem to be winners and losers with the late Spring, the Quakers, for instance, not doing so well. I have four 'odds and ends' to report, which I don't think have registered on your 2013 list yet. Attached is a photo of Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella which emerged in April from a leaf-mine I had collected on 10th October 2012 on honeysuckle in Chartridge, Bucks. I suppose it may count as a 2012 moth, but this species is not so often reported (probably because no-one fancies spelling the name!). A Phyllonorycter salicicolella emerged from some dead leaves off a sallow tree at College Lake Nature Reserve (just in Bucks) on 14th March 2013. Neither of these emergence dates count as they were brought indoors. A Ruby Tiger was found as a caterpillar, hibernating under loose bark on a fallen log at Rushmere Park, Bucks on 1st April. Flying in the sunshine over heather at Stoke Common, Bucks on 25th April was an Incurvaria pectinea, despite windy conditions (another photo)."
Friday 26th April 2013 ~
Adam Hartley reports: "It's been rather quiet in my central Oxford garden using my actinic trap over the last week, with modest catches of Early Grey, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Common Quaker and Double-striped Pug. The highlight was a lovely Streamer in the trap on the 25th April."
Ali Driver sent this report on 26th April: "I set my Robinson trap a few times at home in Sonning, Berks this last week, but I'm still only catching species which I was catching exactly a month earlier in 2012. The only exception was a small number of Eriocrania subpurpurella caught on the 24th April - which deserves the English name Bronze Gem!"
This report came from Steve and Xander Goddard
at Wolvercote, Oxon: "Here are some results from us from the last couple of nights:
Marc Botham has added a few more species to his year list: Agonopterix umbellana & Nut-tree Tussock (Shotover, Oxon 23rd April); Drinker larva (Little Wittenham Hill Farm, Oxon 23rd April); Vapourer eggs (Buttler’s Hangings, Bucks 24th April); White-marked, Scorched Carpet & Lunar Marbled Brown (Little Wittenham on 24th April); Agonopterix alstromeriana (Benson, Oxon 24th April); Purple Thorn & Frosted Green (Bagley Woods, Oxon 25th April). Marc notes that numbers are still very low all round.
At Bracknell in Berks David Rowe had Yellow Horned to light back on 10th March, a Herald on 16th April, a possible Frosted Green on 21st April (pending confirmation of a photograph) and two Lunar Marbled Browns on 23rd April.
Thursday 25th April 2013 ~
Dave Maunder sent this update on 25th April: "Still very poor results from my garden trap here in Aylesbury, Bucks. Very low compared to this time last year, with often only singles of Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character and Early Grey, although slightly higher last night (24th). I did find an interesting micro at our local sports centre in the form of Ypsolopha mucronella. My captive Lappet larvae are off and feeding again after hibernation and I have attached a photo - they're all 4th instar, I think."
Dave Wilton has added a few new species over the past week: "On 20th April here at Westcott, Bucks there were several small moths flying around the garden during the daytime and one netted example proved to be Mompha subbistrigella. On 22nd April the garden trap produced my first Powdered Quaker of the year but otherwise its contents have remained quite disappointing. On 23rd April Mompha epilobiella came to a lit window. Away from home I've had Agonopterix alstromeriana, Northern Drab & Nut-tree Tussock all at Ivinghoe, Bucks on 23rd April and then Pammene giganteana, White-marked & Lunar Marbled Brown all at Ashridge, Bucks on 24th April, while Peter Hall caught a Chinese Character near Ivinghoe on the latter date."
Dave Morris reported the following from Seer Green, Bucks on 21st April: Emmelina monodactyla (1), Streamer (2, a new species for Dave's garden), Small Quaker (1), Common Quaker (1), Hebrew Character (2) & Dotted Chestnut (1).
Sunday 21st April 2013 ~
Steve and Xander Goddard report this catch from Wolvercote, Oxon on 17th April: Epiphyas postvittana (1), Clouded Drab (1), Hebrew Character (5), Oak Beauty (1) and Twin-spotted Quaker (1).
Saturday 20th April 2013 ~
Dave Wilton ran an MV light in Finemere Wood, Bucks again on 17th April: "The wind was gusting up to 40 knots outside the wood but it was nice and calm inside and plenty of moths were flying (20 species this time). New for my traps for this year were Ypsolopha ustella, Water Carpet, Pine Beauty, Blossom Underwing & Lead-coloured Drab."
Caught by Dave Morris in Seer Green, Bucks on 17th April were: Diurnea fagella (1), Emmelina monodactyla (3), Brindled Pug (1), Early Grey (5), Small Quaker (5), Common Quaker (3), Hebrew Character (1) & Early Grey (5).
Mary Elford reports: "This beautifully fresh Early Thorn was in my trap this morning, April 17th, in Bampton, Oxon. However, numbers of species and individuals remain low, even for my modest actinic trap."
Adam Hartley reports that he's finally got round to running his trap for the first time this year over the last week in central Oxford and the results from four sessions have been: Clouded Drab (3), Early Grey (5), Common Quaker (1), Hebrew Character (3), Emmelina monodactyla (1) and Diurnea fagella (1).
This report was received from Marc Botham on 16th April: "I imagine you may have had a few records come in from the weekend as it was warm and the first opportunity for many to actually see some Spring moths. Species that I caught which have not yet appeared on the UTB list are: Agonopterix arenella, Caloptilia stigmatella & Early Tooth-striped (all 13th April at Warburg, Oxon) and Dark Sword-grass (13th April in my garden trap at Benson, Oxon)."
Wednesday 17th April 2013 ~
Martin Albertini, Peter Hall and Dave Wilton ran lights at two different locations in the hills above Ivinghoe, Bucks on 15th April. Although it wasn't really the kind of night that anyone in their right minds would want to be sitting on exposed chalk grassland, three individuals of Mottled Grey (uncommon in Bucks) were trapped so that made it worthwhile. Other species caught, mostly under tree cover, were Diurnea fagella, Shoulder Stripe, Brindled Pug, Water Carpet, Oak Beauty, Engrailed, Small Quaker, Clouded Drab, Common Quaker, Twin-spotted Quaker, Hebrew Character, Satellite & Chestnut.
Mary Elford sent this report: "I found this moth resting on a fence in my garden in Bampton, Oxon on 15th April. I’ve not seen it or recorded it here before so I checked the photo with my moth advisers (Richard Comont and Martin Townsend) who agree that it is a Tawny Pinion. I notice that it was last recorded on the UTB website in 2010 so it was lovely to see it, especially after all the dreadful weather over the last couple of years."
This was received from Steve and Xander Goddard: "First proper night's mothing for the year in Wolvercote, Oxon overnight on 14th April (again a Robinson MV trap) - not a great variety of species (only six), but a good few more than we'd got on any previous night this year. Specifically, Hebrew Character (8), Common Quaker (6), Clouded Drab (5), Twin-spotted Quaker (3), Brindled Beauty (1, male) and Pale Pinion (1). On 15th April we had Clouded Drab (7), Common Quaker (6), Hebrew Character (4), Small Quaker (2), Early Grey (1) & Diurnea fagella (1)."
Nigel Partridge tells us that he finally managed a trapping session on 15th April in Loosley Row, Bucks and included amongst the catch was Diurnea fagella.
During the daytime on 14th April Dave Wilton visited Kingswood, Bucks and achieved his first confirmed sighting of Light Orange Underwing for the year. That evening he ran an MV light at Finemere Wood, Bucks and, amongst 167 moths of 18 species, got Semioscopis steinkellneriana, Agonopterix ocellana, Brindled Pug, Early Thorn and Red Chestnut. A Dotted Chestnut, new to the site, was also caught (this species seems to be having a good season).
Friday 12th April 2013 ~
Mary Elford tells us that she's been suffering from moth deprivation for months! However, "this morning (11th April) there were Clouded Drab (3) and Early Grey (2) in my trap here in Bampton, Oxon. Compared to 2012, the Early Grey's debut is exactly 3 months later to the night. The only other moths I had seen this year were an Angle Shades (first adult) that my keen-eyed grandson found on the landing on 20th March and a Plume moth that I disturbed while gardening. Hopefully you'll soon be inundated with moth sightings."
Andy King has sent us two very interesting pictures. During a visit to Rushmere Park near Heath and Reach (just inside Bucks) on 1st April Andy found some larval spinnings on broom characteristic of Agonopterix assimilella, which if confirmed might well be a first record for the county. One of the caterpillars is illustrated here. He has also had an indoor emergence of Stigmella tityrella from a leaf-mine on beech collected at Chorleywood, Bucks on 30th October last year. The adult pictured below is barely 3mm in length.
Thursday 11th April 2013 ~
Dave Maunder sent this update from Aylesbury, Bucks on 11th April: "In my garden trap last night I got Clouded Drab (2), Hebrew Character (1) and Early Grey (1) - a pretty poor night's catch. I also found a Common Quaker at the Fairford Leys shops and an Acleris literana at Hartwell House (a first for me!)."
Dave Morris reports that his moth catch in Seer Green, Bucks on 9th April comprised Common Quaker (3), Small Quaker (1), Chestnut (1), Dotted Chestnut (1), Oak Beauty (1) and Tortricodes alternella (1).
Wednesday 10th April 2013 ~
Dave Wilton reports: "Recent frost-free nights have meant a small improvement to catches in my garden trap at Westcott, Bucks with numbers now just getting into double figures thanks to Clouded Drab and Hebrew Character, while Endrosis sarcitrella (White-shouldered House Moth) was found indoors on 8th April. Over the past week I've been searching evergreen Holm Oaks for larvae of Ectoedemia heringella which should be fully grown now (the moth, a fairly recent invader, was first recorded in Bucks last winter). Locating the trees has been the bigger challenge! Leaf-mines have been recorded on almost every one found around Aylesbury and eastwards but the furthest west that I've seen evidence of the moth has been at Quainton, Bucks on 3rd April; trees in the Claydons and closer towards Oxfordshire seem to have escaped it thus far. Some Holm Oaks can have many mines per leaf and it can be quite disfiguring to the foliage, much like the damage caused to Horse Chestnuts by Cameraria ohridella."
Dave Maunder lists the moths he's found around Aylesbury, Bucks over the last few weeks: "Oak Beauty (1, 9th April), Engrailed (1, 8th April in Finemere Wood on an oak trunk), Orange Underwing (1, 6th April at Grangelands), March Moth (2 on 18th March, 1 on 8th April), Shoulder Stripe (1, 7th April), Dotted Border (1, 19th March) and Clouded Drab (1, 8th April in my garden trap). So still lean pickings on the moth front!"
This message was received from Darren Seaman: "My first decent catch of the year on Sunday night 7th April, with Hebrew Character (6), Clouded Drab (1), Common Quaker (1), Small Quaker (1) and Twin-spotted Quaker (1), all at actinic light in my Milton Keynes garden."
Monday 8th April 2013 ~
This report came from Dave Morris on 8th April: "Nothing new for the year, but I'm so pleased to see some moths in my Seer Green, Bucks garden: 2 x Common Quaker, 1 x Small Quaker, 1 x Early Grey, 1 x Yellow Horned. It must be spring!"
Mark Calway reports sightings of seven Orange Underwings and a single Acleris ferrugana/notana flying in the sunshine at Padworth Common, Berks on 6th April.
Wednesday 3rd April 2013 ~
Dave Wilton had a result at Westcott, Bucks on 2nd April: "I wouldn't normally get so excited over a worn Clouded Drab but this is the first moth which has entered my garden trap for about three weeks. What an awful start to the season. A quick check shows that my garden produced 28 individuals of 11 species up to 31st March, whereas over the same period in 2012 it was 1,454 moths of 37 species. There's a lot of catching up to be done this year and I'm looking forward to Andy King's 'explosion'!
Monday 1st April 2013 ~
This report was received from Andy King on 31st March: "As far as I can gather there are very nearly no moths flying anywhere during these cold nights. Perhaps we might expect an 'explosion' if and when we get a mild night. However, in the mean time, a Tinea pellionella turned up indoors at home in Chorleywood, Bucks on 23 March. Given what they eat as caterpillars I expect I'll find a hole in one of my pullovers sooner or later."
Sunday 31st March 2013 ~
Adam Bassett sent this message from Marlow Bottom, Bucks: "I forgot to send over this record from last month, Ypsolopha ustella (thanks to Dave Wilton for the confirmation). It was lurking in a kitchen cupboard on February 19th."
Saturday 16th March 2013 ~
16/03 - Latest update to the Moth Stats posted (see link at the top of this page).
Monday 11th March 2013 ~
Marc Botham sent this report on 11th March: "A few weeks back, I can’t remember exactly when but most likely 16th/17th February, I went out to check my over-wintering moth larvae that I had kept outside on some potted Docks here at Benson, Oxon. Amongst them were a couple of larvae that I hadn’t put there. I paid them little attention at the time as they were Noctua-looking. As it happens, now they have grown up, one is in fact a Noctua, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, but the other was a far better surprise as its markings have become much clearer and its size has helped give it away too – it’s an Old Lady."
This message came from Dave Maunder on 10th March: "Today I was given a specimen of a Small Magpie by my father-in-law who lives in Adstock, Bucks which I can only assume has overwintered in his house and hatched recently - my earliest ever record for this species! Other moths seen in Aylesbury, Bucks over the last two days were March Moth (1) on 8th March and Clouded Drab (1), Early Moth (1) & Dotted Border (3) all 9th March". Dave Wilton comments: Small Magpie normally over-winters as a fully-grown larva before pupating and then emerging as an adult to fly between May and September. However, the recent Field Guide by Sterling, Parsons & Lewington states that there have been occasional adult records from February, March, October & November so Dave's is therefore not unprecedented. Prior to this the earliest sighting in Bucks was 7th April (2000) and there are at least three other April records for the county.
Sunday 10th March 2013 ~
Steve Goddard ran his Robinson MV trap at Wolvercote, Oxford on 8th March and got a Small Quaker, a first for his garden and an addition to this year's UTB list.
The following report was received from Dave Morris on 8th March: "I've been taking advantage of the milder weather and trapping in my Seer Green, Bucks garden: 5th March Satellite (2), March Moth (1), Chestnut (1), Hebrew Character (3), Tortricodes alternella (1), Acleris notana/ferrugana agg. (1), Epiphyas postvittana/Light Brown Apple Moth (1); 6th March Oak Beauty (1), Dotted Border (1), Chestnut (1), Acleris notana/ferrugana agg. (1), Emmelina monodactyla (1), Hofmannophila pseudospretella/Brown House Moth (1); 7th March in my garage Alucita hexadactyla/Twenty-plumed Moth (1) and in the trap Small Brindled Beauty (1), Dotted Border (1), Chestnut (2), Acleris notana/ferrugana agg. (3), Epiphyas postvittana/Light Brown Apple Moth (1), Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (1)."
Friday 8th March 2013 ~
Dave Maunder sent this report on 7th March: "After Tuesday's warm weather I only managed to get a couple of moths to my garden trap in Aylesbury, Bucks that night, which were Early Grey (1) and Pale Brindled Beauty (1, antennae illustrated below). Down the road at the Fairford Leys sports fields I found six Dotted Borders at security lamps, so the warm weather must have induced a hatching of this species here!"
Wednesday 6th March 2013 ~
Dave Wilton ran one MV light at Finemere Wood, Bucks for three hours on 5th March and was pleased to get 13 species: Acleris ferrugana/notana, Tortricodes alternella, Yellow Horned, March Moth, Shoulder Stripe, Small Brindled Beauty, Pale Brindled Beauty, Spring Usher, Engrailed, Common Quaker, Grey Shoulder-knot, Satellite & Chestnut.
Marc Botham sent this report on 6th March: "There was a Lead-coloured Drab in the Rothamsted trap at CEH Wallingford, Oxon last night. Things are finally improving a little in the garden (at Benson) as well although I've nothing new to add to the UTB 2013 list: March Moth (4), Small Brindled Beauty (1), Early Moth (1), Dotted Border (1), Hebrew Character (2) & Satellite (3)."
In his first report for the website, Ashley Beolens from Great Holm in Milton Keynes, Bucks tells us that he caught a Lead-coloured Drab in his garden trap on 4th March followed by an Oak Beauty on 5th March.
Saturday 2nd March 2013 ~
The following report came from Dave Wilton on 28th February: "The weather offered few opportunities to run a trap during February so my interest was kept going through leaf-miner emergences. Another dozen adult micro-moths appeared during the month from mines collected in Bucks last autumn. Although they had been kept in an unheated north-facing room, the fact that they were indoors at all meant that emergence times were considerably at variance to the norm but it was still a worthwhile exercise to get confirmation of species. They included Stigmella viscerella (from Elm at Lenborough Wood), Stigmella centifoliella (from Dog Rose at Calvert), Phyllonorycter froelichiella (from Alder at Stockgrove Country Park), Phyllonorycter platani (from London Plane in Aylesbury) & Phyllonorycter schreberella (from Elm at a number of sites, including Westcott).
Stigmella centifoliella was a good find for Bucks and I see that both it and Phyllonorycter platani need adding to the All-time UTB list."
On 26th February Dave Morris found a Herald hibernating indoors in High Wycombe, Bucks.
Monday 18th February 2013 ~
On 17th February Dave Maunder reported that he had found a few more moths locally in Aylesbury, Bucks over the previous two days: Agonopterix heracliana, Pale Brindled Beauty, Dotted Border & Early Moth. An update sent by Dave on 18th February added two more species: Acleris cristana & Acleris schalleriana.
David Rowe sent in the following sighting: "Just to report that I had a single Oak Beauty in my Skinner trap on Saturday 16th February in Bracknell, Berks."
Dave Wilton tells us that the successful Brown Hairstreak egg search at Bernwood Meadows, Bucks on 16th February also produced eggs of Blue-bordered Carpet (4), Green-brindled Crescent (2) and Lackey (three batches) as well as an adult Acleris ferrugana/notana.
This report was received from Ali Driver: "I had Pale Brindled Beauty, Dotted Border and Acleris kochiella come to my porch light in Sonning, Berks on Friday 15th February. The latter was a first for me and many thanks go to Dave Wilton for the identification (although Dave did say that to be 100% certain, dissection would be required - and that won't be possible because I released it!)."
Sunday 10th February 2013 ~
Dave Maunder sent this report on 7th February: "Only a few moths to report from Aylesbury, Bucks recently, which include Spring Usher (1), Early Moth (2) and Pale Brindled Beauty (1). Let's hope the weather improves in the near future!"
Thursday 7th February 2013 ~
Dave Morris reports that in Seer Green, Bucks on 28th January he trapped 1 each of Chestnut, Dark Chestnut and March Moth.
Tuesday 5th February 2013 ~
This update was received from Marc Botham on 4th February: "As always seems to happen when I send in a record, I then get another one to send in and then I'll see nothing again for ages! My first March Moth of the year last night (3rd February), again in the garden at Benson, Oxon."
Sunday 3rd February 2013 ~
Marc Botham sent this report on 3rd February: "During what seems like a long period of time now, where my moth trap at Benson, Oxon has been empty of moths night after night, I caught my first Hebrew Character of the year on the 31st January. Whilst I have heard several reports of this species being caught elsewhere both before and shortly after the turn of the year, this is my first and I notice not as yet on the UTB list. Apart from the odd Pale Brindled Beauty and one Acleris notana/ferugana the trap has only really been visited by flies and ichneumons."
Dave Wilton managed to find a sheltered spot at Finemere Wood, Bucks on 31st January and in a couple of hours one MV light brought in Tortricodes alternella (1), Small Brindled Beauty (1), Pale Brindled Beauty (8), Spring Usher (13) & Early Moth (1).
Saturday 2nd February 2013 ~
Derek Brown sent this report: "I had a very early Double-striped Pug yesterday (29th January) indoors in our lobby area at home in Beenham, Berks. One turned up last year in the same place on 25th January. I'm not sure what is happening but this area has a permanently-open cat flap and a light on so they are presumably coming in from outside. I'm not sure why they're out so early here."
Helen Hyre tells us that she found a Twenty-plume Moth Alucita hexadactyla indoors in Aylesbury, Bucks on 26th January.
Friday 25th January 2013 ~
25/01 - Andy King's final moth report for the 2012 season has just been added to the 2012 Moth Sightings - click here.
Friday 11th January 2013 ~
Darren Seaman sent this report on 7th January: "The first two moths I've had this year, a Chestnut on 4th January and a Red-green Carpet on 6th January, both at actinic light in my Milton Keynes, Bucks garden."
Marc Botham reports that the Rothamsted trap at CEH Wallingford, Oxon produced a Dotted Border on 2nd January, the earliest that he has ever recorded the species. Another was caught there on 6th January.
This report came from Dave Wilton: "I have added just one more moth to my garden year list here at Westcott, Bucks with Acleris schalleriana caught on 4th January. Not really countable towards this year's total but on 9th January I had two moths emerge from leaf mines which had been kept indoors. One was Phyllonorycter harrisella and the other Tischeria ekebladella, both of which were collected from an oak near Hogshaw, Bucks on 30th September 2012. Many of my records for the latter moth are of the distinctive larval stage leaf mines so, even though it is just a tiny 'boring brown job', it was nice to get a good view of the adult for a change!"
Tuesday 8th January 2013 ~
08/01 - Dave Wilton's final moths for the 2012 season have just been added to the 2012 Moth Sightings - click here.
On 3rd January Nigel Partridge found his first moth of the year, Alucita hexadactyla, on his front door at Loosley Row, Bucks.
Dave Maunder sent this report on 5th January: "After 3 night's trapping here in my Aylesbury, Bucks garden I finally managed to get a female Chestnut moth on 4th January!"
Saturday 5th January 2013 ~
Chris Bottrell tells us that catches in his Merton (Oxon) garden fizzled out more than expected towards the end of 2012 with very few moths and nothing new for the list. "In the 96 sessions of 2012, in total I only caught one more moth (4012 v 4011) than I had in 2010 when I only trapped 50 times. I trapped 98 times in 2011 and caught a total of 7847 moths which is almost twice the count for 2012. Anyway, 2013 is now off to a roaring start with the trap going out on the 1st January and catching my usual first moth, a solitary Agonopterix heracliana."
Marc Botham adds to his last message from Benson, Oxon: "The trap was even busier last night (2nd January) with a couple of Dark Chestnuts and 3 Chestnuts added to the mix. I have also found a few Angle Shades and Large Yellow Underwing larvae in amongst the mess created by the rabbits I keep."
Dave Wilton ran an MV trap at Finemere Wood, Bucks for a few hours on 2nd January and caught about 40 moths of eight species, comprising Acleris ferrugana/notana, Acleris hastiana, Winter Moth, Pale Brindled Beauty, Spring Usher, Mottled Umber, Early Moth and Chestnut. In his Westcott, Bucks garden on 4th January he found a single Acleris aspersana.
On 4th January Dave Maunder sent this report: "My only moth so far this year is one Winter Moth found on New Year's Day at Fairford Leys football fields (Aylesbury, Bucks). Nothing came to my garden trap the last two nights apart from numerous Midges, Gnats, Flies and a couple of Vine weevils! Very poor considering the mild temps."
This report came from Dave Morris on 4th January: "Not the most exciting moth to start my year list off, but in my Seer Green, Bucks kitchen not 5 minutes ago - Hofmannophila pseudospretella (Brown House Moth)."
Wednesday 2nd January 2013 ~
Marc Botham sent the following report from Benson, Oxon: "Despite it being incredibly mild over Christmas the rain and often strong winds mixed with the apparent lack of moths meant that my moth trap was most often empty – of moths at least as there were still plenty of slugs and flies. As such there was nothing to report for December, but last night (1st January) I caught my earliest Early Moth, along with a Satellite, Winter Moth and Mottled Umber."
Dave Wilton reports that the traditional New Year's Day Brown Hairstreak egg hunt at Otmoor, Oxon on 1st January also produced a ring of Lackey eggs and a handful of Blue-bordered Carpet eggs.
Rob Payne had a Pale Brindled Beauty outside his flat in Langley, Bucks this morning (2nd January).
Tuesday 1st January 2013 ~
Well done to Ali Driver for spotting the first UTB moth of the year on 1st January: "Had my first moth of the year on the first day of the year - Emmelina monodactyla - which I disturbed whilst unfuzzing my New Year's Day head with a long awaited spot of gardening at home in Sonning, Berks."
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