WINE RACE 2016 .. MATTc380 .. TRENT 353 .. BEN 347 ...... Garden species:- Macros 357, Micros 365, Total 722

Friday, 27 April 2012

26th April 2012... Night at the Prom

Overnight min. temp. 8 deg. Frequent strong gusts, occasional brief shower
As can be seen by the figures under the blog heading, there is a lot of catching up to do this year as the poor April conditions drag on and on with no sign of a let-up in the coming week.
On a positive note, a year first macro was added last night.
Just 3 moths braved the wind.......
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 1
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta 1
2003 Pebble Prominent Notodonta ziczac 1,  year first

2003 PEBBLE PROMINENT, Notodonta ziczac

Thursday, 26 April 2012

25th April 2012...Garden Moth Diary

Overnight min. temp ... 7.9 deg. windy, wet & warmer
6 moths :-
1524 Emmelina monodactyla
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta
2154 Cabbage Moth Mamestra brassicae year first
2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica
2389 Pale Mottled Willow Paradrina clavipalpis

2154 Cabbage Moth, Mamestra brassicae

2389 Pale Mottled Willow, Paradrina clavipalpis 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

24th April 2012 ... Garden Traps

Overnight min. temp. 6 deg. calm night, crazy at dawn
"Blogger has a new look !"
Yes, well it may be new but it looks cheap and nasty compared to the old look, which wasn't so fantastic either.
Thanks for the choice !
April has been a bit of a write-off but 5 moths turned up in and around the traps.
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 1
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 1
2186 Powdered Quaker Orthosia gracilis 1

1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

24th April ... Lizard in garden

A common lizard found on the compost heap today during brief sunny period

22nd/23rd April 2012... Blame it on the Jet stream !

The last two nights have been as follows:- Awful !
1 x Double-striped Pug
1 x Shuttle-shaped Dart
1 x Angle Shades
No traps... total washout

The appalling weather we are experiencing throughout April is down to the position of the Jet Stream.
For some reason it is crossing the Atlantic, then dipping well below the UK, before heading northwards again across Europe towards Scandinavia.
The result is low pressure in the dip of the Jet Stream, which is slap dab over the UK.
If there is no shift in the Jet Stream we will be stuck with cold, wet and probably windy conditions for quite some time, making it the wettest drought in history !
Below is a map of the current position of the Jet Stream, as can be seen, the warm air has given us a wide berth before sneaking into Europe via Portugal, Spain and southern/central France.

Current position of the Jet Stream...Why us ?
Last April, the Jet Stream was right over the UK and was the reason for the fabulous weather we enjoyed throughout the month, although it shifted again enough to cool down our summer, but returned to warm up autumn.
For comparison, here are my trap results for the corresponding two days in 2011...
April 22nd:-
16 x Shuttle-shaped Dart
  8 x Brimstone Moth
  3 x Double-striped Pug
  3 x Nut-tree Tussock
  2 x Hebrew Character
  2 x Grey Dagger agg
  2 x Common Quaker
  2 x Red Twin-spot Carpet
  2 x Powdered Quaker
  2 x Currant Pug
  2 x Brindled Pug
Clouded Drab
Ruby Tiger
Garden Carpet
Pebble Hook-tip
Puss Moth
Least Black Arches
Sallow Kitten
Knot Grass
Plus 10 species of micro moths

23rd April
24 Shuttle-shaped Dart
  2 x Brimstone Moth
  2 x Grey Dagger agg
  2 x Knot Grass
  2 x Scalloped Hazel
Scorched Carpet
Flame Shoulder
Pale Tussock
Early Grey
Common Quaker
Powdered Quaker
Nut-tree Tussock
Ruby Tiger
Lime Hawk-moth
Waved Umber
Pale Oak Beauty f. humperti
Muslin Moth
Plus 13 species of micro moth..... Happy Days !

Sunday, 22 April 2012

20th / 21st April 2012 ... Woeful

20th... Overnight min. temp....2 deg. cloudy, calm, chilly
21st... Overnight min. temp. 3.7 deg. cloudy, light westerly breeze, chilly
Garden Trap results :-
20th April
1 x Hebrew Character
1 x Clouded Drab

21st April
Say no more ! 

Friday, 20 April 2012

19th April 2012 ... Garden traps

Overnight min. temp. 3.5 deg. Showers dying out, light breeze, chilly.
After the false start in March, April has certainly put the brakes on the mothing year.
Last April seems like a world away, when the traps were turning up the likes of Swallow Prominent, Nut-tree Tussock, Grey Dagger, Flame Shoulder, Sallow Kitten, Chocolate Tip and Lime Hawk-moth to name a few.
The forecast is similar for the rest of April so maybe a few hot days in early May will kick-start some action.
Traps :-
0647 Brown House-moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella 1
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 3
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta 2
2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 2
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 2
2306 Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa 3

Thursday, 19 April 2012

18th April 2012 ... Unidentified micro turns up in the rain

Overnight min. temp. 7.3 deg. .. Rain most of night, heavy at times.
No traps last night, far too wet until I sort out some rain covers, but I switched on a blacklight in the patio door window.
A new micro appeared out of the rain which has yet to be identified. Looks like a Monopis species at just 5mm in length.
Photos are a bit rubbish, my lumix macro mode struggles with tiny micros !

A good shout for this micro could be 607 Elachista canapennella Male
after Captain Trappings suggestion of an Elachista species.
Flight time is right, size is good ( 8/10 mm wingspan ) 
This one would be a plain male if it is E. canapennella as the female is well marked.
Either way our recorder will have the final say.
Gen det confirmed as 607 Elachista canapennella...David Manning, county micro recorder.

Apart from said micro....
2 x Hebrew Character
1 x Agonopterix alstromeriana
1 x Epiphyas postvittana

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

17th April 2012 ... Garden traps

Overnight min. temp, 4.1deg.... windy, partly cloudy
No surprises and very few moths.
2182 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 1
2188 Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 1
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta 2
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 2
2306 Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa 1

Tonight could be ok if the rain holds off, with little wind, plenty of cloud cover and forecasted  min. temp. of 4/5 degrees.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

16th April 2012... Something new at last !

Overnight min. temp 4.6 deg. Wind, strengthening with rain (wet traps). 
The traps have been switched on tonight so I'm hoping the heavy rain that the weatherman has promised doesn't come earlier than the forecast. (See above !)
Temperatures are predicted at 4 deg minimum so maybe a few moths will be about tonight.
A daytime Argyrotaenia ljungiana was on the patio window this afternoon, and an Early Grey and Angle Shades were on the house wall beside the patio door, very odd for 4.15 pm....

A year first Argyrotaenia ljungiana 974

Tonights trap results to follow, including the afternoon moths.
The expected rain came a little earlier than forecast so the traps had to be emptied. moths and water.
It was a good exercise though with two new macros turning up before the weather set in.
0974 Argyrotaenia ljungiana 1 year first

1920 Scalloped Hazel, Odontopera bidentata  

2186 Powdered Quaker, Orthosia gracilis

Saturday, 14 April 2012

13th April 2012 ..Trap results.. 14th.. Unidentified garden plant and Esperia sulphurella

Overnight min. temp. 2.3 deg. Cold light northerly breeze.
Very poor trap results, only 5 moths of 3 species.
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 2
2306 Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa  1

 Tonight looks to be another poor night but I may put a trap on for a couple of hours.

Today saw quite a few Esperia sulphurella in the garden sunshine, with one specimen conveniently posing on my van...

649 Esperia sulphurella

Anyone recognise this plant ?  I've never seen this one before in the garden and it's nothing I have planted. It looks a bit like a cabbage.

A 50pence piece placed on the leaf for size comparison... and excuse the camera strap !
I will have to let it grow and see what develops

Thursday, 12 April 2012

11th April 2011... garden traps

Overnight min. temp...3.4 deg. calm, clear.
Garden trap results:-
998 Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 1
1852 Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata 1
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 1
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta 1, year first
2182 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 1

Brindled Pug, Eupithecia abreviata
Shuttle-shaped Dart, Agrotis puta
Garden Birds :-
A singing Willow Warbler in the garden may be the first one in 20 years...I will have to search for my garden bird records sheet and check.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

10th April 2012... Poor year ahead ?

Overnight min. temp. 2.3 deg. calm, clear.
The temperature was higher than predicted, so the traps stayed on.
Nothing  to get excited about in the traps and my fears of slipping way behind the 2011 macro count to date are becoming a reality.
Last Year from April 8th to April 15th :-
Pebble Prominent, Brown-line Bright-eye, Pale Tussock. Least Black Arches, Nutmeg, Brimstone Moth, Small Waved Umber, Garden Carpet,  Common Pug,  Oak-tree Pug, Ruby Tiger, Knot Grass,  Shuttle-shaped Dart and Cabbage Moth. Species to date... 35 macro
This Year ? from April 8th ...............Species to date... 22 macro
So far this week, Pale Mottled Willow added, so I need something like 13 new species for the year between now and Sunday to catch up.........and it's a further 18 species the following week !
Swings and Round-abouts or a very poor year ? Time will tell.
Traps :-

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

10th April 2012 ... Meaningless minimum temperatures

It is now 19.40 on the 10th April.
The rain has stopped, the temperature is 7 deg and falling rapidly towards a predicted grass frost in the early hours.
This is the forecast for the rest of the week.
The traps will be going on until the temperature falls below "silly" degrees, which should be around midnight-ish.

At the end of March this year, I was well ahead of the 2011 macro species count which I attributed to the much better weather compared to last year, but I have since slipped behind during April, which I thought was probably due to the fact that last April was one of our best months weather-wise.
With that in mind, I figured that I would slip well behind last years running macro moth count as the April long range forecast for this week is for colder average day temps with a risk of frost in the mornings....not good.
Or will I ?
Time for some comparisons....
I have been recording the minimum nightly temperature for the last two years to compare temp/species/numbers ratios, as warmer nights mean more moths...right ? 
Last year in the Biggleswade area, March was a cold month compared to March this year.
In 2011 I had 26 nights with the traps on, the average minimum nightly temperature was 3.8 deg.
This year, March was seeing record daytime temperatures around the UK.
The traps were on for 29 nights but the average minimum night temperature was 3.6 deg....surprisingly lower. 
My recording of MINIMUM night temperature is totally useless and I gain no helpful information mothwise.
It might be better to take temperature readings at dusk and say two more readings at one hour intervals for March.
Maybe in that way some sort of behavioural pattern will emerge.
And maybe barometric pressure and wind speed/direction can also be incorporated along with chill factor and humidity.
The information gleaned from all this would be invaluable....I could determine the good trapping conditions with some accuracy and the nights when not to bother, and save on the electricity bill....................
Or better still...use Sods Law and rely on Pot Luck, with it's unknown highs and lows...way to go !
 But I will still post the min. temp. for my area if only for curiosity value...............  

Monday, 9 April 2012

8th April 2012 ... P.M.W.

Overnight min. temp. 7.3 deg. chilly norwesterly winds. Light rain from 23.00 onwards.
Not one orthosia species !
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 1
1342 Eudonia angustea 2, in cop.
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 3
1917 Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 1
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 2
2306 Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa 2
2389 Pale Mottled Willow Paradrina clavipalpis 1, year first

Pale Mottled Willow, Paradrina clavipalpis

Eudonia angustea, in cop,

Eudonia angustea
 7th April...
Overnight min. temp. 5.7 deg. calm, light rain most of night
2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 3
2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 1

Saturday, 7 April 2012

6th April 2011... Garden Traps

Overnight min. temp. 7.1 deg C ... Light rain most of the evening.
Much warmer last night so I gave the traps a run for the first time since last Monday night.
There are still Redwings passing over the garden at night, sounding like they need oiling, and the bat numbers have increased from 2 to 4.

Traps :- ... 19 moths of 9 species
0695 Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 2
1917 Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 1
2182 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 1
2188 Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 5
2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 3
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 3
2306 Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa 2

Early Thorn, Selenia dentaria

Angle Shades, Phlogophora meticulosa ...Early Grey, Xylocampa areola

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

2nd April 2011..The Dells garden birds

Highlight for the day was a warbling Blackcap male in the Bird-cherry tree.
Both nest boxes have Blue Tits and the Sparrow Tenement Block has been occupied.
A pair of Long-tailed Tits are nesting two gardens down and have been seen collecting nesting material in my garden recently for the first time ever.
Great Tits and a pair of Coal Tits have been seen in courtship mode but I've not located the nesting sites.....
The pics are not too good as I have to be quite a distance away for the Sparrows to stay in view and it stretches my little Panasonic DMC TZ8 zoom to its limits.

 Mr and Mrs Sparrow (Jack and Jill) surveying the scene before gittin jiggy wid it....They will probably have 3 broods and help maintain the falling Sparrow population.
Sparrow site overview.........

BlueTit at house nest box...this is located just outside of the patio door and is the first time it's been used in the 5 years it's been there
 Site overview
 Nest box built inside of the garden shed with an entrance hole drilled through. 2 or 3 Blue Tits have raised young over the last 8 or so years of its existence along with a Great Tit brood.
 Site overview...notice the 15watt blacklight/blue used to attract moths to the shed wall....this is decommissioned if and when nesting occurs, like now.

2nd April 2012 ... Garden traps

2nd April... Overnight min. temp. 7.1 deg. calm, cloudy, warm.
Disappointing, considering the perfect conditions.
A 2nd Lead-coloured Drab was the highlight, but no Cloudeds.
Trap tally :-
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 8
2182 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 1
2185 Lead-coloured Drab Orthosia populeti 1
2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 6
2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 5

Lead-coloured Drab, Orthosia populeti

1st April... Overnight min. temp. 2.1 deg. Calm, clear, cold.
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 2
1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 1
1917 Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 1
2182 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 1
2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 3
2188 Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 3
2190 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1
2243 Early Grey Xylocampa areola 3

Tonight and tomorrow night may well see the traps under wraps looking at the weather forecast ! Parts of Scotland had over 6" of snow and it's heading our way.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

31st March... Another garden rarity !

Overnight min. temp. 0.6 deg... light breeze, clear spells.
Very few moths in the trap this morning.
The usual Orthosias, but the garden first Large Spring Brown was a major surprise....
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 4
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 1
Large Spring Brown Stultus aprilis 1, Garden first
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 1

Common Quaker, Orthosia cerasi

Hebrew Character, Orthosia gothica

Large Spring Brown, Stultus aprilis

Clouded Drab, Orthosia incerta