August 2012

 

Friday 31st August

Another unremarkable night for moths: 2 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadacyla, Single-dotted Wave, Riband Wave, 4 Green Carpets, Lime-speck Pug, Double-striped Pug, 5 Brimstone Moths, Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 9 Square-spot Rustics, Angle Shades and 8 Silver Ys.

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Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (left) and Lime-speck Pug (right), Bawdeswell, 31st August

 

Thursday 30th August

Good weather for seawatching this evening but I was work and house bound so unable to partake. Shame. Rubbish weather for moths - the one I did see (Brown House-moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella) may well have arrived yesterday and hidden up until today.

 

Wednesday 29th August

Popped in to Thornham in my lunch break to look for migrants. Didn't see any but a quick scan of Titchwell from the hill above Thornham revealed a lone Spoonbill.

Very few moths this evening: my latest ever Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, 3 Green Carpets, 2 Square-spot Rustics, Angle Shades and 5 Silver Ys.

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Angle Shades, Bawdeswell, 29th August

 

Tuesday 28th August

Some fair numbers of moths again tonight, and again no remarkable species amongst them: 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 2 White-shouldered House-moths Endrosis sarcitrella, 2 probable Four-spotted Obscures Oegoconia quadripuncta, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Heather Tortrix Argyrotaenia ljungiana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Small Dusty Wave, 3 Single-dotted Waves, Riband Wave, 12 Green Carpets, Double-striped Pug, Yellow-barred Brindle, 5 Brimstone Moths, 3 Willow Beauties, 2 Flame Shoulders, Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 3 Square-spot Rustics, White-point, 13 Silver Ys and Snout.

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Brimstone Moth (left) and Heather Tortrix Argyrotaenia ljungiana (right), Bawdeswell, 28th August

 

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White-point (left) and Square-spot Rustic (right), Bawdeswell, 28th August

 

Monday 27th August

Whilst not a great night for moths in terms of variety or unusual species, it was quite good for numbers. I got record counts for 3 species: 4 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, 6 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis and 12 Green Carpets. Also 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 2 White-shouldered House-moths Endrosis sarcitrella, probable Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, 2 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, Small Purple and Gold Pyrausta aurata, Small Dusty Wave, 2 Single-dotted Waves, Riband Wave, Garden Carpet, Common Carpet, Currant Pug, Tawny Speckled Pug, Double-striped Pug, 6 Brimstone Moths, Shuttle-shaped Dart, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 3 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 3 Square-spot Rustics, 10 Silver Ys and a Straw Dot.

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Green Carpet (left) and Small Purple and Gold Pyrausta aurata (right), Bawdeswell, 27th August

 

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Square-spot Rustic (left) and Shuttle-shaped Dart (right), Bawdeswell, 27th August

 

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Forest Bug (aka Red-legged Shieldbug, left) and Iassus lanio (right), Bawdeswell, 27th August

 

Sunday 26th August

Another fairly tame night for moths: Brown House-moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, 3 Riband Waves, 2 Garden Carpets, Common Marbled Carpet, 3 Green Carpets, Willow Beauty, 3 Large Yellow Underwings, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 3 Square-spot Rustics, Copper Underwing, Angle Shades, 5 Silver Ys and Straw Dot.

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Copper Underwing (left) and Setaceous Hebrew Character (right), Bawdeswell, 26th August

 

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Common Marbled Carpet, Bawdeswell, 26th August

 

Saturday 25th August

Tonight's moths were Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, 2 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, White-shouldered House-moth Endrosis sarcitrella, Yarrow Conch Aethes smeathmanniana, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, Flame Carpet, 3 Green Carpets, Willow Beauty, 2 Square-spot Rustics, 2 Silver Ys, 2 Spectacles and Straw Dot.

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Phagocarpus permundus (left) and Yarrow Conch Aethes smeathmanniana (right), Bawdeswell, 25th August

 

Friday 24th August

Most interesting moth tonight was a Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella that lacked the usual prominent pale stripe. I've seen photos of individuals lacking the stripe (in fact they've been even plainer than mine) but in something like 270 individuals I've recorded up to now I'd never had one myself that lacked a prominent stripe.

Other than that highlights were my first Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea for the year and a lovely Black Arches. There were also 2 White-shouldered House-moths Endrosis sarcitrella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis, Grey Knot-horn Trachycera advenella, Single-dotted Wave, Riband Wave, 3 Common Carpets, 5 Green Carpets, Tawny Speckled Pug, 2 Double-striped Pugs, 5 Willow Beauties, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 4 Square-spot Rustics, 3 Silver Ys and Spectacle.

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Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella (left) and Black Arches (right), Bawdeswell, 24th August

 

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Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea (left) and Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata (right), Bawdeswell, 24th August

 

Thursday 23rd August

I get quite a few Parornix at home and I'm nearly always pretty sure they're Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella. One tonight appeared from the front to have plain white (unbanded) palps and so I wondered if it was Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae, although it did have spots of dark at the back of the palps so might perhaps have just been a poorly-marked anglicella? I thought I'd given this to Jon who did confirm one Parornix as anglicella, however some confusion over dates leaves an element of doubt as to which one I had given him. Otherise a couple of moths were new for the year: Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana and Copper Underwing.

The rest were 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Single-dotted Wave, Riband Wave, 3 Garden Carpets, 2 Green Carpets, Double-striped Pug, 3 Brimstone Moths, 3 Flame Shoulders, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 5 Square-spot Rustics and 3 Silver Ys.

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Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana (left) and Copper Underwing (right), Bawdeswell, 23rd August

 

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Slender sp. Parornix sp., Bawdeswell, 23rd August

 

Wednesday 22nd August

Relatively few moths tonight: Brown House-moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Dark Groundling Bryotropha affinis, House Groundling Bryotropha domestica, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 3 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, 4 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Orange Swift, 2 Riband Waves, Common Carpet, 3 Green Carpets, Dingy Footman, 2 Square-spot Rustics and Burnished Brass.

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House Groundling Bryotropha domestica (left) and Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd August

 

Tuesday 21st August

No completely new moths tonight but one that I've not had at home before - White-line Dart. The rest of the bag were probable Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, 2 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, probable Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, 3 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, 2 Riband Waves, 2 Flame Carpets, 2 Garden Carpets, 3 Green Carpets, Currant Pug, Willow Beauty, Flame Shoulder, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 8 Square-spot Rustics, 2 Silver Ys, Spectacle and 2 Straw Dots.

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Spectacle (left) and White-line Dart (right), Bawdeswell, 21st August

 

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Currant Pug, Bawdeswell, 21st August - I've observed that Currant Pugs can sometimes hold their wings out so that they look (to me) like Wormwood Pugs and vice versa, and published photos online suggest that the supposed differences in wing pattern are unreliable, so I've taken to measuring each specimen to convince myself of the ID

 

Monday 20th August

Four consecutive nights with new moths - this is good! Tonight's was the best, or at least the most rarely recorded: an Apple Pith Moth Blastodacna atra. The Crewes have recorded this species in the Sheringham area 4 times between 2006 and 2008 but theirs were the only Norfolk records since 1889!

A reasonable variety of other species though nothing remarkable: 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Dark Groundling Bryotropha affinis, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, London Dowd Blastobasis lacticolella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, 3 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, 2 Small Greys Eudonia mercurella, 5 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, Small Blood-vein, Small Fan-footed Wave, 3 Riband Waves, 2 Common Carpets, Yellow Shell, 2 Green Carpets, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, Dingy Footman, Ruby Tiger, Flame Shoulder, 3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 6 Square-spot Rustics and 2 Straw Dots.

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Apple Pith Moth Blastodacna atra, Bawdeswell, 20th August

 

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Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (left) and Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana (right), Bawdeswell, 20th August

 

Sunday 19th August

Bit of a coincidence tonight... I was chatting to Rob on the phone and he was talking about various species of Dichrorampha that he'd been recording recently. I mentioned that at home I'd yet to record more than one species of Dichrorampha (D. acuminitana), and that only twice. I put the phone down, went into the bedroom and the first moth I saw was Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana!

That was the first of two new moths for me tonight - the second was New Oak Slender Caloptilia robustella*. Very nice too!

Other than these I got Small Dingy Tubic Borkhausenia fuscescens, 5 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Obscure sp. Oegoconia sp., 2 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, 3 Heather Tortrices Argyrotaenia ljungiana, Privet Tortrix Clepsis consimilana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea, Water Veneer Acentria ephemerella, Orange Swift (new for the year), 2 Single-dotted Waves, Common Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Buff Ermine, Flame Shoulder, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 5 Square-spot Rustics, Cloaked Minor, Silver Y and Straw Dot.

*Updated Feb 2013 - thanks to Jon for get detting the Caloptilia which I had tentatively identified as alchimiella.

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New Oak Slender Caloptilia robustella (left) and Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana (right), Bawdeswell, 19th August - thanks to Jon for gen detting the Caloptilia

 

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Cloaked Minor (left) and Orange Swift (right), Bawdeswell, 19th August

 

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Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea (left) and Water Veneer Acentria ephemerella (right), Bawdeswell, 19th August

 

Saturday 18th August

Joined Rob for some mothing at Winterton tonight - we'd been talking about bringing our lights here for ages and were keen to give it a bash, knowing there were a number of new species for us there and the chance of some migrants. Well there weren't many migrants (except a Whimbrel) but we did get some new moths, those for me being 2 Two-dotted Dwarfs Elachista biatomella, 3 Marbles Bactra furfurana*, 2 Banded Grass-veneers Pediasia fascelinella, 25+ Long-legged Tabbies Synaphe punctalis, 20+ Archer's Darts, 2 Dotted Clays, 2 Shore Wainscots, 5+ Straw Underwings, 2 Ear Moths * and a Gold Spot.

The rest included Large Groundling Teleiopsis diffinis, 5 Dusky Groundlings Aroga velocella, 4+ Barred Grass-veneers Agriphila inquinatella, 3 Ground-moss Greys Eudonia truncicolella, 3 Heather Knot-horns Pempelia palumbella, Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, 3 Drinkers, Scalloped Hook-tip, Pebble Hook-tip, Peach Blossom, Lime-speck Pug, 2+ Narrow-winged Pugs, 2 Scalloped Oaks, Willow Beauty, 4 Poplar Hawkmoths, 3 Iron Prominents, Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Yellow-tail, 4 Scarce Footmen, 2 Garden Tigers, 5 Ruby Tigers, White-line Dart, 2 Flame Shoulders, 10+ Large Yellow Underwings, 2 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 4 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Least Yellow Underwing, 25+ True Lover's Knots, Square-spot Rustic, 3+ Nutmegs, Smoky Wainscot, Angle Shades, 3 Dark Arches and 2 Common Rustic aggs.

In addition there were 2 moths flying around for a while which I suspect were unfamiliar forms of Rush Marble Bactra lancealana but I await confirmation*. While photographing these however I obtained a photo of a third moth without realising it - the image is poorly focused but looks to me like the much scarcer Mottled Marble Bactra furfurana.

Back at home and in the time it took me to faff around and get ready for bed I pulled a few moths in including another new one for me! Grey Poplar Bell Epinotia nisella caused me some trouble to get to the ID as it's quite variable and the most frequently illustrated forms look nothing like mine. Also Clothes Moth sp. Tinea or Niditinea sp., Brown Rowan Argent Argyresthia semifusca (I struggle to ID these but this one was outside of the stated size range of spinosella), Rush Marble Bactra lancealana, Pale-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila selasella, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea (my first this year), 3 Riband Waves and Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet.

*Updated Feb 2013 - thanks to Jon for gen detting the Ears at least one of which was an Ear Moth not Saltern Ear as we had supposed, and also for the Bactra which turned out to be Mottled Marble Bactra furfurana.

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Garden Tiger (left) and Gold Spot (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Archer's Darts, Winterton, 18th August

 

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Ear Moth (left) and White-line Dart (right), Winterton, 18th August - thanks to Jon for gen detting the Ear

 

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Straw Underwings, Winterton, 18th August

 

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Peach Blossom (left) and Sallow Kitten (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Shore Wainscots, Winterton, 18th August

 

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Nutmeg (left) and True Lover's Knot (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Long-legged Tabbies Synaphe punctalis, Winterton, 18th August

 

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Banded Grass-venner Pediasia fascelinella (left) and Narrow-winged Pug (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Two-dotted Dwarfs Elachista biatomella, Winterton, 18th August

 

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Scalloped Hook-tip (left) and Scarce Footman (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Large Groundling Teleiopsis diffinis (left) and Ground-moss Grey Eudonia truncicolella (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Mottled Marble Bactra furfurana, Winterton, 18th August - thanks to Jon for gen detting the right hand one (a female)

 

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Mottled Grasshopper (left) and Great Silver Beetle (right), Winterton, 18th August

 

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Dotted Clay, Winterton (left) and Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, Bawdeswell (right), 18th August

 

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Grey Poplar Bell Epinotia nisella (left) and Brown Rowan Argen Argyresthia semifusca (right), Bawdeswell, 18th August

 

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Oak Bush-cricket, Bawdeswell, 18th August

 

Friday 17th August

A new moth tonight, though apparently not a very unusual one: Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana. Also a couple of others I don't get here very often: Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana (my first here) and Scarce Footman (my second here following one in July). Also a record count: 10 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella. My 4th Barred White Clothes Moth Nemapogon clematella of the year is remarkable given how infrequently this species is recorded elsewhere in Norfolk (not annual).

A good variety of others too: 2 Cork Moths Nemapogon cloacella, Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, Clothes Moths sp. Tinea or Niditinea sp., Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella, Case-bearer sp. Coleophora sp., 2 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, probable Four-spotted Obsucre Oegoconia quadripuncta, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, Heather Tortrix Argyrotaenia ljungiana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, 2 Many-plumed Moths Alucita hexadactyla, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, 5 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, 2 Small Greys Eudonia mercurella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, 3 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Grey Knot-horn Trachycera advenella, Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, Small Blood-vein, Small Dusty Wave, 6 Riband Waves, Currant Pug, Brimstone Moth, 4 Willow Beauties, Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3 Flame Shoulders, 3 Large Yellow Underwings, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Dun-bar, Cloaked Minor and Common Rustic agg.

Update Feb 2013: Thanks to Jon for gen detting the Coleophora - it was Speckled Case-bearer Coleophora sternipennella.

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Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana (left) and Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana (right), Bawdeswell, 17th August

 

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Scarce Footman (left) and Currant Pug (right), Bawdeswell, 17th August

 

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Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella (left) and Speckled Case-bearer Coleophora sternipennella (right), Bawdeswell, 17th August - thanks to Jon for gen detting the Coleophora

 

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Cream-spot Ladybird, Bawdeswell, 17th August

 

Thursday 16th August

A good night for moths, the highlights being Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella, my first at home, and my second Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana. Others were Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, probable Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella, Blackthorn or Brown Rowan Argent Argyresthia spinosella or semifusca, Case-bearer sp. Coleophora sp., 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Burdock Neb Metzneria lappella, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Two-coloured Bell Eucosma obumbratana, Pale-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila selasella, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, 3 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, probable (worn) Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, Small Purple and Gold Pyrausta aurata, 3 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, 2 Drinkers, Single-dotted Wave, 2 Riband Waves, Flame Carpet, 3 Common Carpets, Wormwood Pug, Tawny Speckled Pug, Willow Beauty, Iron Prominent, 2 Ruby Tigers, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 4 Lesser Broad-bordered YellowUnderwings, Clay, White-point, Dark Arches, Cloaked Minor and 2 Silver Ys.

Update Feb 2013: Thanks to Jon for gen detting the Coleophora - it was Speckled Case-bearer Coleophora sternipennella.

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Ruby Tiger (left) and Iron Prominent (right), Bawdeswell, 16th August

 

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Cloaked Minor (left) and White-point (right), Bawdeswell, 16th August

 

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Two-coloured Bell Eucosma obumbratana (left) and Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella (right), Bawdeswell, 16th August

 

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Blackthorn Argent Argyresthia spinosella or Black Rowan Argent A. semifusca (left) and Speckled Case-bearer Coleophora sternipennella (right), Bawdeswell, 16th August - thanks to Jon for gen detting the Coleophora

 

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Tawny Speckled Pug, Bawdeswell, 16th August

 

Wednesday 15th August

Not a great bunch of moths tonight: 2 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 4 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, Pale-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila selasella, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, 2 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis, Small Dusty Wave, Single-dotted Wave, 2 Riband Waves, Common Carpet, Yellow-barred Brindle, Scorched Carpet, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, 2 Dingy Footmen, 2 Ruby Tigers, 4 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings and Square-spot Rustic. This hoverfly and Froghopper were better...

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Hoverfly Xanthogramma pedissequum (left) and Froghopper Aphrophora sp. (right), Bawdeswell, 15th August

 

Tuesday 14th August

Back to moths again now I'm afraid. I'm in the process of giving up something that's been keeping me busy over the last 3 years and once that's handed over I expect to have more time for birding, but for a little while longer I'm stuck indoors for most of the time.

Anyway, some interesting moths tonight including 2 more Barred White Clothes Moths Nemapogon clematella, another Juniper Pug, Iron Prominent (only my second here) and my first Six-striped Rustic of the year. Also Cork Moth Nemapogon cloacella, Clothes Moth sp. Tinea or Niditinea sp., probable Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, probable Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Dark Groundling Bryotropha affinis, 5 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 2 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrices Pandemis heparana, Pale-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila selasella, Pear Veneer Agriphila straminella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuropty ruralis, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, 2 Single-dotted Waves, Flame Carpet, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Common Carpets, Scorched Carpet, 2 Brimstone Moths, 4 Dingy Footmen, 2 Ruby Tigers, 2 Flame Shoulders, Lesser Yellow Underwing, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 3 Square-spot Rustics, Cloaked Minor and Common Rustic agg.

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Juniper Carpet (left) and Flame Carpet (right), Bawdeswell, 14th August

 

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Lesser Yellow Underwing (left) and Six-striped Rustic (right), Bawdeswell, 14th August

 

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Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella (left) and Barred White Clothes Moth Nemapogon clematella (right), Bawdeswell, 14th August

 

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Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, Bawdeswell, 14th August

 

Monday 13th August

An hour in, the journey back home from Penzance was rudely punctuated by the wailing sound of mega-alerts from our two pagers - a quick glance at the screen prompted some degree of frenzy and a sharply executed u-turn - Eleanora's Falcon at Porthgwarra! My brother was at the wheel and as his foot hit the floor and the tension mounted I re-read the message. Oh. Eleanora's Falcon at Porthgwarra on Saturday it said. On Saturday... that's two days ago. On Saturday when we were on a boat not a lot of miles from Porthgwarra. On Saturday, the day after we'd been at Porthgwarra. A bit like a deflating balloon we turned back round and continued our journey home. I've never seen Eleanora's Falcon anywhere and it's a bird I'd really really love to see.

Wet Moor in Somerset was only just off the A303 so we stopped to have a look. The adjacent Whit Moor seemed to be the better bet but the one birder who was leaving told us that he'd spoken to someone who'd seen the 4 White Storks there every day for the last two weeks but not today. Ah well, we couldn't have expected any different the way this weekend had been going, but we wandered down the track anyway. It was a huge area with loads of potential for stuff to be hiding but you'd have thought that 4 White Storks would be easy enough to see... Well obviously not because it wasn't long before Andrew picked up a couple of white things in the distance which proved not to be the heads of Mute Swans nor of Little Egrets, but were instead the heads of White Storks. Then the other two appeared... 4 White Storks! These birds have spent the summer moving around the country and were originally part of a flock of 6 - I think it's a pretty safe bet that they are wild birds. As we continued down the track they became even harder to see as we got lower down but I figured they might just be clearly visible from the very end of the track. So they were too, in full view and not all that far away (relatively speaking).

Other bits and pieces here included Peregrine, 2 Greenshank, 30 Black-tailed Godwits, zillions of herons and egrets and a couple of Yellow Wagtails. Dragonflies included Ruddy Darters and moths included Pale-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila selasella, Small China-mark Cataclysta lemnata and Common Carpet.

Got home quite late and didn't have the light on for long... so just 3 moths: Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella and Small Grey Eudonia mercurella.

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White Storks, Whin Fen, 13th August

 

Sunday 12th August

Our last chance for Wilson's today, and a better chance as the wind had moved round to the south-west. But with so few seabirds around and the wind having only just turned, our confidence levels weren't high. And rightly so - it was pants. Very few seabirds indeed, although the few we did see included the two best birds of the trip. First up was a Pomarine Skua which showed really well round the boat for a while. Although this is a species I can see in Norfolk regularly, occasionally in numbers, this was the highlight for me as it gave an opportunity to see the species in an unfamiliar plumage (it was first-summer) up close and personal, rather than flying by at long range on a seawatch. The other good bird was a better bird, a Great Shearwater, but the circumstances were identical to the one we saw last time in 2009 - a cracking bird for sure, but it was more like re-living the highlight from last time than a new and exciting experience - I got more pleasure out of the Pom to be honest!

Other than these two birds it really was desperate - no other shearwaters, Stormies in single figures only, about 3 Bonxies and a couple of Kittiwakes were about the lot. A couple of Blue Sharks were caught, tagged and released, Harbour Porpoise was seen briefly as were 3-4 Sunfish. Not a lot to show for another day on the waves - a disappointing end to a disappointing weekend.

In the evening we had a look round the Garrison in the hope of finding a Melodious Warbler but could only muster up some black Rabbits. At dusk I had a look at Lower Moors where Green Sandpiper was the only bird of note. Armed with a torch and a net at dusk I caught a few moths: Brown-veined Wainscot and Pinion-streaked Snout were both new for me whilst Herald and what I think was Sallow Button Acleris hastiana were both species I don't see often. Also 2 Many-plumed Moths Alucita hexadactyla and Double-striped Pug.

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Great Shearwater, Scilly pelagic, 12th August

 

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Pomarine Skua, Scilly pelagic, 12th August

 

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Great Skua, Scilly pelagic, 12th August

 

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Common Tern, Scilly pelagic, 12th August

 

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Kittiwake, Scilly pelagic, 12th August

 

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Blue Shark (left) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (right), Scilly pelagic, 12th August - the sharks are tagged and then released

 

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one of the trawlers that should have had a Wilson's Petrel or two in its wake - this is where the Great Shearwater was

 

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Song Thrush (left) and Rabbit (right), The Garrison, 12th August - 4 out of 6 rabbits seen were black

 

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Pinion-streaked Snout (left) and Brown-veined Wainscot (right), Lower Moors, 12th August

 

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Herald (left) and Sallow Button Acleris hastiana (right), Lower Moors, 12th August

 

Saturday 11th August

We desperately hoped that today's pelagic boat trip would produce some good seabirds but easterly winds are not the best for pelagics off Scilly and our hopes were in vain. A few Gannets and Fulmars, the odd Great Skua and Kittiwake, 2 Manx Shearwaters, some Common Terns, some gulls and at least 30 Storm Petrels were all we could muster up in the way of seabirds. Peregrine and Mediterranean Gull on the way out through the islands and a Reed Warbler that landed on the boat and scurried around our feet were almost as exciting as the pelagic species! The highlights today weren't birds at all: 2 Risso's Dolphins were top of most people's lists as this species is apparently not seen annually from Scilly pelagics, while 2 Harbour Porpoises and 2 Sunfish were more expected.

Around the time the Reed Warbler landed on the boat so did two migrant insects - one was a Silver Y moth but the other was more interesting and I think my highlight of the day, a Red-veined Darter. These are turning up more and more regularly in Norfolk but having seen several abroad I've not put a huge amount of effort into seeing most of them (and failed where I have put the effort in) - so this was my first UK Red-veined Darter.

Popped into Lower Moors in the evening where a Greenshank paraded in front of the hide and 3 Green Sandpipers flew over. Nearby at Porthmellon a moth turned out to be Small Grey Eudonia mercurella.

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Red-veined Darter, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Reed Warbler (left) and Risso's Dolphin (right), Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Fulmars, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Kittiwake, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Storm Petrels, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Gannets, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Great Skuas, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Manx Shearwater, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Shag (left) and Ocean Sunfish (right), Scilly pelagic, 11th August

 

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Greenshank, Lower Moors, 11th August

 

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Black Woodpecker, Hugh Town, 11th August - one of these turned up in Cumbria a while back and was reported to the bird news services: it caused quite a stir until someone pointed out that it was a cardboard cutout! Apparently they are placed on telegraph poles in order to discourage real woodpeckers from causing damage by drumming there (though I doubt if that's much of a problem on Scillies where any woodpecker is rare)

 

Friday 10th August

We arrived in Cornwall before dawn and made the Hayle estuary our first stop. In all the years I've been visiting Hayle I never realised the existence of Carnsew Pool, an excellent spot for wading birds with a footpath all round which not only provides views of the pool but also the main estuary area. Plenty of birds here with flocks of waders coming and going, but no sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper that had been there for a couple of days. Highlights were 5 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Whimbrel and Sanderling - not great but enjoyable birding and a place I'll revisit in future Cornwall trips.

Next stop was Marazion where we hoped to find Aquatic Warbler and Spotted Crake. We didn't, but they were good predictions as both were found there over the next couple of days! The highlight here was seeing Beautiful Demoiselles, a species we don't get in Norfolk. Other odonata included Emerald Damselfly. Onwards to Drift Reservoir where we found that the water level was too high for waders, the best birds being a Wheatear, 2 Ravens and a Grey Wagtail. Insects included another Magpie Moth and what I think must have been a July Highflyer.

We had time left before the helicopter flight so decided to take a quick look in at Porthgwarra. Having had no sleep all night I decided to grab some kip while my brother had a quick look round. As he got out of the car we heard Choughs calling - 2 birds were seen flying over. Had we had the slightest hint of what was to occur here the next day I certainly wouldn't have slept in the car but we were blissfully unaware! Maybe it was here today as well and we missed it, maybe it wasn't - I don't suppose we'll ever know. What a difference it would have made to the weekend though if instead of napping I'd got out and found the Eleanora's Falcon today! Think it would have made quite a big difference to a lot of people's weekends actually, but sadly it didn't happen and it was left to someone else to find it on Saturday.

In 2009 we failed to see Wilson's Petrel on the birders pelagic weekend but those who'd got there in time for the Friday evening shark-fishing trip had connected then - we hadn't realised this would be on when we'd booked the helicopter so didn't arrive in time. We weren't going to make that mistake again this year so today we arrived in plenty of time for the evening boat trip. We needn't have bothered though as it produced no Wilson's Petrels, nor for that matter any other remarkable seabirds. It was nice to see at least 12 Storm Petrels and a couple of Manx Shearwaters (and a Blue Shark caught, tagged and released), but all in all it was a very disappointing trip.

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Mediterranean Gulls, Hayle Estuary, 10th August - 3 generations

 

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Grey Heron (left) and Emerald Damselfly (right), Marazion, 10th August

 

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Beautiful Demoiselles, Marazion, 10th August

 

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Common Darters, Marazion, 10th August

 

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Black-tailed Skimmers, Drift Reservoir, 10th August

 

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Ravens, Drift Reservoir, 10th August

 

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Kittiwake, Scilly pelagic, 10th August

 

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Storm Petrel (left) and Manx Shearwater (right), Scilly pelagic, 10th August

 

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Gannet (left) and Fulmar (right), Scilly pelagic, 10th August

 

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Fulmars, Scilly pelagic, 10th August

 

Thursday 9th August

A Nuthatch calling at work was, I think, the first time I've had that species from the office. In my lunch break I went to Thornham and on the way scanned over towards Titchwell where I could see a large amorphous mass of white which, from pager reports, was a flock of 20 Spoonbills. With a bit of imagination I could pick out at least 10 of them in the heat haze from a mile and a quarter away.

No moths tonight as I was driving down to my brother's in Kent and then on together to Scilly for the birders' pelagic weekend.

 

Wednesday 8th August

Best moth tonight was my second Sharp-winged Drill Dichrorampha acuminatana. Others were probable Brown-dotted Clothes Moth Niditinea fuscella, Hawthorn Ermel Paraswammerdamia nebulella, 5 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 2 Obscure sp. Oegoconia sp., 2 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, 5 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, Chequered Grass-veneer Catoptria falsella, Small Grey Eudonia mercurella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, 2 Rosy Tabbies Endotricha flammealis, Small Fan-footed Wave, Small Dusty Wave, 2 Riband Waves, Yellow-barred Brindle, Brimstone Moth, 2 Dingy Footmen, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings and Common Rustic agg.

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Sharp-winged Drill Dichrorampha acuminatana (left) and Chequered Grass-veneer Catoptria falsella (right), Bawdeswell, 8th August

 

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Leafhopper, Bawdeswell, 8th August - I think it's Iassus lanio

 

Tuesday 7th August

A couple of tonight's moths were new for the year: Wainscot Smudge Ypsolopha scabrella and my second ever Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella. Others were Hawthorn Ermel Paraswammerdamia nebulella, 2 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 3 Obscure sp. Oegoconia sp., Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, Small Blood-vein, Small Fan-footed Wave, Riband Wave, Yellow-barred Brindle, Brimstone Moth, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and Fan-foot.

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Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella (left) and Wainscot Smudge Ypsolopha scabrella (right), Bawdeswell, 7th August

 

Monday 6th August

Moths have a reputation among some people for being boring drab brown things that are impossible to identify but some moths are fantastic! When you come across one that's big, bold and spectacular it's always a delight and so much more so when it's one you've never seen before. I guessed it wouldn't be too long before I encountered a Magpie Moth as they're supposed to be common and widespread, and tonight I finally scored. It was even more amazing than I'd expected from seeing pictures and photos - I suppose I should have guessed it would be bigger than a Small Magpie but I hadn't realised quite how big they were. Awesome!

A couple of others were new for the year: Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella and Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis (another very distinctive moth), both species I don't see all that often. Others tonight were 2 Slender sp. Parornix sp., 4 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 4 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 3 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 5 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Common Emerald, Small Blood-vein, Small Dusty Wave, Riband Wave, 2 Yellow-barred Brindles, Brimstone Moth, Early Thorn, 4 Dingy Footman, Flame Shoulder, 3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Double Square-spot, 2 Clays, 3 Dark Arches and 3 Common Rustic aggs.

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Magpie, Bawdeswell, 6th August

 

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Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella (left) and Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis (right), Bawdeswell, 6th August

 

Sunday 5th August

A dramatic thunderstorm at dusk was perhaps something to do with the unprecedented number of insects entering the house this evening. Unfortunately the vast majority were dipteran not lepidopteran! Wading through the flies I did eventually locate a few moths including Two-coloured Bell Eucosma obumbratana and Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, both of which are unusual here, and a record count of 7 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella.

Not a great deal else: 3 Brown House-moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Obscure sp. Oegoconia sp., Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 2 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrices Pandemis heparana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, Small Grey Eudonia mercurella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Small Dusty Wave, Riband Wave, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Yellow-barred Brindles, 3 Dingy Footmen, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Double Square-spot, 2 Common Rustic aggs. and Fan-foot.

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Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella (left) and Two-coloured Bell Eucosma obumbratana (right), Bawdeswell, 5th August

 

Saturday 4th August

I had to take Vitty up to Morston this morning to collect her car which we'd left there after a very nice meal at Morston Hall last night. On the way (sort of) we stopped at Sheringham where the Alpine Swift showed for a bit and a Hobby moved through.

I then decided there were enough breaks in the cloud still to make a visit to Holt Lowes Country Park worthwhile and although there wasn't enough sunshine to bring out large numbers of insects I did find my main target easily enough - a splendid Silver-washed Fritillary. Dragonflies included 2-3 Keeled Skimmers, a showy Broad-bodied Chaser and an ovipositting Emperor while moths included 2-3 Barred Grass-veneers Agriphila inquinatella - a common species apparently but nonetheless a new one for me.

This evening Rob and I decided it was calm enough to try some open habitat and with saltmarsh being one habitat I've never explored for moths we headed up to Warham Greens. We were right on the edge of the rain showers catching just a few showers up to dusk while we could see much heavier rain just 2-3 miles away to the north and west, but it wasn't ideal for mothing anyway. Then when darkness fell the clouds moved off, the temperatures plummeted and the nearly-full moon shone brightly - even worse for mothing! Consequently it wasn't a huge success, but we did see a few things that were worthwhile. Rob netted one of several Saltmarsh Bells Eucosma tripoliana between the showers at dusk but his light in the saltmarsh only attracted a single saltmarsh speciality: Saltmarsh Plume Agdistis bennetii. My light was set back in order to give us a bit more variety, and good job too as Rob's light must have attracted no more than about 8 moths all evening! Best of mine was my first Kent Black Arches, mainly a coastal species in Norfolk. Two pale grey tortrix moths were interesting but will require gen detting for an ID - I suspect they were either Cereal Tortrix Cnephasia pumicana or Dover Shade Cnephasia genitalana, either of which would be new for me.

Apart from these all we caught were unidentified Fruit-tree Tortrix sp. Pandemis sp., Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, 2 Grey Tortrix sp. Cnephasia sp.*, Bud Moth Spilonetta ocellana, 6 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, up to 6 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella (2-3 may have been Pale-streak Grass-veneers A. selasella but I wasn't wholly convinced), 2 Grey Knot-horns Trachycera advenella, Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella, 3 Drinkers, Riband Wave, Common Carpet, 2 Yellow-barred Brindles, 2 Willow Beauties, 2 Yellow-tails, 3 Dingy Footmen, 2 Scarce Footmen, Common Footman, Heart and Dart, Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Bright-line Brown-eye, Smoky Wainscot, Grey or Dark Dagger, Dun-bar, 3 Dark Arches, Middle-barred Minor, Common Rustic agg., Dusky Sallow, Silver Y and Snout.

Back at home the bedroom light had failed to attract much at all: just 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, 3 Rosy Tabbies Endotricha flammealis, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, Riband Wave and Common Rustic agg.

*Update November - thanks to Jon Clifton for gen detting these - they turned out to be as I suspected, my first Cereal Tortrix Cnephasia pumicana.

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Alpine Swift, Sheringham, 4th August

 

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Silver-washed Fritillary, Holt Lowes, 4th August

 

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Broad-bodied Chaser (left) and Keeled Skimmer (right), Holt Lowes, 4th August

 

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Barred Grass-veneer Agriphila inquinatella (left) and Field Grasshopper (right), Holt Lowes, 4th August - thanks to Tristan for the grasshopper ID

 

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possible Purple Heron (left) and Marsh Harrier (right), Holt Lowes, 4th August - the heron seems to show several features suggestive of Purple Heron but it wasn't quite right... I didn't see it catch anything

 

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Saltmarsh Plume Agdistis bennetii (left) and Saltmarsh Bell Eucosma tripoliana (right), Warham Greens, 4th August

 

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Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana (left) and Kent Black Arches (right), Warham Greens, 4th August

 

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Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella (left) and Drinker (right), Warham Greens, 4th August

 

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Cereal Tortrix Cnephasia pumicana (left) and Dusky Sallow (right), Warham Greens, 4th August - thanks to Jon for gen detting the Cnephasia

 

Friday 3rd August

The worst night in ages for moths: Obscure sp. Oegoconia sp., 4 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, my first Grey Knot-horn Trachycera advenella of the year, Dwarf Cream Wave, Riband Wave, Early Thorn, Willow Beauty and Common Rustic agg.

 

Thursday 2nd August

On the way home from London I discovered a Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella in the car - not sure where I picked it up but I read recently that it's believed that the incredibly fast expansion of this species' range was partly down to man accidentally transporting them by road and rail. First recorded in Britain in 2002 but now there are millions in a conker tree near you.

I've recently been in touch with Jim about the ID of my recent Rose Tortrix Archips rosana (22nd July) as it seems it may be even scarcer than the records suggest and the ID had been challenged. Fortunately I retained it so we should be able to confirm it (or otherwise), but whatever it was tonight there was another. I've also now realised that a moth I'd been confused by on 17th July was apparently this species as well.

Otherwise tonight was reasonably quiet: probable Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, 3 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 2 Small Greys Eudonia mercurella, Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis, 2 Rosy Tabbies Endotricha flammealis, Common Emerald, Small Blood-vein, 2 Small Fan-footed Waves, Red Twin-spot Carpet, July Highflyer, Scalloped Oak, Willow Beauty, Dingy Footman, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Smoky Wainscot and 3 Dark Arches.

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Rose Tortrix Archips rosana, Bawdeswell, 2nd August

 

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