Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Boardwalk Dragons

Went to the boardwalks NR at lunchtime in search of Red-tipped Clearwing but only a brief view of a probable one. Dragons were in abundance though with Brown Hawker, Hairy Dragonfly, Emperor, Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Small Red-eyed Damselflies in addition to the ones shown here.

Note the praenubila form of Four-spotted Chaser with the dark bands near the wingtips. My first of this form.

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa

Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata f. praenubila

Digiscoped with Canon A640 and Leica APO77 x20

Monday, June 29, 2009

Scarce Garden Moths

Catoptria pinella

Ethmia dodecea

Peppered Moth Biston betularia ab. carbonaria

The Engrailed Ectropis bistortata

Beautiful Golden Y Autographa pulchrina

Broad-barred White Hecatera bicolorata

Canon A640

New Forest insects

A suberb (hot) weekend in the New Forest based near Godshill in the NW. These were all taken in the area of Ditchend Brook, Great Cockley Plain and Must Thorn Bottom. I just love those New Forest names - we didn't get chance to visit Burnt Balls but did get into Cockley Bushes briefly!

Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo, male

Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii

Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum with mite infestation

Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula


Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens

Mating wheel

Silver-studded Blue Plebeius argus

Canon A640

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Hornet Moths

I've been checking these poplars near Hampton for several seasons without any luck but knew they must be there as the trees are riddled with holes to the point where several have fallen over. Struck lucky this morning with two scampering up one trunk. I think it was a male and female, the one photographed being the male with more pectinate antennae and a bushy rear end. See here for some excellent, instructive pictures of a pair 'in action'.

This adds another square to the VC31 map for this species.

Hornet Moth Sesia apiformis, male

The result of years of work by some moth larvae!

Ethmia dodecea and The Drinker

Pushed for time so very nearly didn't bother putting out a trap last night. Glad I did as there were two garden firsts. The Drinker was surely overdue as it's not an uncommon moth but this was the first for my tetrad.

The Ethmia is remarkable as I'd only added E. quadrillella a few days ago. This one is rarer though with only 9 previous VC31 records.

Ethmia dodecea

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

Apple Leaf Miner Lyonetia clerkella

Canon A640

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brachypterous moth

Found this while checking the poplars for Hornet Moths. Not sure what it is at the moment.

Canon A640

Hornet Moth

Second day checking for this species and got lucky at Orton Northgate where there are quite a few large black poplars. It was 08:00 and already this moth was active and flew shortly after the shot was taken. I guess in this warm weather an earlier visit might be a good idea.

Hornet Moth Sesia apiformis

Canon A640

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brindled Beauty larva

Found while searching for Hornet Moths.

Brindled Beauty Lycia hirtaria, larva

Canon A640

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garden Moth Ticks

225 moth of 70 species last night. These two were firsts for the garden.

Gracillaria syringella

Ethmia quadrillella

0293 Caloptilia syringella 1
0441 Paraswammerdamia lutarea 1
0647 Brown House-moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) 3
0719 Ethmia quadrillella 1
0970 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana) 3
0985 Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana) 1
0989 Timothy Tortrix (Aphelia paleana) 1
0994 Clepsis consimilana 1
1002 Lozotaenia forsterana 1
1016x Cnephasia sp. 1
1033 Green Oak Tortrix (Tortrix viridana) 1
1063 Celypha striana 2
1076 Celypha lacunana 5
1083 Marbled Orchard Tortrix (Hedya nubiferana) 1
1115 Ancylis achatana 1
1133 Epinotia bilunana 1
1176x Epiblema trimaculana agg. 2
1293 Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) 39
1294 Crambus pascuella 1
1301 Crambus lathoniellus 1
1338 Dipleurina lacustrata 5
1344 Eudonia mercurella 1
1376 Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata) 6
1392 Udea olivalis 15
1428 Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella) 4
1458 Thistle Ermine (Myelois circumvoluta) 2
1481 Homoeosoma sinuella 2
1654 Figure of Eighty (Tethea ocularis) 1
1669 Common Emerald (Hemithea aestivaria) 1
1711 Treble Brown Spot (Idaea trigeminata) 4
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) ab. remutata 3
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) typical 1
1727 Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata) 1
1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) 1
1765 Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata) 1
1816/7 Toadflax/Foxglove Pug 1
1819 Mottled Pug (Eupithecia exiguata) 1
1834 Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata) 2
1860 Green Pug (Chloroclystis rectangulata) 7
1879 The Seraphim (Lobophora halterata) 1
1887 Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata) 3
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) 2
1931 Peppered Moth (Biston betularia) typical 2
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) 1
1958 Clouded Silver (Lomographa temerata) 1
1961 Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata) 3
2040 Four-dotted Footman (Cybosia mesomella) 1
2050 Common Footman (Eilema lurideola) 5
2061 Buff Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) 3
2069 The Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) 1
2089 Heart & Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) 10
2098 The Flame (Axylia putris) 7
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 1
2128 Double Square-spot (Xestia triangulum) 1
2160 Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea) 2
2205 Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Mythimna comma) 1
2278 Poplar Grey (Acronicta megacephala) 1
2283x Dark/Grey Dagger (Acronicta tridens agg.) 1
2293 Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica) 1
2302 Brown Rustic (Rusina ferruginea) 1
2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) 13
2327 Clouded Brindle (Apamea epomidion) 1
2334 Rustic Shoulder-knot (Apamea sordens) 2
2337x Marbled Minor agg. (Oligia strigilis agg.) 5
2381 The Uncertain (Hoplodrina alsines) 12
2389 Pale Mottled Willow (Caradrina clavipalpis) 1
2434 Burnished Brass (Diachrysia chrysitis) f. juncta 1
2450 The Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita) 2
2474 Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis) 7

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Elton Water Meadows

After getting some unsatisfactory views of Scarce Chaser along the Nene at the water meadows a couple of years ago I have been keen to see them again. I managed it today although a morning trip was unsuccessful and I had to return in the afternoon. A female flew by first and a male immediately leapt from a previously unseen perch to meet her but it was a very brief encounter and I had to move a little further upstream before encountering a more obliging male. This is probably the limit of the species' range on the Nene so they are a bit thinner on the ground than further upstream but it was good to get some better views and even this passable photo.

Banded Demoiselles were abundant, and Blue-tailed, Large Red-eyed and White-legged Damsels quite common with just the odd Common Blue Damselfly. Large numbers of Meadow Browns, plenty of Small Tortoiseshells, the odd Ringlet, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Painted Lady. On the old railway line Speckled Woods, a Large Skipper and Small White. Plenty of other insects about including a Hornet and a small potter-type wasp nesting in the bridge over the Willow Brook near the railway. The wasp brought a grub as big as itself and inserted it in the hole.

Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva, male

Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, male

Large Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas, male

Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

Hornet Vespa crabro

Chrysotoxum bicinctum

Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus

Fun in the sun

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

Canon A640 some digiscoped with Leica APO77 x20

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Concolorous

A good night's mothing with 118 moths of 48 species. The two shown here were among the best, although I'd have a liked a shot of the garden's third Sandy Carpet. The Concolorous is only the second for the garden of this local speciality.

Other highlights included 4 Elephant Hawk-moths, Swallow-tailed Moth, Scorched Wing and Beautiful Hook-tip.

The Concolorous Chortodes extrema

Poplar Hawk-moth Laothoe populi

Canon A640

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Savernake Forest

I hadn't held out much hope for seeing a lot of wildlife on this weekend camping trip, which combined a bit of time in the forest with visiting relatives in three locations. However my low expectations were rewarded with some reasonably intersting sightings.

Best were some very active Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. At least four were calling like mad near the Saddle Oaks and two showed very well. It is the first time I think I've noticed the wing-flicking accompanying calling.

Another highlight was my second ever Broad-bodied Chaser, another female showing well in a very insect rich sunny glade with lots of honeysuckle and rose, which was very fragrant at night.

Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were active around the campsite where a few moths came to the tent including the Dark/Grey Dagger shown here.

Dark/Grey Dagger Acronicta tridens/psi

Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis

Canon A640