Wednesday, 23 May 2018

A Couple from the Garden

A walk around the property this afternoon produced a couple of interesting moths.

(1) Browsing on a clump of Forget-me-not:

It seems to be a Cochylid, could it be Hysterophora maculosana?  It's a bit darker than the one I had last year, but it does have a reddish patch at the apex of the forewing.

(2) Not in the garden as such, but fluttering around in a rush meadow, along with plenty of Bactra lancealana - I thought that it was one of them, it's about the  right size but didn't look right.  I would be most grateful for help with this one:

Another Modest Hawl

Last night I used the same combination of traps, actinic at the front and MV at the back, and again the moths were reluctant to respond, 28 individuals of 19 species being the final tally.

Highlights of the session were the first Poplar Hawk Moths (2) of the year, and this splendid Lunar Thorn:

Yesterday morning I spent some time inspecting the abundance of buttercups in the garden and saw numerous Micropterix calthella and a single M.aruncella.  There should be more of the latter species when the May blossom appears - it's not quite there yet.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

In the Garden.

The garden at Cwmllwyd is a bit of a misnomer - it just happens to be the area closest to the house, although I do run a lawn mower over part of it from time to time! It's more open than the alder grove and grassier and it has  blackthorn scrub adjacent. So the habitat is a little different and the area offers another opportunity for trapping. It's rare for me to trap on consecutive nights, but the forecast kind of demanded it and so the MV trap was deployed again (Monday 21st May).  The outcome was that 76 moths of 36 species attended, with 10 of them FFY. A Grey Birch was last recorded here in 2016, so this one was most welcome:

V-Pug, Brimstone Moth, Scorched Wing, Lobster Moth, Elephant Hawk, Peppered Moth, Broken-barred Carpet and Buff-tip were the other FFY, along with this very common micro, Diamond-back Moth:

I was rather pleased with the photo! There are still a couple of Tortricids to ID and I will do my best, but as you may know, this often fails to happen. A second Glaucous Shears was also present, rather less brightly marked than the one on Sunday.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Ffos Las butterflies

The beautiful weather is bringing out the butterflies and I've at last managed to download the photos from my camera so here are some of my recent sightings on Ffos Las.

A slightly battered brimstone sharing a dandelion with a hover fly, 26th April.

This speckled wood is going to be disappointed if it is trying to find nectar on this dandelion! 30th April.

Common white wave (I think), 13th May.

Dingy skipper, 13th May.  I'm seeing these red list butterflies in good numbers at the moment on Ffos Las so now is a good time for anyone who wishes to see one to visit the site. I counted 22 yesterday (Sunday) on my 4 mile circular walk.

Male orange tip nectaring on a cuckoo flower, 17th May. I first saw this species on 21st April and their numbers have peaked and are in decline again.

A web of lackey moth larvae. I have seen very few webs of these larvae this year whereas 5 or 6 years ago they were very numerous all over the site.

Common carpet moth (I think), 17th May.

Small heath, 17th May. First seen, 13th May.

It was a joy to see this little grebe carrying a chick on its back, 17th May.

As always any corrections gratefully received.

A bit disappointing last night

I expected a bumper crop of moths in and around my two traps last night because conditions seemed ideal - mild, overcast and still.  Not so, a tally of 50 moths of 29 species resulted, nothing to rival Steve's Alder Grove!

New for the year were Broken-barred Carpet, Peppered Moth, Broom, and Spectacle.  Also two micros, one I know to be Pseudoswammerdamia combinella:

The other is, I believe, a Parornix species, possibly P.devoniella or P.finitimella.  I would be grateful for help with this.  None of the published images of these species seem to show the distinctive dorsal diamond pattern of this one:

 Forgive the poor images, it's very small!

The Alder Grove again!

It's my most favoured trap site at Cwmllwyd for it quite often provides something rather special. And so it was last night (Sunday 20th May). 79 moths of 29 species visited the Robinson trap and among these were a dozen FFY. Pick of the bunch was this pristine and stunningly beautiful Glaucous Shears:

We are fortunate to see one or two of these each year here, or a few hundred feet further up the mountain.

Among the other FFY last night were Small Rivulet, Purple Bar, Barred Umber, Pale Tussock, Coxcomb Prominent and Poplar Hawkmoth. Two more Devon Carpets, along with another three Broom Moths, were also recorded.

Here's one of the Devon Carpets:

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Coming our way?

On 17th of May, my sister who lives on the Gower, photographed this moth in the dunes at Whiteford - has anyone seen one this spring in South Carms? Worth looking out for on the coast, I think.

Yellow Belle