Sunday, 31 May 2015

Not such a bad May

The last night of the month brought me new arrivals for the year in the shape of Scalloped Hazel, White-pinion Spotted, Coronet and Juniper Pug. Doing an initial audit of my May arrivals, I'm surprised to find (because I've shared the slight frustration at wet and cold nights and meagre hauls aired here by others) that the tally is very close to last year's bumper 73. In fact it may match it, once my little corps of micros is sorted. Meanwhile can I ask if this moth in my picture is a Common Swift, which seems to come in so many colourways? Or could it possibly be a Map-winged, in which case my May happiness will be complete?  Btw, I'm the very last person to ID others' moths, but I did wonder if Tom's below might be a Rustic Shoulder-knot.  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon.


  1. Hi Martin, You've done better than me - my May, partly due to moving to Didcot but mainly because it's been rubbish, has been terrible and I haven't yet seen many species I would normally have seen by this time. However, from other people's responses many of the species do seem to be out but most prominently the numbers of all are seriously low.

    Have you got a picture of your Juniper Pug - quite a bit early for this species I would have thought. Swifts in picture both look like Common Swift to me, female on left, male on right. BW, Marc

  2. Hi Martin, Common Swift, I'm afraid. Map-winged is not a common moth locally. In Bucks at least, virtually all of the 70+ records are associated with bracken in woodland on the Chilterns.

  3. Thanks very much, both. Much appreciated as always. I feared as much about the Swift but I am cursed with perpetual optimism.
    Marc, I'll email you a little pug gallery if I may, as I have a few whose ID I'm unsure of (what a surprise). I'm sorry Didcot isn't proving quite as fertile a hunting ground but hope that improves.
    Dave, I have the book ready when you are passing this way. No plans yet to come in your direction but I'll let you know if they materialise. My mother-in-law likes Waddesdon but at 96 her sorties are rare.

    btw I realise that my optimism about this year should be adjusted because my monthly tallies are actually lists of moths new for the year and in 2014 I started trapping much earlier. My 2015 total of around 70 (compared with 73 for May 2014) therefore includes quite a few moths like Hebrew Character which last year I recorded in previous months. All v best again M


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