Friday, 20 November 2015

Just two moths

Only two moths came to the garden actinic last night, a washed-out Scarce Umber (the 14th garden record so far this month - it seems to be doing rather well this year) and the inevitable Dark Chestnut.  Time now, perhaps, to be a little more selective about when I run the trap!  Northern Winter Moth is the only macro-moth which might still appear here this year and that's just as likely to come to the light of our kitchen window as it is to the moth-trap.  This year's final macro total depends also upon a handful of dissections of Minors and Common Rustics but with luck could reach 320 species which is way above average for the garden.

Westcott, 19th November

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


  1. Glad you're seeing Scarce Umber. Personally only seen one at lit window at work all year. have done my normal monthly trapping at Bagley + Sutton Courtenay, and trapped at Warburg recently as well. Not seen any. Sprawler is also proving elusive with just a pair caught here at CEH a few weeks back and none anywhere else before or since. The night I trapped at Warburg for Plumed prominent is a simialr time to other years and the two main species are usually Sprawler and December Moth. This year there were plenty of the latter but not a single Sprawler. Hmmm

    1. Went to Oakley Wood, Bernwood Forest last night with one MV specifically to get Scarce Umber but failed. I've only ever recorded it there once but at the other end of the forest, in Shabbington Wood, yet I would have thought it was all prime territory for the moth. Strange how things work out. Apart from in the garden (29 individuals so far) Sprawler has indeed been hard to find. How did you get on with Plumed Prominent? The female I got a couple of weeks ago laid about 30 eggs which I passed on to Reg Fry to rear - stunning pictures now available on his website .

      Just been summoned into our lounge to pot up a moth getting in the way of the TV - proved to be a fresh Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, just a tad late!

    2. Did well with Plumed Prominent, my second greatest total in the 5 years I've surveyed at Warburg with 15 individuals in 3 MV traps (12 males, 3 females). Not too many other species surprisingly given fairly warm, cloudy night and as I say no Sprawler or Scarce Umber - two species I think I had every other year I trapped with Sprawler being fairly numerous last year or the year before (can't check at moment). Usually Sprawler would be guaranteed in Bagley Wood and in good numbers, which i trapped fairly frequently this autumn as I was hoping to find Clifden's again, but alas none. Similarly Scarce Umber is anything but Scarce at this site usually but living up to its name this year.

      Funny you mention the Lesser Broad-bordered. Although not so unusually late I had a very fresh Large Yellow in the garden trap the other night. The temperature has already dropped impressively and this cold snap will surely mean the end of garden moths for me until spring with the exception of the odd Winter Moth if I'm lucky. Time to hibernate :)

  2. I have seen around 200 macro's in my garden this year, but no Sprawler or Scarce Umber here at Garsington.

  3. There's still time - they both usually go on at least until the end of November!


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