The ivy in our immediate area has been nowhere near as productive for moths this autumn as it was last year. Brick, which seems to love ivy blossom, has so far reached the dismal total of 7 individuals here whereas the garden produced a record 156 of them in 2015. The Xanthia species seem to have given up already (a Pink-barred Sallow on the 14th was my last sighting) and Sallow itself has had a very poor season (28 seen in the garden as opposed to 103 last year). Looking forward, Feathered Thorn should start appearing any day now, followed by Sprawler.
It was quite difficult, but I've managed to resist the temptation to upload another picture of that most photogenic of autumn moths, the Merveille du Jour ... so here's the Dark Sword-grass instead!
|Dark Sword-grass, Westcott 17th October|
Today I had a look for leaf-mines on some black poplars in the village and quickly managed to find those of Stigmella trimaculella and Phyllocnistis unipunctella. There was, however, no sign of the hoped-for Ectoedemia hannoverella, a rare species which has yet to be recorded in Bucks although it has been found in adjacent Bedfordshire and counties further east. I also saw several feeding signs of what is probably the tortrix Gypsonoma oppressana (quite common locally) but, because Gypsonoma dealbana constructs similar 'feeding tubes' and can also use poplar, I don't think these constitute a safe record.
|Active mine of Stigmella trimaculella, Westcott 22nd October|
|Vacated mine of Phyllocnistis unipunctella, Westcott|
|Grazing and vacated feeding tube of Gypsonoma sp, Westcott|