Monday, 10 July 2017

A busy few nights

The good weather meant that last week was a busy one for away trapping, with visits to Coombe Hill in the Chilterns on Tuesday night and Finemere Wood on Wednesday night.  On Friday night I ran four lights again on Rammamere Heath on the Bucks/Beds border but I haven't yet had time to sort out the lists properly.  However, needless to say, there were plenty of moths and they included things like Aristotelia ericinella, Sophronia semicostella, Carpatolechia alburnella, Agriphila inquinatella, Plain Wave, Dingy Shell, Suspected & Pinion-streaked Snout which are all moths not encountered that often locally.  Others which I know I haven't recorded there before included Scarlet Tiger, Southern Wainscot & Waved Black.  On Saturday night I joined a joint BIG/BENHS field trip to Bernwood Forest where a total of eleven traps were run in different parts of the site.  Of the Bernwood "specialities", two of us were lucky enough to catch Triangle while Small Black Arches appeared at three or four of the lights.  Again, there were plenty of other good species to be seen and I was particularly pleased to get Nymphula nitidulata/Beautiful China-mark and Narrow-winged Pug which were both new to the site list, while a Suspected was a species which hasn't been recorded at Bernwood since the 1960s.  Peter Hall had Silky Wainscot which is also new to the site list, the warm weather having presumably caused some dispersal of moths from their normal habitats.

The garden trap at Westcott has continued to pull in plenty of moths and the following have been added to the year list over the past three nights:

7th July:  Zeiraphera isertana, Small Wainscot
8th July:  Batia lunaris, Borkhausenia fuscescens, Agriphila tristella, Large Emerald, Small Scallop
9th July:  Parectopa ononidis, Argyresthia albistria, Mompha propinquella, Agonopterix alstromeriana, Recurvaria leucatella, Batrachedra praeangustaEpagoge grotiana, Epinotia brunnichana, Rhyacionia pinicolanaAcrobasis repandana, Dusky Sallow

Small Wainscot seems to be yet another one which is out and about very early this year (both it and Mere Wainscot were recorded in Bernwood Forest on Saturday).  Parectopa ononidis is a tiny Gracillariid, even smaller than the Parornix species, and has only been seen here once previously (back in 2006).  Even better, Epagoge grotiana was a completely new species for the garden!  The list for 9th July included a second Metalampra italica and Sitochroa palealis for the year.  Another True Lover's Knot also turned up that night, a moth which was new to the garden back on 21st May.   

Parectopa ononidis, Westcott 9th July

Mompha propinquella, Westcott 9th July

Epagoge grotiana, Westcott 9th July

I'm a bit behind in looking at and commenting on other people's posts on the blog but, with a rainy day forecast for tomorrow ( last!), I hope to catch up.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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