Thursday, 31 May 2012

Fletcher's Pug - Darley Dale

A decade ago Brian Statham identified the first example of Fletcher's Pug in Derbyshire. In June 2004 Simon Roddis and I caught several more at High Tor above Matlock Bath where the species is still present, I recorded it in the same area last year. 
Last night I caught one for the first time at home in Darley Dale. A rather worn specimen, as most seem to be, but it shows the remnants of the 'tram-lines' which are characteristic of the species and highlighted on the image below. The larva feed on lime, in particular the small-leaved lime which occurs on the cliffs above Matlock Bath. Lime trees are abundant in Darley Dale bordering the A6 through the village and it's possible that the moth is established locally rather than a wandering example from Matlock Bath.

Fletcher's Pug

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Garden catch-up

Since the weekend I've added a few more moths to the year list from the garden trap; Pale-shouldered Brocade, Heart & Dart, Foxglove Pug, Lime Hawkmoth, Flame Shoulder, Spectacle, Pale Mottled Willow, Turnip Moth, Pale Prominent & Shoulder-striped Wainscot. Nothing unexpected but a reasonable variety.
Lime Hawkmoth

Bonsall Moor - Falseuncaria ruficiliana

Another local trip out with Brian Statham, breezier and cooler than we had hoped but Treble Lines 2, Dark Brocade 6, Rivulet 8, Common Swift 6, Grass Rivulet 2 and the micro moths Pyrausta despicata, Ancylis badiana and what I think is Falseuncaria ruficiliana 2 were all new for the year, the latter is probably quite scarce.

Falseuncaria ruficiliana

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Chinese Character

Taken at Clough Wood on Friday, I haven't put Chinese Character on the blog before, one of a number of species which mimics a bird dropping for camouflage.
Chinese Character

Ochreous Pug


Just catching up from last Friday and the trap run at home, 25th May.
Added Ochreous Pug, Grey Birch, Brown Silver-lines, Peppered Moth, Small Square-spot and Seraphim.
Ochreous Pug


Seraphim

Seraphim

Fire - Beeley Triangle

There was a fire overnight on Beeley Triangle. It looks like about half the area enclosed by the road has been affected, at least one Stonechat nest has been destroyed I'm afraid.

Beeley Fire

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Devon Carpet - Clough Wood

Having taken the second Derbyshire record of Devon Carpet in Clough Wood last August Brian Statham and I were keen to see if it was a pure vagrant record or if the moth was established in the wood. Last night we caught two more confirming that we have a breeding colony in the area. Brian swept the first individual at about 21:15 and we caught the second at light about half an hour later. We also caught two of the similar but larger Water Carpet but much later in the evening.
Added quite a few moths to the year list; Map-winged Swift, Chinese Character, White-pinion Spotted, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Brimstone, Chinese Character, Broken-barred Carpet, Common White Wave, Clouded Silver, Silver-ground Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Coxcomb Prominent. Plus the Marbled White Spot noted below.. not a bad evening! 
Devon Carpet


Marbled White Spot - Clough Wood

I was lucky enough to catch the first Derbyshire record of Marbled White Spot in Darley Dale in 2004 but haven't seen it since, until last night when Brian Statham and I caught this individual in Clough Wood. There have been half a dozen records in Derbyshire since 2004, this is another species which is gradually moving north.
Marbled White Spot

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A stroke of luck - Scarce Tissue

Just putting the cover back on the barbeque when I noticed a moth behind it - Scarce Tissue, a moth I used to catch annually, but only singles, but which I haven't caught for about 4 years and a moth I have never taken anywhere else in Derbyshire.It feeds on Barberry and cultivated Berberis so should be commoner and is perhaps overlooked.
Scarce Tissue



Peach Blossom

Another reasonable catch adding; Small Phoenix, Scalloped Hazel, Pebble Prominent, Clouded Silver, Flame Carpet 2 and one of my favourites the Peach Blossom. also V-Pug, Waved Umber and 4 Common Pug.
Peach Blossom



Pebble Prominent

Pebble Prominent

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Nut-tree Tussock

As I hoped the warm temperature produced a bumper moth catch (relative to recent weeks) with 7 new macro and 2 micro species new for the year;
V-pug, Waved Umber, Poplar Hawkmoth, Swallow Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Pale Tussock, White Ermine, Nut-tree Tussock, Cabbage Moth all singles with the two Pyralids  Scoparia ambigualis and Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth) the two micro's.
Nut-tree Tussock was a good record for the garden, it's by no means annual although can be found in reasonable numbers in the birch areas around the moor.
Nut-tree Tussock



Poplar Hawkmoth

Poplar Hawkmoth

Swallow Prominent

Swallow Prominent

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Red-legged Partridge

Well the warmer weather has lasted the day, already many more insects visible on the moor with many Common Heath and the odd Emperor Moth flying. Also single Hobby over the moor this evening. James photographed this Red-legged Partridge which can be elusive on the moorland fringes.

Red-legged Partridge



Monday, 21 May 2012

Moth update

I've continued with the moth trapping despite the weather and lack of success. 
12 May - no moths
13 May - no moths
14 May - Hebrew Character 1
15 May - no moths, 1 Green-shield Bug
16 May - no moths
17 May - Clouded-bordered Brindle, V-Pug, Common Pug, Streamer, Emmelina monodactyla
19 May - Angleshades, Green Carpet, Mottled Pug
20 May - Garden Carpet, Streamer, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Early grey, Common Pug, Dwarf Pug.


I've never known anything like this in the fifteen years or so that I have been moth trapping and i don't know what the impact will be on next year. Hopefully with some warmer weather at last things will kept back to something like normal.
Dwarf Pug

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Large Red Damselfly emergence

Recorded the first adult Large Red Damselflies in the garden, about three weeks later than usual. I watched one of the nymphs emerge and photographed the process.







Large Red Damselfly emergence

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Raven

Another great shot from Ken Smith. A recently fledged Raven, one of a family of four raised locally. It's now possible to hear the familiar croak of the Raven in all the local Dales but it used to be a rarity.
This photo shows off the bluish sheen to the feathers which is often lost in a photograph.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cuckoo - Beeley Moor

Often heard during the Spring but seldom seen well I was with James this evening when we came across this female Cuckoo, she occasionally gave the bubbling call and seemed to be actively searching for a Meadow Pipits nest allowing James to take these photos.

Cuckoo - female

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Brown Hare

Seeing a few more Brown Hares at the moment, this may just be because I have been out earlier in the mornings. These are two different hares seen this morning, the lower animal was in exactly the same place yesterday.

Brown Hare

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Whinchat - female

Came across a pair of Whinchat on the edge of the moor, my first for the year although 1 or 2 birds have been around since the start of the month. They didn't allow me to get close for a decent photo but the female was so nicely marked I've posted this as a record shot. Several Cuckoo calling today plus my first Garden Warbler for the year.
Whinchat -female



Thursday, 10 May 2012

White-spotted Pug

As expected it rained most of the night but still managed the first White-spotted Pug of the year but not much else. Much warmer today though 18 Centigrade outside.
White-spotted Pug

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A hand full of moths - Streamer

Slightly warmer at last with a minimum temperature above 8 Centigrade and at last a few moths; Waved Umber, Early Tooth-striped, Streamer and Larch Pug were all new for the year otherwise just a couple of Early Grey, Common Quaker and Clouded Drab so hardly a great catch but a vast improvement. It's raining heavily now so the prospects for tonight look poor.
The Streamer

Waved Umber

Used to be a rarity but now a regular visitor in the early Spring.
Waved Umber

Early Tooth-striped

Early Tooth-striped

Larch Pug

Not a very striking example, the characteristic pale area on the thorax is not particularly prominent on this individual.
Larch Pug

Monday, 7 May 2012

Pied Flycatcher - female

I've been away for most of the weekend but with the cool weather persisting don't think I've missed much. 
Ran the moth trap last night and caught nothing which is rather worrying, I found a dead Swift on the A6 in South Darley this morning which may confirm the food shortage.
Other birds seem to be doing OK though and I think we have most of our summer visitors although I've still to see Wood Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher. James has confirmed the arrival of the female Pied Flycatcher with this nice shot of a female with nesting material.
Pied Flycatcher - female



Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pied Flycatchers

The local male Pied Flycatchers appear to be well established now although most of the females are still yet to arrive. The top bird is a first summer male which still retains the brown juvenile flight and tail feathers and reduced white area over the bill. All James's photos.


Pied Flycatcher - male

Ring Ousel - female

Still a small number of Ring Ousels passing through, James came across this female on the edge of the moor.
Ring Ousel - female



Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Twenty-plume Moth

This is without doubt the worst start to the mothing year that I have every experienced. A slight increase in temperature last night produced a couple of new moths for the year, the V-Pug and the strange Twenty-plume Moth whose wings are made of 4 sets of 6 individual plumes. 
Hopefully this is the start of warmer weather, although it looks like I will have missed some of the earlier flying moths.
Twenty-plume Moth



V-Pug

V-Pug

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