Sunday, 28 July 2013

Chatsworth - River Derwent

After the heavy rain last night the River Derwent was carrying a lot of water this morning. None of the rocks were visible below the wear, few birds though, a party of Crossbill, several well grown broods of Mandarin and a single Kingfisher by the Sand Martin colony.
River Derwent at Chatsworth

Saturday, 27 July 2013

More Common Lizards

Checking the walls around the edge of the moor this morning with Ken and Mel Hayes produced around 9 Common Lizard. The middle photo looks like a pregnant female and the lower lizard has shed its tail which they are able to regrow.

Common Lizard

Waved Black - Darley Dale

Simon has done it again with his 5th record of Waved Black in 11 years. The population appears very local to Simon as I have never caught it despite trapping most of the nights when Simon has caught them, and only being approximately a kilometre away. 
We have previously speculated that there could be an established colony in the wood yard close to where Simon lives. How, or when, they became established there is anyone's guess but Simon has confirmed that wood is imported from France.
It has a status of Nationally Scarce B which means there are records from 31-100 10km squares in GB since 1980.
Waved Black (Simon Roddis)

Waved Black records from the NBN Gateway

Friday, 26 July 2013

Common Hawker

This male Common Hawker catches the sunlight as it crosses the black waters of the pool in Wragg's Quarry. Fortunately the water level is now largely replenished following the heavy rain earlier in the week.
Common Hawker

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Pinion-streaked Snout

An occasional visitor to the garden and generally scarce in Derbyshire this Pinion-streaked Snout trapped last night is only about 12mm long and is easily overlooked or can be mistaken for a 'micro' moth. I also caught Large Twin-spot Carpet which has become an annual visitor in the last few years.
Pinion-streaked Snout

July Highflyer

A common moth at this time of the year, particularly on the moor, the July Highflyer is highly variable going from a very dark solid green to various shades producing some quite striking patterns and colours.
July Highflyer

Friday, 19 July 2013

Mottled Rustic

Not the most striking of moths but a good catch for me, the Mottled Rustic is much commoner in the south of the county.
Mottled Rustic

Leopard Moth

Surprisingly I caught the only moth which is likely to be confused with the Puss Moth, the Leopard Moth, at home last night. This is a scarce moth locally and is generally only thinly distributed across its range which extends only as far north as Yorkshire and Cheshire. Also caught White Satin Moth another scarce moth locally.
Leopard Moth

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Puss Moth - Beeley Moor

With near perfect conditions for moth trapping I spent another evening on Beeley Moor with Brian Statham. It was a little disappointing for variety but good numbers of moths flying including over 500 True Lover's Knot. New for the year were this fine Puss Moth, Knot Grass and Small Elephant Hawkmoth.
Puss Moth

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Eucosma campoliliana - Beeley Moor

Another striking black and white micro Eucosma campoliliana it has been given the English name Marbled Bell, which is easier to remember, and is probably fairly widespread in the area it feeds on Ragwort. Caught last night.
Eucosma campoliliana

July Belle - Beeley Moor

Despite a stiff breeze an evening moth trapping on Beeley Moor with Brian Statham produced some good results with the July Belle the first I have caught on the moor although I have caught it in good numbers on Longstone Edge. Other moths of note were at least 5 Black-neck which is a new location for this species, Northern Eggar, Garden Tiger, Scarce Silver Y, 2 Gold Spangle and several Ling Pug.
July Belle

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dingy Shell

I have only caught the Dingy Shell a couple of times in the last decade at home, it is easily overlooked and does not appear to be particularly attracted to light. The food plant is Alder which borders the river along much of the river bank locally so is probably commoner than my records suggest. This individual was found in the garden yesterday, it has an unusual resting position with the wings firmly closed and raised over the thorax/abdomen.
Dingy Shell

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

The Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet is very much in evidence around the moorland edges at the moment. Flashes of scarlet can be seen almost anywhere around the moor. The upper photo shows the empty cocoon with the remains of the larval skin. Almost as soon as a female emerges, and sometimes before, the males arrive to start the mating for the next generation.
The flight shot shows the narrow dark border to the hind wing which gives the moth its name, the hindwing of the Five-spot Burnet, which is only found in the south of the country, looks very similar however.

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - East Moor

The current spell of good weather is not just good for butterflies and moths it's also ideal weather for dragonflies. I set out this morning is search of one of Derbyshire's rarest and most striking species the Golden-ringed Dragonfly. It favours fast flowing acidic moorland streams and despite its appearance is probably under recorded on some of Derbyshire's more remote moorlands.
Unfortunately it was quite cloudy until mid-morning but once the sun came out I finally found two individuals on a moorland stream. This male spent almost all the time I was there hanging off a nettle so would be very easily overlooked.
Golden-ringed Dragonfly - male

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Brown Argus - Lathkill Dale

Good numbers of Brown Argus flying in the sunshine today, they are already looking a bit worn.
Brown Argus

Common Lizard - Flash Lane

The Common Lizards have been very elusive so far this year, but there were one or two last weekend and at least 5 today taking advantage of the sunshine. The colour of the underbody and tail is very variable and this one was a particularly attractive individual.
Common Lizard

Small Argent and Sable - Beeley Triangle

Another day flying moth on show today around Beeley Triangle, the Small Argent and Sable.
Small Argent and Sable

Beautiful Yellow Underwing - Beeley Triangle

Good weather for butterflies and day flying moths today there were several Beautiful Yellow Underwing feeding on umbellifers at Beeley Triangle.
Beautiful Yellow Underwing

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Broad-bodied Chaser - ovipositing

I've been away for a couple of days but received the photo below of Northern Eggar from Simon Roddis and this shot of a female Broad-bodied Chaser egg laying in Wragg's Quarry from Ken. It looks like there is an egg between the Chaser and the water.
Broad-bodied Chaser - female ovipositing (Ken Smith)

Northern Eggar - Darley Dale

Simon sent me this photo of a Northern Eggar trapped in his garden, it was the 350th macro moth species for his garden! The Northern Eggar can be seen over the moors during the day at present and is a favourite food of the Hobby but I have never caught it in Darley Dale.
Northern Eggar (Simon Roddis)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lilac Beauty

This Lilac Beauty turned up in my daughter's bedroom last night, surprisingly she was less excited about its appearance than I was. I think of Lilac Beauty as an annual visitor to the garden but this is the first record for three years and hence it is new to the blog.
Lilac Beauty

Monday, 8 July 2013

Ethmia quadrillella

Looking at the records on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway and reading the Moths of Derbyshire it looks like Ethmia quadrillella could be fairly well distributed in the limestone dales of the Peak District but is classified as very local nationally. The food plant is Common Comfrey, I caught this at home last night.
Ethmia quadrillella
NBN records: Ethmia quadrillella

Mandarin with young

It is easy to see why the Mandarin duck is increasing in numbers in the valley, if every pair raises nine off-spring! These were at Rowsley yesterday.
Mandarin with off-spring

Common Twayblade - Wragg's Quarry

Amongst the large number of Northern Marsh and Heath Spotted Orchids flowering this year a single Common Twayblade.
Add caption

Common Twayblade

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Netted Pug - new for the garden

The Netted Pug is possibly the most attractive of all the pug family and is a welcome addition to the garden list. 
Widespread through southern Britain and north to the Midlands it is thinly distributed through the rest of Britain. 
The species does not come readily to light so is more likely to be found as a larvae by sifting through the seed pods of Bladder Campion, which fewer naturalists are inclined to do these days, including me.
Netted Pug

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Large Skipper

Several large Skipper on Flash Lane this morning, it looked like the two butterflies together were a mating pair.

Large Skipper

Long-eared Owl - Matlock Forest

A Long-eared Owl was a lucky find in the early hours this morning and my first of the year. Hopefully seeing the owls in almost day light is a sign that they are working harder to find food for their young.

Long-eared Owl

Nightjar - Matlock Forest

The Nightjar is one of Derbyshire's rarest breeding birds and we are fortunate to have had a small population in the Matlock Forest area for many years, I have reports of a survey from 1974 when the population was estimated at 12 pairs but the report also refers to arrival dates of birds returning to breed in the 1950's. As they are almost entirely nocturnal seeing them at all is a challenge and their presence is often only given away by the distinctive churring calls which the males make on calm evenings shortly after sunset.
Positive management of the coniferous forests to create suitable clearings by the Forestry Commission has helped to sustain the population locally although birds will also nest on the open moor.





Friday, 5 July 2013

Woodcock - Matlock Forest

I've been out most evenings this week trying to photograph some of our nocturnal birds. Species like Woodcock which generally only commence their distinctive roding display flight at dusk means the time period in which you can get a reasonable photo is very limited. Luckily there is a decent population in most of the coniferous plantations so provided you can put up with the biting insects there is a reasonable chance of success.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Figure of Eighty

The Figure of Eighty is a species I have recorded less frequently in recent years and haven't recorded it at all in the garden during the last 2 years so it hasn't appeared on the blog but there were two in the trap last night.
Figure of Eighty

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