Sunday, 20 July 2014

Latticed Heath - East Moor

One of the most attractive of our day flying moths the Latticed Heath was present in reasonable numbers in the grassy areas bordering the moor this afternoon.
Latticed Heath

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - East Moor

At least two male Golden-ringed Dragonfly on Umberley Brook by the A619 on East Moor this afternoon. Roger said he had several by Barbrook Reservoir a couple of days ago so they are on the wing in numbers at present.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Dark Green Fritillary - East Moor

Several Dark Green Fritillary over East Moor this afternoon but all looking a little battered now. Not sure what the hoverflies are.
Dark Green Fritillary

Puss Moth caterpillar - Wraggs Quarry

The Puss Moth caterpillars in Wraggs Quarry look fully grown now and must be over 6cm in length. The small Sallow bush that they have been feeding on has been almost striped clean of leaves.
Puss Moth - caterpillar

Shaded Broad-bar

A widespread moth but one that appears to be in decline. I only recorded small numbers of Shaded Broad-bar in the garden now but used to catch it in reasonable numbers. 
Shaded Broad-bar

Fieldfare - July record on Beeley Moor

No sign of Ken's Fieldfare on Saturday but record shots from Ken taken on Friday on Flash Lane. Looks like an adult. Fieldfare do occasionally breed in the Peak District


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Lempke's Gold Spot

Still a local rarity but numbers appear to be increasing, I caught this Lempke's Gold Spot last night. Easily confused with the Gold Spot, it tends to be more brightly orange brown coloured with more distinct cross lines and the inner white blotch, near the wing tip, is square ended rather than pointed as in Gold Spot.
Lempke's Gold Spot v Gold Spot

Friday, 18 July 2014

Endotricha flammealis - The Rosy Tabby

A new one for me, this Pyralid has a very unusual and distinctive resting position with the forelegs raised and the wings extended. 
There are only a couple Derbyshire record listed in Harrison & Sterling, up to 1988 both from the 1890's, but listed as expanding its range in Phil Sterling & Mark Parsons Micro Moths of GB. Nationally the distribution is south and east of Derbyshire.
Ken texted me with a Fieldfare sighting today in fields bordering Beeley Moor, so something to look for tomorrow.
Endotricha flammealis - The Rosy Tabby

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pine Hawkmoth - new for the garden

The Pine Hawkmoth appears to be spreading north and westwards from it base in eastern and southern England, Matlock is just about on the limit of its current range.. I have occasionally caught it in Matlock Forest but this is my first record for the garden.
Pine Hawkmoth

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Argyresthia brockeella

Several new moths for the year with two Large Twin-spot Carpet, Northern Spinach, Dotted Clay and this example Argyresthia brockeella.
Argyresthia brockeella

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Chalk Carpet - Coombs Dale

The Chalk Carpet is one of a relatively small number of moths that has its own biodiversity action plan. Its designated as Nationally Scarce B meaning there are only records from 31-100 10km squares since 1980. 
In the Midlands the Peak District is the stronghold for the species which inhabits limestone and chalk grasslands. It is relatively easy to find during the day when it is disturbed from the ground or rocky areas, like this one flushed from the side of the path in Coombs Dale this morning.
It probably occurs in most of the limestone dales.

Chalk Carpet distribution (c.NBN Gateway)

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Emperor Dragonfly

Several Emperor Dragonflies flying at the Stonedge (Cupola) ponds this morning with dozens of Four-spotted Chasers.

Emperor Dragonfly

Brown Hawker - Stonedge ponds

Several Brown Hawker on the wing this morning at the Stonedge (Cupola) ponds at the back of the Red Lion. Not easy to photograph. New for the blog though.
Brown Hawker

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

A flight shot of the Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet - showing the narrow border to the hind wing. Probably easier to separate it from the Five-spot Burnet on distribution, the latter is restricted to the south coast.
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet

Fox with sheep carcass

I came across a young Fox this morning, probably a year old. I was watching it from a distance of about 1Km as it walked through a grassy field it kept disappearing in the tall grass and then reappearing some distance away. Eventually it disappeared behind a dry stone wall and failed to reappear. I moved position and found it feeding on a very old sheep carcass. It was a long way off and I weighed up the pros and cons of trying to get nearer. I was about to leave then changed my mind and moved closer.... I was glad that I did!

Fox on sheep carcass

Friday, 11 July 2014

Puss Moth caterpillar - Beeley Moor

One of our most striking looking caterpillars, this photo of a Puss Moth caterpillar was taken by Doug Aston feeding on Sallow on Beeley Moor.
Puss Moth caterpillar (c.Doug Aston)

Southern Wainscot - Darley Dale

Another record from Simon Roddis, this time the Southern Wainscot a species that has been moving northwards in the County but this is the first record we are aware of locally.
It is very similar to the Smoky Wainscot but is paler and lacks that species dark hindwing, it also has a dark line across the front of the thorax when viewed head on which appears to be a good feature for separating the two species.

Southern Wainscott

Monday, 7 July 2014

Gatekeeper - Sitches Wood

Another photo from yesterday of the Gatekeeper butterfly.

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle

A bit of a mouthful Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn but the latin name Agapanthia villosoviridescens is not much better. Ken found this beetle, 2 of them, whilst we were looking for the forester moth yesterday. Common, I think.
Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle

Brown Hare at dusk

As I returned from the Barn Owls at around 10pm I came across a confiding Brown Hare which made a nice shot with the last of the evening light on his whiskers.
Brown Hare

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Barn Owl juveniles prison break

I mentioned at the end of last week that I thought the juvenile Barn Owls would be about ready to leave the nest and tonight I watched two of them take what may have been their first flights. They looked a little unsteady leaving the barn but their flight was perfect.

Barn Owl - juveniles

Forester or Cistus Forester - Sitches Wood?

A couple of interesting photos of a forester moth taken by Ken at Sitches plantation on Thursday. There are two species of forester recorded in Derbyshire, the commonest is the Cistus which is found in the limestone dales and can often be seen in good numbers on Longstone Edge in May and June. The Forester is rarer with only a couple of historical locations known for the species both in NE Derbyshire but a new colony was reported near Ashover in 2006.
The larva of the Cistus Forester feed exclusively on Rock Rose, which is not a flower which is found on the gritstone moors whereas the Forester feeds on Common and Sheep's Sorrel which is much more widespread on both limestone and acidic grasslands. They are usually separated in the field on size, the Cistus Forester is a generally couple of mm smaller than Forester. I think given the habitat that The Forester is the more likely identification but either is a very interesting local record
I checked the area today without success in intermittent sunshine.

Forester or Cistus Forester Moth (c. Ken Smith)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Brown Scallop - Via Gellia

Another record from Simon Roddis from the Via Gellia, the Brown Scallop. Neither Simon or I can recall any records of the adult moth being recorded in Derbyshire. Caterpillars were first recorded by Brian Statham in 1986 and again in 2006 both in the Via Gellia. The caterpillar only feeds on Buckthorn which restricts its national distribution.
The photo shows the scalloping on the hindwing which gives the moth its common name.
Brown Scallop

Brown Scallop distribution c. NBN Gateway

Barred Carpet - Via Gellia

A couple of interesting moth records from Simon Roddis. This is the Barred Carpet which has a status of Nationally Scarce A which means it is only known from 16-30 10km squares in Great Britain since 1 January 1980. The Via Gellia is the only site I am aware of where there is a significant population. I have yet to see a fresh specimen, the Barred Carpet seems to loose its scales very quickly.
Barred Carpet
Barred Carpet distribution - c. NBN Gateway

Green Pug on backlit leaf

James has been experimenting with the macro lens and took this Green Pug.
Green Pug

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Barn Owl update

Went back to check on the Barn Owls this evening and they appear to be doing well, judging by the number of voles the adult took to the nest. I am expecting the young to start coming out from the next soon.
Barn Owl

Catoptria falsella

Recently I haven't had the time to look at all the micro moths I have caught but its surprising how something that looks a little unusual can catch your eye, this is only the second time I have caught Catoptria falsela in the garden (prior record July 2011).

In Fred Harrisons and Mark Sterling's 1988 Publication Butterflies and Moths of Derbyshire there are a couple of records from the early 1900's but its noted as nothing recent. Elsewhere I've seen reference to the moth spreading northwards so this may be another example of a moth which is on the increase.
Catoptria falsella

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Gold Swift - Sitches Plantation

Ken sent me this photo of a Gold Swift taken late yesterday evening at Sitches Plantation. The Gold Swift is local but reasonably widespread in suitable habitat.
Gold Swift (Ken Smith)

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