Tuesday 31 December 2013

Well we've reached the end of another year so I decided to have a look at the results from my moth trap over the last 4 years. Despite a couple of good months weather this summer the results in the following table suggest that this year was no better than last. I did go away for 2 weeks in July this year but I think this year's total moth numbers would still have been lower than last year's even if I'd stayed at home. I'm hoping numbers will recover a bit next year. Below are a couple of Canadian Moths which I will identify shortly.

Happy New Year!


Macro Moths
Micro Moths

Olive-Green Cutworm
One-eyed Sphinx Moth

Thursday 26 December 2013

Needless to say there's not been much use of the Moth trap recently. I did make a brief visit to Hampton Pier, Herne Bay, this morning to check for Purple Sandpipers. The tide was going out but I managed to see just one feeding with Turnstones by the Pier.

Purple Sandpiper

Sunday 15 December 2013

Had another Winter Moth yesterday morning making 4 this winter so far which is good for species I don't record every year. Made a visit to Dunge last Thursday which was "quiet" but much less windy than the previous visit. Usual suspects included 3 Great White Egrets, 4 Marsh Harriers, 2 Smew, a Goosander and a Kingfisher on the ARC pit. A Stonechat posed near Boulderwall Farm.


Sunday 8 December 2013

This morning with the sun shining I decided to make a 2nd visit to Hemsted Forest to see if I could see the Two-barred Crossbill, having seen the Parrot Crossbill on my previous visit. I only had to wait about 20 minutes before it showed up the isolated Oak Tree, where it's been regularly seen. About 10 Common Crossbills also seen. There was a suggestion yesterday that the Winter Moth might have been a Northern Winter Moth, which would be a new species for my garden, although I did record this species at my previous address. However, it was a small specimen with brownish hind wing. This morning there was another slightly larger "Winter" Moth near the trap and I examined a bit more closely. This is a better marked specimen, but the wing length was 14-15mm and again the hind wing was brownish so I guess it's another Winter Moth.
 Two-barred Crossbill
 Common Crossbill
 Winter Moth

Saturday 7 December 2013

Another Moth

There was a Winter Moth underneath the trap this morning. This species is not a regular in my garden, this being the 9th in 14 years and the first since January 2011. On Friday I paid a visit to Dunge in a gale. Sticking mainly to the hides we saw the usual Great White Egrets, Marsh Harriers, Black-necked Grebe, 2 Chiffchaffs and my first Smew of the winter. Two Peregrines hunting near the Dengemarsh road finished a better than expected day.
Winter Moth

 Great White Egret

 Marsh Harrier

Monday 2 December 2013

Finally got a moth in the trap this morning-Dark Chestnut. This is not a species I get every year and brings the year's macro total to 159, just 1 short of last year's.

 Dark Chestnut

Sunday 17 November 2013

Nothing to report from the trap and not many birds either. I did check out the Purple Sandpipers opposite the Hotel Imperial at Hythe this morning in rain and very poor light. I noted 4 birds but despite  the isolated location they were still quite difficult to see and there be have another 1 or 2 there amongst the rocks.

 Purple Sandpipers

Saturday 9 November 2013

This morning despite a low of 4c last night I had 3 moths: November Moth, Angle Shades and new for the year Feathered Thorn, a species I don't record every year. Earlier in the week there was a 2nd Dark Sword-grass, Turnip, LBAM and a couple more November Moths.

Feathered Thorn

Sunday 3 November 2013

Yesterday morning was quite good for me for this time of year with 7 moths: 3 LBAMs, 2 Silver Y, November Moth and new for the year Dark Sword-grass. This morning I finally got over to Hemsted Forest where I had an excellent view of 1 Parrot Crossbill, about 15 Common Crossbills, a Mealy Redpoll and a Peregrine.

Dark Sword-grass

 Common and Parrot Crossbills

Thursday 31 October 2013

A bumper haul this morning with 7 moths of 5 species: new for the year were 3 Yellow-line Quakers plus  Common Marbled Carpet, Red-green Carpet, November Moth and LBAM.

Yellow-line Quaker

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Two fairly cold nights each produced a single November Moth in the trap.

November Moth

Monday 28 October 2013

I've been away in Cornwall for a week. Just had the trap out on Saturday night which produced 2 LBAMs and a Red-line Quaker. Not much to report from Cornwall: Kestrel and Clouded Yellow Butterfly pictures below.


 Clouded Yellow

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Colder nights have the cut the moth numbers dramatically. Two days ago I had a completely empty trap. Yesterday there were 4 moths: 2 LBAMs, Silver Y and new for the year a November Moth. This morning there was just 1 moth but again the Red-line Quaker was new for the year.

Red-line Quaker

Saturday 12 October 2013

No moth trap for the last 2 days but I had a good day at Dunge on Thursday despite the very windy conditions. After struggling to see very much we decided just before lunch to have a look for the Great White Egrets at the end of Burrows pit from the viewpoint behind Dennis's hide. There were 3 Great Whites but then the Glossy Ibis flew into view and flew around for quite a while before disppearing into the bushes. After lunch, whilst having a coffee (Rich Roast blend) in the Visitor's Centre, a Black Kite was reported over the ARC pit. We went outside and had fairly distant scope views of the Kite being mobbed by 2 Crows over the Dengemarsh road area.

Great White Egrets

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Just 5 moths yesterday including the 2nd Sallow of the Autumn. This morning after a milder night there were 12 moths of 10 species: LBAM, LYU, Lesser YU, Common Marbled Carpet, Silver Y, Copper Underwing, The Mallow, the 1st Chestnut of the Autumn, and the 1st Barred Sallow and Green-brindled Crescent of the year.

Barred Sallow

 Green-brindled Crescent

 The Chestnut

Monday 7 October 2013

Only 7 moths this morning but 7 different species: LBAM, LYU, Common Marbled Carpet, The Mallow, Feathered Ranunculus, Angle Shades and, new for the year , The Sallow.

The Sallow

Sunday 6 October 2013

Not much to report with LYUs, Lesser YUs, and LBAMs making up most of the catch. I had a second Red-green Carpet of the year this morning. I've noticed some mention of it being a good year for Autumn Green Carpet. I would like to see one.

Red-green Carpet

Thursday 3 October 2013

Well the 1st of the month began with 29 moths of 12 species but nothing new, and this morning there were 18 moths of 8 species, with L-Album Wainscot new for the year. Still waiting for some Sallows!

 L-Album Wainscot

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Well we've reached the end of another month. Yesterday produced 34 moths of 10 species and this morning just 18 moths (10 LYUs) of 5 species. However Red-green Carpet was new for the year this morning, and means that I've finally caught up with last year's poor number of 149 macros and 96 micros at the end of September (exactly the same as last year). In 2011 there were 172 macros and 95 micro species at the end of September. So at least in terms of species numbers the micros have been remarkably similar over the last 3 years with the numbers of macro species apparently much more affected by the poor weather both last year and in the first half of this summer.

 Red-green Carpet


Sunday 29 September 2013

Just 13 moths of 6 species yesterday and, after a milder night, 28 of 9 species this morning including a Blair's Shoulder-knot which was new for the year.

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Friday 27 September 2013

A much colder night (9.5c) meant only 19 moths of 9 species this morning. Just 2 LBAMs after the 27 yesterday. New for the year was an autumnal regular: The Mallow.

The Mallow

Thursday 26 September 2013

A mild night (13.5c) with some rain was good for moths with 49 of 13 species this morning. Apart from 27 Light Brown Apple Moths and 10 LYUs, there was my 4th ever record of Pine Carpet and my 1st of Pale Pinion. This was the 4th new macro of the year.  

Pale Pinion

Pine Carpet

Wednesday 25 September 2013

32 moths of 9 species this morning after a mild night. New for the year was Eudonia angustea. Yesterday afternoon made my 5th trip to Oare in an  attempt to photograph the Spotted Crake. Very unusually I located it almost at once and it showed well for at least 30 minutes from about 4pm. However, getting a close shot free of the vegetation was almost impossible.

Spotted Crake

 Eudonia angustea

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Yesterday morning after a very mild night (15c) there wee 50 moths of 12 species in the trap. However 26 were Light Brown Apple Moths, my highest ever count, and 12 were Lesser Yellow Underwings. This morning after a cooler night (9c) there were just 11 moths of 6 species (3 LBAMs and 1 Lesser YU). Nothing new for the year. Rosy Rustic, Feathered Ranunculus and 2 Lunar Underwings were the most interesting. Where are all the Sallows?

Rosy Rustic

Sunday 22 September 2013

A much milder night didn't produce much in the trap this morning. There were just 10 moths of 6 species with the the 2nd Feathered Ranunculus of the autumn being the most interesting.

 Feathered Ranunculus

Friday 20 September 2013

With nothing exiting in the moth trap, I spent the morning making my 4th attempt to see the Spotted Crake at Oare Marshes. After I long wait I was distracted and photographed a Lesser Whitethroat not far from the East Hide. It was then that the Crake appeared and I was able to get reasionable but brief views but no pictures that were useable. When it came out into open it decided to run across the open area and disappear further up the ditch.

Lesser Whitethroat

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Not much to report form the last few days. Moth numbers have declined sharply with only 3 moths yesterday: 2 Angle Shades and a Lesser Yellow Underwing. New for the year on Sunday was The Nettle Tap and this morning the 17 moths were represented by 10 Lesser YUs, 4 LYUs, 1 LBAM, 1 Flounced Rustic and the 1st Lunar Underwing of the year.

Lunar Underwing

Saturday 14 September 2013

A couple more wet nights have produced 31 moths of 13 species yesterday and this morning 41 moths of 14 species. New for the year this morning was the first Feathered Ranunculus of the Autumn. Yesterday I caught up with the Semi-palmated Sandpiper at Dungeness. Here are 2 pictures from yesterday at Dunge.

Egyptian Goose

Small Tortoiseshell

Thursday 12 September 2013

A milder night but it was still raining steadily when I checked the trap this morning. However on the outside of the trap sitting on the plastic funnel was The Vestal, a new species for my garden. In all there were 22 moths of 15 species. None were new for the year but a Small Dusty Wave was the 2nd of the Autumn.

The Vestal

The Vestal

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Cooler and wetter weather the last few days have meant that moth numbers have plummeted from the 103 moths of 34 species last friday morning to 13 moths of just 7 species yesterday. This morning there 26 of 10 species. The only new one for the year in this period was a Rosy Rustic. However, I did find a Rhombic Leatherbug in the house. Only the 2nd one I've ever seen.

Rhombic Leatherbug

Saturday 7 September 2013

A much cooler night (9.5c) than yesterday with rain meant only 43 moths of 15 species this morning. However, I was pleased with my 2nd ever record of Agonopterix nervosa.

Agonopterix nervosa

Friday 6 September 2013

In terms of numbers last night was one of the best of the year with 103 moths of 34 species. However, there was nothing new for the year. A second Centre-barred Sallow was of the "normal" type, unlike the previous aberrant example. Went to Dunge today where Little Stint, Black Tern, Arctic Skua and Whinchat were all year ticks for me. In addition I also photographed a Great Crested Newt crossing the path to the Hanson Hide, inside which we found a Grey Bush-cricket, a species we'd both been looking for over the last couple of years. There was also a rather anaemic loooking Long-winged Conehead on the Willow Trail.

Centre-barred Sallow

Grey Bush-cricket

 Great Crested Newt


Thursday 5 September 2013

80 moths of 29 species this morning. New for the year were Small Dusty Wave, Svensson's Copper Underwing and Lesser Treble-bar.

 Svennson's Copper Underwing

 Lesser Treble-bar