Sunday, 29 December 2013

End-of-year roundup

I'm now fairly confident that unless a Winter Moth appears on my kitchen window in the next couple of days our total for the year will stay at 399. Obviously that's frustratingly close to 400, but we can't really complain: it's been a brilliant year (at least from about mid-June onwards: I hope to get to grips with a few more spring species in 2014), with a couple of really good species for the area in the form of Telechrysis tripuncta and Dog's Tooth, and numbers which, I suspect, we'll have to wait a long time to see again.

Looking over our records, I see we have a total of 10,775 individuals for the year (OK, many of them will have been retrapped, but it still feels like quite a level of abundance); with the highest number of species on any one night 82, on 13th July, and the highest number of individuals in the trap on one night 317, on 23rd August. Although I haven't many previous records to go off, it looks to have been a good year for Agriphila geniculea, Blood-vein, Bright-line Brown-eye, Burnished Brass, Common Marbled Carpet, Flame Shoulder, Mother-of-pearl, Old Lady, Poplar Hawkmoth (52 individuals caught this year, with one of the catches shown below), Setaceous Hebrew Character, Silver Y, Spectacle, Square-spot Rustic and Straw Dot.

Anyway, we're pretty thoroughly addicted, and hoping for some mellow spring weather soon so as to get going again: many thanks to all for such an interesting blog to follow, and especially to Tristan for his hard work setting it up and running it.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The year in moths

Yes, it's the year in moths! Here we go, straight in, no long-winded preamble.

My January moth is this little squitter, Agonopteryx heracliana. And what a moth!
My February is this, the Brindled Beauty, a right handsome beast, first recorded 12th Feb.

March - well, it has to be, the March Moth, scarce in my garden but a nice one. First record 5th March!

My April is this Early Grey, very common at a time when other moths were quite scarce in a cold spring.

My May is the impressive Swallow Prominent, actually seen in small numbers all through the summer.

My June is the incomparable Elephant Hawk, now for me the moth of early summer evenings.

My July is the White Satin Moth. Can ya see it?

In August the moths often get a bit more drab, typified here by The Suspected. I was very excited by this one!

September's moths are mostly brown, but this sweetie is A Frosted Orange, good enough to eat.
October - most would choose the good old Merveille-du-Jour, but I went for this smashing Large Ranunculus, a real corker.
November - the nights draw in, and the geometers get drawn to the soft light of windows rather than the moth trap. This is my fave, a Scarce Umber.
December - a hibernating Herald Moth all ready for next spring. So am I!
So, all in all it ended up at 436 moths in the garden - amazed to see I crept in at sixth place on the Garden Moth Challenge scoreboard. What a year, cannae wait for 2014!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Final Update from Bucks

It has been virtually moth-free in my garden since my last post which was at the end of September!

I have been doing a little trapping in a local wood, so have at least seen some late autumn and winter species, but they have been conspicuously absent from my home trap (I do run weekly for the GMS; last year I had 9 moths in the whole winter period, I think I may well get even fewer this time around :( with no moths since 1st Nov...)

Anyway the last smattering of species for my challenge list are:

325. November Moth agg.
326. Dark Sword-grass (1st ever for the garden!)
327. Black Rustic
328. Yellow-line Quaker

Now, I'm looking forward to next year!

Happy Christmas to all.