Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

From the garden trap, 16/03/2009

Numbers picked up, very mild and fairly still. Total catch 44 of 10sp. + 1 of 1sp. at dusk (80W actinic 26 of 6sp., 125W MV 18 of 9sp.) Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1 Emmelina monodactyla 1 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 2 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 1 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 1 at dusk on front garden Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 1 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 12 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 10 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 11 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 2 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 1

Monday, 16 March 2009

From the garden trap - 15/03/2009

Yesterday was a glorious spring day, bringing the first butterflies to the garden for the year (1 male Brimstone, 2 Small Tortoiseshells). So after a few nights of either non trapping or blanks (save for a single Common Quaker on Wednesday 11th) I put out both garden traps last night. Total catch 33 of 5sp. (125W MV 11 of 5sp., 80W actinic 22 of 5sp.) Agonopterix heracliana 4 Clouded Drab 3 Common Quaker 11 Hebrew Character 13 Early Grey 2

Beery Me

Last Thursday (12th) saw me enjoying a night at the Leicester Beer Festival, meeting up with John Hague and also bumping into ex-iNDUSTRiE band mates Liam O'Driscoll and Kev Potterton. A great night all in all, with some excellent beers. Unfortunately I also had a couple of nasty ones, and one downright lethal one! In order sampled: Beijing Black from Potbelly Brewery, Kettering, Northants 4.4 Mild - superb as ever Darker Mild from Wibblers Brewery, Chelmsford, Essex 4.3 Mild - really enjoyed this one Ten Fifty from Grainstore Brewery, Oakham, Rutland 5.0 Ale - another firm favourite Dark Ruby from Sarah Hughes Brewery, Sedgley, West Mids. 6.0 Mild - very good indeed Nieco from Church End Brewery, Atherstone, Warks 5.0 Pale IPA - possibly my favourite of the night Ripper from Green Jack Brewery, Lowestoft, Suffolk 8.5 Barley Wine - here's where things started to go wrong! Jaipur from Thornbridge Hall Brewery, Bakewell, Derbyshire 5.9 Pale Ale - the last sensible drink of the night Thorn from Gwatkin, Herefordshire 7.5 Dry Perry - really not very nice! Dark Rum Porter from Boggart Hole Clough Brewery, Manchester 4.6 Porter - can't remember it Divine Rebel from Brewdog Brewery, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen 12.5 Barley Wine - oh dear .... The full notes for this last beer (which I should have read with a clear head before trying it) are as follows: "Brewed jointly with Mikkeller (Denmark). 25% of the beer aged in Speyside whisky barrels. Barley Wine. Dangerous." That last word should have been in big bold text! I can put up with vomiting and headaches after a night out, but sitting on the throne all night with stomach cramps is not my usual post-beer habit. Luckily I didn't feel inclined to try one of the festival specials - Superheater, a 15% nightmare from down the road in Broughton Astley.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Barking up the wrong tree

Ask any young child to draw a tree, and what colour do they invariably use for the trunk and branches? Brown? Brown? Brown? Brown? Brown? Brown? Brown?

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Pickworth Great Wood 28/02/2009

It's not often that a moth makes me jump and shout/swear, but believe me this one did .. Red Sword-grass!!!! Only the third modern record for VC55, completely unexpected and by far the highlight of a short trapping session at Pickworth Great Wood. Needless to say, it's the first one I've ever seen. I ran 3 x 125W MV traps and the 80W actinic from 18:30 - 21:00. Temps started at 8.5°C, dropping to 7°C , and it was mainly cloudy, still and dry. The first hour was relatively busy but it soon steadied and by the time I packed up only the odd new moth appeared. The Red Sword-grass was picked up within the first half-hour - had this not of happened I may well have given it another hour but I reckoned I'd used all my luck for the night. The actual target species for the night was Small Brindled Beauty - still a rare species in VC55 though now well established at PGW. Otherwise I was just hoping to pick up a few late winter / early spring species. Total catch was 191 of 18sp. 0461 Ypsolopha ustella 10 688 Agonopterix heracliana 1 1025 Tortricodes alternella 61 1044x Acleris ferrugana/notana 2 1659 Yellow Horned (Achlya flavicornis galbanus) 26 1663 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 1 1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 4 1925 Small Brindled Beauty (Apocheima hispidaria) 19 1926 Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria) 14 1930 Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) 2 1932 Spring Usher (Agriopis leucophaearia) 4 1934 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) 6 1947 Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata) 4 2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 4 2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 12 2241 Red Sword-grass (Xylena vetusta) 1 2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 28 2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1 Small Brindled Beauty Ypsolopha ustella Spring Usher Spring Usher

Pickworth Great Wood 28/02/2009

Pickworth Great Wood 28/02/2009

Yellow Horned

Tortricodes alternella variations

Oak Beauty