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

Sunday, 6 September 2009

From the trap and down the lane

I wasn't expecting too much from the garden traps last night as it has not been that mild and was still very breezy - and both traps looked a bit dead by the time I went to bed. However, going through them this morning, actinic first, on the second egg tray I found this: Superb - a migrant Scarce Bordered Straw, the second wild one for the garden (I reared one from a larva found on cut flowers a few years ago). The rest of the trap wasn't so exciting, and the MV was rubbish. In fact, the MV was so rubbish I've chucked the bulb and fitted a new one to see if that helps next time out. 05/09/2009 - Total catch 99 of 21sp. (125W MV 23 of 9sp., 80W actinic 76 of 17 sp.) First for year in garden: Scarce Bordered Straw (Helicoverpa armigera) 1 Highest counts: Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 28 Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) 24 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) 12 Other highlights: Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua) 1 Gold Spot (Plusia festucae) 3 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 6 Vine's Rustic A bit later in the morning, I nipped out for a walk down the lane to collect some fresh nettle for these: Small Tortoiseshell from yesterday's walk. I've not reared any butterfly larvae before so hopefully approaching it the same way as I do for moths will work. All being well they should pupate and emerge before the end of the autumn (they overwinter as adults from the second brood). Whilst browsing the undergrowth, I found this larva: Dot Moth - another one to try and rear through Bird-wise, a really smart juv Lesser Whitethroat flitting about in a hawthorn hedge was the clear winner on the interest stakes down the lane. A field that was being ploughed had already attracted a gathering of c40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and assorted corvids, whilst a stubble field held c50 Woodpigeons but nothing else. Still plenty of Swallows and House Martins in evidence. Just as I left the lane and came back into the estate, I noticed a very large moth roosting on the garden wall of the first house in. Close inspection confirmed the expected Red Underwing.


Anonymous said...

Cracking pics, Mark.
I find butterfly cats just as easy as moths to rear. Good luck with em.

Bennyboymothman said...

Good job on the Scarce Bordered Straw, yours looks totally different from one that I trapped, apparently a very variable species, and quite a rarity around these parts.

Skev said...

Thanks Dean - they are feeding well at the moment, I think I just need to sort out a more suitable box for them before they form their chrysalis.

Yes Ben - quite variable, I have seen darker ones but most I've seen are this lighter form. Still a good catch here in VC55, though the rarity value decreased in 2006 when we had a major influx.

The Leicester Llama said...

Interesting that your MV catch was poor, Mark - I put my traps out last night (7th) for the first time in about 2 weeks. They were both pretty crap (i.e. just loads of LYUs, Square-spot Rustics etc), but the MV was particularly poor compared to the actinic - about a quarter of the number of moths. Perhaps my bulb is getting old as well - I can't remember the last time I changed it!

Skev said...

The MV has picked up markedly the last two nights Andy since I changed the bulb. Definitely feel it was a contributing factor. Ironically I think I last changed it around autumn 2006 during the Scarce Bordered Straw influx.