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

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Narborough Bog & Garden Tick

Yesterday was mostly spent drinking a few refreshing ciders at the Tigers Rugby (hosted by my work), so it wasn't until late in the evening that I decided to take a few traps out to a couple of local sites (and even later in the night when I got around to posting the photos from Friday night).

I hadn't actually checked the weather - it just felt like a reasonable night with cloud cover holding the temps up until dusk. The first site turned out to be a non-starter as the gated entrance to Enderby Quarry had been fitted with a new padlock - quite possibly by the adjoining timber frame business without consent from the quarry owners. This will be followed up as I wanted to get in there again a few times this year.

With this setback, I headed back over to Narborough Bog and set about carting the cheapo 2-stroke gennie, a couple of traps and three cable reels down to the reserve from the main track. I usually drive up but a new gate has been installed .....

Everything was running without issue at 20:50, and I left the site at 21:15 with every intention of being back at first light. At least that was the plan. This morning I was suddenly aware of my phone alarm going off at 06:20 - it had been self-snoozing for almost an hour without me stirring. I needed to get going quickly, and was concerned when I opened the front door to see that it had rained in the previous couple of hours or so. Now I was very cynical about my chances of enjoying the catch - the gennie would almost certainly have run out of fuel if not died though the rain, and the traps would be full of water surrounded by soaking wet sheets.

I got there at 06:40 and all concerns were immediately allayed when I could hear the rough-arse chuntering of the gennie and see the lights still on. What a superb bit of kit - almost 10 hrs running with 2 x 125W MV traps and cable reels plus resiliance to rain. The traps were wet and the sheets were soaking, but still plenty of moths.

The wood at Narborough Bog is damp and shady at the best of times, so I was not expecting the sort of variety and numbers that I'd get in a more typical broadleafed wood. I was therefore pleased with the overall catch of 166 of 21sp. The main highlights were what I think is a site-first Pale Pinion, Early Tooth-striped and an early Chocolate-tip.

0288 Caloptilia stigmatella 2 [yeartick]
0667 Semioscopis steinkellneriana 8
1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 1
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) 2
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 8
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 1
1881 Early Tooth-striped (Trichopteryx carpinata) 5 [yeartick]
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 2
1919 Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) 2 [yeartick]
1927 Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria) 21 [yeartick]
1947 Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata) 2
1957 White-pinion Spotted (Lomographa bimaculata) 1 [yeartick]
2003 Pebble Prominent (Notodonta ziczac) 1 [yeartick]
2019 Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula) 1 [yeartick]
2186 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis) 2 [yeartick]
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 5
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 20
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 69
2236 Pale Pinion (Lithophane hepatica) 1
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1
2469 Herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix) 1


Early Tooth-striped

Purple Thorn

Brindled Beauty

I also found a large noctuid caterpillar - possibly Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, retained to rear - and also a fresh noctuid pupa attached to the back of some bark I collected for photographic backgrounds.
Slightly less welcome was a fecking huge queen Hornet in one of the traps - don't remember seeing Hornets here before. The other trap was free of Hornets, but surprisingly had a good few Common Carder Bees in it plus a huge queen White-tailed Bumblebee. Both traps had a couple of wasps and one or two Yellow Ophion. I was handling every tray carefully!

Common Carder Bee

The garden traps also did well last night, including another garden tick micro. The total catch was 38 of 14sp. (125W MV 21 of 10, 80W actinic 17 of 10).

0602 Elachista apicipunctella 1 [FIRST FOR GARDEN]
0688 Agonopterix heracliana 1
0695 Agonopterix alstromeriana 1 [first for year]
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) 2 [first for year]
1288 Twenty-plume Moth (Alucita hexadactyla) 2
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 2
1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) 1 [first for year]
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 1
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 5
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 3
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 5
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 10
2243 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 3

Elachista apicipunctella - smarter in life than I can capture

Light Brown Apple Moth

Twenty-plume Moth

Agonopterix alstromeriana

The garden traps were emptied with the regular Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat in competition. Later this afternoon, I picked up my first Swifts of the year as two soared over the garden.


Stewart said...

That Chocolate Tip is tremendous. I'll never see one of those in my lifetime :(

Skev said...

Back in 2002 we recorded one at Pickworth Great Wood - it was only the fifth individual ever in VC55 and only the third site. By 2005 it was being picked up in several gardens, and now it is an expected annual at many widespread sites.
I doubt you'll get one in the next few years, but never say never!

Bennyboymothman said...

Great photos as always Mark.
I would love to see Early Tooth-striped and Brindled Beauty here in Essex, sadly Brindled Beauty is not as common here.

Skev said...

Thanks Ben. Early Tooth-striped is not widely distributed in VC55 - think I've only seen it in the west of the county in damp woodland. Brindled Beauty is commoner though I don't usually see so many from just a couple of traps - must have been a mass emergence!