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

Monday, 30 August 2010

Bathing Baldie

Playing with video ... note I've deliberately muted the background noise with screaming kids and f.wits ...

Warwick Castle, 29/08/2010

Can't find my Photoshop discs (which were blagged anyway) - temporarily I've downloaded Elements 8 as a fully functional 30 day trial. So far I don't like it - can't find everything I used before like Lab Colour mode for unsharpening light/dark edges before resizing.

Had a great day out today at Warwick Castle. Haven't been before and didn't really know what to expect, but there was plenty to see and do and we'll definitely go again some time. Fecking expensive day out though unless (like we did) you manage to get free day passes through Tesco points or similar.

Took the new camera and I've sorted a small selection of shots using the aforementioned Elements. I've posted to Flickr and have linked here so I can check what they look like on various monitors etc and see if I need to change my approach. Any comments gratefully received.

First up, a few general shots of the castle itself:

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

And here's a few of the (big) stars of the 'Falconry' display:

Bald Eagle
Adult Bald Eagle - immense

Bald Eagle
Imm Bald Eagle - just had a bath

White-tailed Eagle
Adult White-tailed Eagle - barn door

Palm Nut Vulture
Imm Palm Nut Vulture - dainty and a bit ugly

Black-chested Buzzard-eagle
Black-chested Buzzard-eagle - really smart

Sunday, 29 August 2010

All change

Where the hell has the time gone. I've been off of work this week and yet still I've not updated the Blog - not that I have much to write about. No garden mothing and such shite weather that I've not bothered going out other than taking the kids to various indoor venues.

Yesterday we had a nice weather day though and decided to visit Twycross Zoo - haven't been for a couple of years and seeing as my new toy turned up I thought I'd try it out.

Despite not considering myself a photographer, I've somehow managed to aquire/get through a couple of digital cameras over the years - not including the crappy low res cameras on various mobile phones - and a few 35mm compact and SLRs cameras before that. Most recently I've been using my trusty old Nikon CoolPix 4500 for macro photography of moths and a few other insects, a Sony Cybershot compact for general shots when out and about (and the macro on that is not bad either), and my second hand Canon 350D with 90-300mm zoom lens for birds and other stuff.

Trouble is that the DSLR setup really is not up to the job - the body is only 7Mpixel with a dirty sensor and the lens is rubbish when it comes to depth of field and low light levels. Whilst I'd really like to uprate both body and lens there is no way I can justify the substantial cost. Uprating the body to use with my existing lens, or a bigger lens with the existing body, wouldn't really help much.

So, as an interim measure (as in for the next 2 - 3 years or so) I've gone backwards. Whilst certainly not anywhere near as good as a decent DSLR setup (mainly due to shutter lag and autofocus speed), I've bought the latest Panasonic Lumix  FZ45. It has a 24x optical zoom, is 14Mpixel, has HD video, macro zoom down to 1cm - basically does everything that all of the other 3 cameras do and more but in one easy to carry lightweight package. I took it out yesterday to the zoo and early impressions are very good.

I've also taken the long overdue step of updating the family PC from an archaic heap with no ram, very slow processor and crappy CRT monitor to a 3Ghz, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb drive machine with a 23" widescreen LED monitor. As anyone who has changed PC over the years will probably recognise, this means a bit of time sorting out software and moving files etc. which may affect my ability to get photos sorted in the short term, especially if I can't find my Photoshop discs!

So, plenty to keep me busy over the next week or so - though we have several more days out to come. Hopefully that Eyebrook Kentish will stick for a couple of days as I can't get there tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

C-watching at the Birdfair

I made a rare excursion to the Birdfair today. I have to say that it would not make the top ten of my 'must do this every year' list if I had one. I go irregularly, and only if compelled with a reason. In the past this has been to check a product out or to help out on the LROS stand. Once, and I still can't remember why, it was to play (badly) in the exhibitors football tournament.

Anyway, this year I decided to use the Birdfair as an opportunity to check out some new bins. I couldn't go on Friday (work) or Saturday (family stuff to do), so this morning I headed out early into what turned out to be a gloriously warm and sunny day.

I dropped in to the LROS stand a couple of times through the day, chatting with Paul Riddle, Alan Pocock, Ben Croxtall and Steve Lister. Good to pick up the newly arrived Annual Report - I've enjoyed getting back into writing for that eight years after I resigned as editor and we'll soon be starting again on the next report. It was also good to say hello to Iain Robson on the Birdwatch Northumberland stand, though he'll be gutted to have missed the Toon pasting Villa. I'm sure there were other bloggers about but I didn't recognise anyone.

Inbetween chatting and milling about, I managed to grab a couple of pints of Birdfair Bitter and do a bit of C-watching (Celebrities, Cretins and Capital Cs). A steady passage of Celebrities included Packham, Baker, King and Dilger, along with lesser known birding faces like Lindo + a hanger-on with video camera. Cretins included far too many wholly inappropriately dressed visitors such as those in cream slacks and bowling shoes (in the mudfest), whilst there were too many Capital Cs to mention, mainly with expensive bins hanging from their necks whilst still in the case.

Anyway, onto the main business for me. The porro-prism Pentax 8x40 bins that I've happily used for c16 years are, quite frankly, knackered. They are in no way nitrogen purged/filled or waterproof which is kind of useless for winter which is when I am most likely to be birding. I had a budget which precluded anything decent in the Leica, Zeiss, Kowa, Nikon or Swarovski range. I know you get what you pay for, but I also don't pander to the theory that owning expensive bins makes you a good birder. I've seen far more complete cocks with expensive bins than I care to mention.

I had in mind the Opticron Verano range, but when I tried them I was disappointed. They just didn't feel right to me, being almost too light and the focus adjustment felt a bit clunky. I tried some Bushnell bins and struggled to see them as being any better optically than my old bins. Steiner Skyhawk bins were picked up and put down quickly - the diopter adjustment is on the wrong eye.

I then went to the In-Focus stand to get side by side comparison. I tried a few different pairs, including the Opticrons again. However one that I hadn't considered before was the Hawke Frontier ED 8x43. I was immediately comfortable with them, maybe heavier than most comparable bins but still lighter than my old ones and I preferred the weight compared to others I tried. The image was bright and clear, and when I tried them against a very expensive pair of Nikons I couldn't see any difference optically - other than the Hawkes had much better close focussing! They are waterproof, phase corrected roof prisms and have multi-coated ED glass. At £299.00, they were in budget and I felt they were great value at that. I doubt they will last me a lifetime, but I reckon I'll get easily 10 years out of them.

Before I left at 4ish, I had a quick walk down to Harrier Hide, nothing exciting to see - Little Egret, Green Sand and not seeing plastic Ospreys being the highlights.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A few odd bits ....

I've had a busy few days at work after taking a long weekend off and haven't had a chance to catch up. Not too much excitement in the moth traps anyway but I'll summarise that separately. Instead here's a few odd bits from the weekend and a visit to Conkers on Monday.

I'll start with some very common birds, which are pretty much I can get close to and have seen recently..

juv Moorhen


Mallard - doing what dabbling ducks do

I've ordered and been waiting for a new photographic toy which will hopefully turn up at the weekend or Monday latest - hopefully I'll be able to get closer to smaller and more interesting birds then!

Nichola found this mass of Buff-tip caterpillars gregariously hanging off of an Oak sapling fairly low down. First time I've seen these so I was very pleased.




Here's a few other random insects ..

Small Heath
Small Heath

Common Blue
Common Blue

Common Darter
Common Darter

Meadow Grasshopper
Meadow Grasshopper

Finally, a couple from the garden ..

Slender Groundhopper
Slender Groundhopper - or at least I think it is

Sarcophaga carnaria
Sarcophaga carnaria - a Flesh Fly

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Fast Cars

I am not an avid motorsports fan in so far as following the various championships / seasons / formulae etc, but like most blokes I will happily watch anything going fast around a circuit if it happens to be on TV. I prefer rallying and touring cars, but I'll watch the bikes and F1 if it's on and I'm in.

My Dad took me to a couple of motorcycle meets at Donington when I was a kid (with Barry Sheen involved - it was that long ago) and also to the mind blowing dragster racing at Santa Pod. Back then, watching the F1 Grand Prix on TV was a completely different experience to now. It was exciting, with lots of incident and less predicability. Sadly, it was also a damned site more dangerous and serious injuries and fatalities were pretty much part of every season. F1 now is sanitised and safe, but also a bit dull.

Following a comment from one of the blokes at work, I thought I'd take Josh and Alex over to Donington yesterday afternoon to have a look around the collection there. It holds loads of examples of F1 cars from the ages, right from the 'Silver Arrows' of the 30s through the Maseratis, Vanwalls and Ferraris of the 50's/60s through Lotus, Brabhams and Tyrells of the 70s and the evolution of the Williams and McLarens from the 70's to today. Also plenty of other F1 cars, a few old bikes and even a handful of old military vehicles and old sedans.

Back when I was a kid, when I got the obligatory Scalextric set the cars were a pair of UOP Shadow F1 racing cars. I was therefore immediately immersed in nostaligia before we'd got into the proper collection by this in the foyer ..

The Donington Collection

From thereon, the huge collection was just superb to see. Looking at the sheer lack of safety features on the older cars makes you realise how vulnerable and exposed the drivers were - not to mention how bloody mental they must have been. This Ferrari is a good example.

The Donington Collection

The vulnerability of the drivers is brought home by seeing wreckage of David Purley's car which crashed into a wall with his throttle stuck full on during a 1977 pre-qualifying practice session - the car went from 108mph to 0mph in 26 inches of travel. Remarkably he survived, albeit with major injuries, and was at the time the 'record holder' for the highest G force endured and survived.

A few years earlier, Purley had heroically tried to save Roger Williamson from the burning wreck of his car at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix whilst the race marshall's pretty much stood by. Williamson had crashed with a blown tyre flipping the car over and trapping him. Purley stopped and tried to turn the car over as a fire developed and engulfed the car, but to no avail. Williamson died in the wreck on the track.

The bulk of the collection are F1 cars driven by the likes of Moss, Senna, Prost, Mansell, Coulthard, Hakkinen, Hill and there's even a recent Mercedes McLaren used by Hamilton a couple of years ago.

The Donington Collection

I've uploaded a few photos from the collection to Flickr - have a look here. It was well worth the visit for a few rainy afternoon hours to have a good look around.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Cossington Meadows, 07/08/2010

Here's another belated list - from an excellent last-minute decision visit to the Leics. & Rutland Wildlife Trust reserve Cossington Meadows with Adrian Russell.

We left in until late in the day to decide where to go, and as the conditions seemed less than ideal we opted for a closer to home option than heading all the way over to the east of Rutland. With the late summer / early autumn wainscots on the wing we decided to see which we could add to the Cossington list - with less than a handful of previous mothing sessions at this site we were bound to add dots to the map. As it happens, we inadvertently set up literally around the crosslines between four tetrads so we added rather more dots than we'd expected!

Traps/lights at the red dots - ish.

We ended up having a pretty good night in the end, running the lights until c01:00 with temperatures staying up at c15°C. We ran 1 x 125W MV light over a sheet, 4 x 125W MV traps and 1 x 80W/100W actinic/tungsten combo trap. The total catch was a very respectable 711 of 90sp. I'll post the full list, split into the usual yeaticks, high counts, other highlights and then the rest:

First for year:
0481 Epermenia falciformis 2
0969 Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis corylana) 2
1104 Endothenia quadrimaculana 2
1914 Dusky Thorn (Ennomos fuscantaria) 1
2133 Six-striped Rustic (Xestia sexstrigata) 4
2176 Antler Moth (Cerapteryx graminis) 1
2303 Straw Underwing (Thalpophila matura) 1
2353 Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea) 2
2368 Crescent (Celaena leucostigma) 3
2369 Bulrush Wainscot (Nonagria typhae) 2
2370 Twin-spotted Wainscot (Archanara geminipuncta) 5

Epermenia falciformis
Epermenia falciformis

Endothenia quadrimaculana
Endothenia quadrimaculana

Bulrush Wainscot
Bulrush Wainscot

Twin-spotted Wainscot
Twin-spotted Wainscot


Antler Moth
Antler Moth

Six-striped Rustic
Six-striped Rustic

Highest counts:
2343x Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.) 129
1304 Agriphila straminella 76
1303 Agriphila selasella 74
2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) 48
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) 23
1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) 20

Agriphila selasella
Agriphila selasella

Other highlights:
0609 Elachista maculicerusella 14
0898 Limnaecia phragmitella 6
1290 Chilo phragmitella 2
1292 Calamotropha paludella 17
1336 Eudonia pallida 1
1348 Ringed China-mark (Parapoynx stratiotata) 1
1997 Sallow Kitten (Furcula furcula) 6
2197 Southern Wainscot (Mythimna straminea) 2
2289 Knot Grass (Acronicta rumicis) 2
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 1
2384 Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua) 1

Sallow Kitten
Sallow Kitten

The rest:
0294 Aspilapteryx tringipennella 1
0422 Argyresthia albistria 2
0516 Large Clover Case-bearer (Coleophora trifolii) 4
0658 Carcina quercana 4
0873 Blastobasis adustella 3
0874 Blastobasis lacticolella 1
0937 Agapeta hamana 12
0966 Cochylis atricapitana 1
0970 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis cerasana) 1
0972 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis heparana) 5
1010 Red-barred Tortrix (Ditula angustiorana) 2
1036 Acleris forsskaleana 1
1076 Celypha lacunana 1
1108 Lobesia abscisana 3
1126 Ancylis badiana 1
1197 Eucosma campoliliana 1
1205 Bud Moth (Spilonota ocellana) 1
1305 Agriphila tristella 18
1331 Water Veneer (Acentria ephemerella) 1
1362 Pyrausta purpuralis 1
1378 Phlyctaenia coronata 1
1388 Udea lutealis 7
1439 Trachycera advenella 18
1452 Phycita roborella 1
1470 Euzophera pinguis 2
1640 Drinker (Euthrix potatoria) 1
1682 Blood-vein (Timandra comae) 3
1708 Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) 1
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) 2
1724 Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia) 3
1725 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe ferrugata) 1
1738 Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata) 7
1742 Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata) 1
1759 Small Phoenix (Ecliptopera silaceata) 1
1811 Slender Pug (Eupithecia tenuiata) 1
1825 Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata) 7
1883 Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata) 2
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) 5
1913 Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) 1
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) 1
2007 Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula) 1
2011 Pale Prominent (Pterostoma palpina) 8
2044 Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola) 1
2064 Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) 5
2087 Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum) 1
2089 Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) 1
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) 6
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 19
2109 Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) 18
2110 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata) 5
2112 Least Yellow Underwing (Noctua interjecta caliginosa) 3
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 18
2173 Lychnis (Hadena bicruris) 1
2198 Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura) 11
2284x Grey Dagger / Dark Dagger (Acronicta tridens/psi) 2
2297 Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidea) 2
2318 Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina) 8
2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) 10
2341 Cloaked Minor (Mesoligia furuncula) 4
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 2
2450 Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita) 2
2474 Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis) 5

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Garden Mothing Update

I haven't posted any garden mothing results from August - not that I've done much. The following summaries being everything up to date.

01/08/2010 - total catch 183 of 59sp.
(125W MV 105 of 41; 80W/100W actinic/tungsten combo 78 of 35)

1303 Agriphila selasella 1

First for year in garden:
0438 Swammerdamia pyrella 1
1038x Acleris laterana/comariana 1
1313 Catoptria pinella 1
2305 Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara) 1

Highest counts:
2343x Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.) 32
2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) 13
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) 10
1036 Acleris forsskaleana 9
1439 Trachycera advenella 9
1304 Agriphila straminella 7
1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) 7
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) 7
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) 7

Best of the rest:
1424 Endotricha flammealis 2
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
1883 Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata) 1
1981 Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi) 2
2008 Coxcomb Prominent (Ptilodon capucina) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 2

07/08/2010 - total catch 266 of 57sp.
(125W MV 118 of 37; 160 MBT 148 of 44)

First for year in garden:
0460 Ypsolopha parenthesella 1
0789 Bryotropha domestica 1
1309 Agriphila geniculea 1
1913 Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) 2
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 1
2439 Gold Spot (Plusia festucae) 2

Highest counts:
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) 37
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) 33
2343x Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.) 32
0873 Blastobasis adustella 19
1439 Trachycera advenella 14
1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) 12
2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) 11

Best of the rest:
0266 Bucculatrix nigricomella 1
1001 Lozotaeniodes formosanus 1
1303 Agriphila selasella 2
1424 Endotricha flammealis 5
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 2
1839 Bordered Pug (Eupithecia succenturiata) 2
1883 Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata) 3
2011 Pale Prominent (Pterostoma palpina) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1

Gold Spot
Gold Spot

Rosy Rustic
Rosy Rustic

Canary-shouldered Thorn
Canary-shouldered Thorn

08/08/2010 - total catch 291 of 58sp.
(125W MV 183 of 50; 80W/100W actinic/tungsten combo 108 of 34)

First for year in garden:
0287 Caloptilia robustella 1
0969 Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis corylana) 1
1914 Dusky Thorn (Ennomos fuscantaria) 1

Highest counts:
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) 40
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) 34
2343x Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.) 27
0873 Blastobasis adustella 16
1138 Epinotia nisella 14
1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) 13
1439 Trachycera advenella 13
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) 10
1331 Water Veneer (Acentria ephemerella) 10

Best of the rest:
0125 Emmetia marginea 3
1424 Endotricha flammealis 3
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
1682 Blood-vein (Timandra comae) 1
1883 Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata) 1
1913 Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) 2

11/08/2010 - total catch 142 of 39sp.
(125W MV 773 of 31; 80W/100W actinic/tungsten combo 65 of 22)

First for year in garden:
0419 Argyresthia semifusca 1
2300 Old Lady (Mormo maura) 1

Highest counts:
2343x Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.) 26
1937 Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria) 21
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) 11
1439 Trachycera advenella 9
1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) 8

Best of the rest:
0363 Phyllonorycter platanoidella 1
1424 Endotricha flammealis 1
1452 Phycita roborella 1
2384 Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1

Phycita roborella
Phycita roborella

Least Yellow Underwing
Least Yellow Underwing

Shuttle-shaped Dart
Shuttle-shaped Dart

Volcanic Sugar

It's just about that time to get out, refresh and start using the mothing sugar. So, I set about the annual routine which I fully expected would take less than an hour and give me time to update the records database / blog.

500ml of some obscure cheap 'strong brown ale' from the Co-op went into the pan and brought to the boil. So far so good. Then in went 500g of the cheapest darkest unrefined molasses sugar I could find. Still going good. Then in went the unused contents of 3 jars of sugar from last year. In fact, within this mix is the sugar from the year before that etc etc. It's a perpetual recycling event - whether it works is another matter of course. Still looking good, and I left the pan on a very low heat to ensure all sugar dissolved and old/new sugary mixes nicely amalgamated.

'Whilst that's on, I'll just nip to the garden and put this box that the sugar came in and the beer bottle in the recycling bins' I thought.

It must have been only 30 seconds, but when I returned to the kitchen there was a brown syrup volcano erupting from the pan all over the built in hob and flowing down the front of the oven onto the floor and under the kick board. Christ all-fecking mighty!

The sugar is actually pretty easy to clean up - from a nicely accessible surface. However it took me a good hour and a half to return the area to the pre-event condition. I did think about grabbing a couple of photos before cleaning up to illustrate - but the look on Nichola's face suggested this would be a bad idea ......

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Beetles

I've managed to get behind with moth recording summaries - not completely sure why, but usual mid summer apathy may be involved. I'll catch up on the garden this evening to post tomorrow, and I'll also have a summary of a session at Cossington Meadows from last Saturday night.

In the meantime, here are some big beetles that turned up at moth traps on Saturday night ..

Great Diving Beetle
Great Diving Beetle at Cossington Meadows - a superb big female

Lesser Stag Beetle
Lesser Stag Beetle - another one from Cossington, and very nice too.

Both of the above definitely fall into the category of non-lepidopteran insects in moth traps that I think of as 'mothing mates' - ones I like to see.

Unlike this smelly bastard ..

Burying Beetle - Nicrophorus investigator
A burying beetle, Nicrophorus investigator from the garden trap. Looks nice, smells bad, infested with mites all over the abdomen. A 'mothing villain'.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Retro Electro

This week, I have mostly been listening to some classic old school electro and electro-funk. I've still got a load of this stuff on vinyl from c1982 to 1984, and great stuff it is too.

Emerging from the hip-hop scene, it was a great time for electronic dance music with the first fully programmable drum machines like the awesome Linn LM-1 (which was years ahead of it's time in using digital drum samples) and the awesome Roland TR-808 in widespread use, the Roland VP-330 Vocoder in use as the main vocal tool rather than a special effect, and superb analogue synthesis driving along behind the beats.

Here's the paradox though - back then when I used to play it too loud in my bedroom as a spotty 14 year old my parents used to remark on what a noisy load of old rubbish it was. Now as I am playing it even louder my kids are looking at me like I'm a mentalist with a 'what's this load of old shit?' look on their bemused faces.

No You Tube videos - just the aural pleasure ......

First up, how can something be so minimalistic and politically motivated and yet still make you want to body pop? This is Ray-Gun-Omics by Project Future, a piece of vinyl I fully intend to hang on to. Play it loud and to the end before passing judgement.

More bounce to the ounce.
This is sheer magic - Loopzilla by the funkiest nutter on the planet, George Clinton.

Clear - Cybotron
A perfect example of vocoder and analogue synth magic.

In The Bottle by C.O.D.
This just wouldn't sound the same without a TR-808.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

North Devon Mothing

As I mentioned in the last post, I managed to smuggle a couple of traps down to the inlaws. It's been a while since I've trapped at this time of year and I was hoping to catch up again with a couple of species I've recorded previously.

There were a few spots of very light rain just before dusk, and it was looking a bit overcast but it remained mild with a just a light breeze and the rain held off all night. I ran a 125W MV and the 80W/100W actinic/tungsten combo.

Despite the conditions, the total catch was a superb 438 of 94sp (+1 pending). Highlights were as follows:

First for year:
0453 Honeysuckle Moth (Ypsolopha dentella) 6
1725 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe ferrugata) 3
1794 Sharp-angled Carpet (Euphyia unangulata) 2
1809 Twin-spot Carpet (Perizoma didymata) 1
1884 Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata) 1
1888 Scorched Carpet (Ligdia adustata) 2
1893 Tawny-barred Angle (Macaria liturata) 1
1945 Brussels Lace (Cleorodes lichenaria) 1
2037 Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata) 13
2051 Four-spotted Footman (Lithosia quadra) 1
2335 Slender Brindle (Apamea scolopacina) 3
2425 Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli) 5

Highest Counts:
2044 Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola) 73
1702 Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata) 25
1759 Small Phoenix (Ecliptopera silaceata) 22
2050 Common Footman (Eilema lurideola) 22
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 18
1304 Agriphila straminella 16
2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) 14
1405 Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis) 13
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) 12
1390 Udea prunalis 11
1724 Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia) 11
0873 Blastobasis adustella 10

Best of the rest:
0294 Aspilapteryx tringipennella 1
1207 Pine Leaf-mining Moth (Clavigesta purdeyi) 4
1356 Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis) 1
1398 Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella) 1
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 6
1919 Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) 2
1981 Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi) 2
1991 Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor) 1
2049 Buff Footman (Eilema depressa) 3
2060 White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) 1
2061 Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum) 4
2064 Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) 1
2289 Knot Grass (Acronicta rumicis) 3
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 4
2443 Plain Golden Y (Autographa jota) 2

And awaiting confirmation, a possible British Tick for me:
1848 Ash Pug (Eupithecia innotata f. fraxinata) 1

Rosy Footman
Rosy Footman - if this is not the smartest British moth, then what is!?
13 in one night is more than I've seen in total previously

Brussels Lace
Brussels Lace - one of my hoped-for species, and one I've only ever seen in this garden

Sharp-angled Carpet
Sharp-angled Carpet - ditto the above

Four-spotted Footman
Four-spotted Footman - a slightly knackered female,
but an unexpected one and the first time I've actually seen a female

Nut-tree Tussock
Nut-tree Tussock - another one I've only ever seen in this garden

Twin-spot Carpet
Twin-spot Carpet

Scorched Carpet
Scorched Carpet