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

Friday, 31 August 2012

Bawdsey Botany & Bits

Before the mothing, I had a bit of time to wander around the site and noted a few new plants and also noted a few other bits .....

Yellow Horned-poppy

Common Sea-lavender


Common Cord-grass

Sea Sandwort

These Colletes sp. were massed on flowering grass (not sure which grass, or Colletes sp.!)

Migrant Hawker

Common Lizard

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bawdsey Quay Mothing 26/08/2012

I've already mentioned the Convolvulous Hawk-moth, White-line Darts and Archer's Darts that we took during the mothing session at Bawdsey Quay in Suffolk on Sunday night - about time I posted the combined list from mine and Adrian Russell's 6 traps and mention the other highlights. Thanks to local moth recorder and birder Matthew Deans, we ran our traps around a scrubby area that runs directly onto the large shingle point, with Bawdsey Manor and its wooded grounds behind us.

We ran a good selection of lights overnight: 400W metal halide, 250W MV, 3 x 125W MV and a 160W/40W blended/CFL combo. Conditions were not exactly superb, but not bad - dry, mild, mainly clear but with a stiff NE breeze to start which then dropped. Our combined total catch was an excellent 931 of 101sp. (with one additional micro pending ID). Here's the list, with new species for me highlighted in bold blue, and other goodies (ie things we don't usually see in VC55) highlighted in green:

0015  Orange Swift (Hepialus sylvina)  4
0385  Anthophila fabriciana  1
0411  Argyresthia goedartella  2
0464  Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella)  2
0648  White-shouldered House Moth (Endrosis sarcitrella)  2
0733  Eulamprotes wilkella  1
0776  Teleiopsis diffinis  8
0796  Aroga velocella  1
0819  Scrobipalpa costella  2
0873  Blastobasis adustella  36
0937  Agapeta hamana  2
0965  Cochylis hybridella  5
0966  Cochylis atricapitana  44
0969  Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (Pandemis corylana)  1
0993  Cyclamen Tortrix (Clepsis spectrana)  1
0998  Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)  94
1042  Rhomboid Tortrix (Acleris rhombana)  1
1048  Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana)  7
1076  Celypha lacunana  38
1197  Eucosma campoliliana  1
1207  Pine Leaf-mining Moth (Clavigesta purdeyi)  1
1260  Cydia splendana  2
1303  Agriphila selasella  4
1304  Agriphila straminella  1
1305  Agriphila tristella  8
1307  Agriphila latistria  1
1309  Agriphila geniculea  20
1316  Catoptria falsella  1
1331  Water Veneer (Acentria ephemerella)  1
1338  Dipleurina lacustrata  1
1356  Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)  7
1365  Pyrausta despicata  20
1398  Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella)  5
1405  Mother of Pearl (Pleuroptya ruralis)  20
1452  Phycita roborella  1
1454b  Dioryctria sylvestrella  1
1455  Dioryctria simplicella  1

1488  Agdistis bennetii  4
1497  Amblyptilia acanthadactyla  6
1646  Oak Hook-tip (Watsonalla binaria)  1
1680  Maiden's Blush (Cyclophora punctaria)  1
1699  Least Carpet (Idaea rusticata)  2
1709  Satin Wave (Idaea subsericeata)  1
1713  Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)  2
1728  Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)  2
1738  Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)  26
1742  Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)  13
1752  Purple Bar (Cosmorhoe ocellata)  6
1776  Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria)  27
1784  Pretty Chalk Carpet (Melanthia procellata)  2
1825  Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata)  4
1830  Wormwood Pug (Eupithecia absinthiata)  1
1855  Cypress Pug (Eupithecia phoeniceata)  5
1862  Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)  5
1883  Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata)  5
1890  Sharp-angled Peacock (Macaria alternata)  3
1906  Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)  14
1937  Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria)  5
1961  Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata)  8
1968  Yellow Belle (Semiaspilates ochrearia)  9
1972  Convolvulus Hawk-moth (Agrius convolvuli)  1
1981  Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi)  2
2000  Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius)  1
2006  Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma)  1
2007  Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula)  1
2030  Yellow-tail (Euproctis similis)  1
2031  White Satin (Leucoma salicis)  3
2044  Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola)  2
2047  Scarce Footman (Eilema complana)  8
2061  Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)  1
2081  White-line Dart (Euxoa tritici)  13
2085  Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis)  4

2087  Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum)  23
2089  Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis)  1
2092  Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta)  5
2102  Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)  14
2107  Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)  67
2109  Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes)  6
2110  Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata)  3
2111  Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe)  13
2123  Small Square-spot (Diarsia rubi)  4
2126  Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum)  36
2131  Square-spotted Clay (Xestia rhomboidea)  1
2134  Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa)  12
2154  Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae)  18
2160  Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea)  1
2194  White-point (Mythimna albipuncta)  10
2295  Marbled Green (Cryphia muralis)  1
2297x  Copper Underwing agg. (Amphipyra pyramidea agg.)  2
2299  Mouse Moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis)  1
2303  Straw Underwing (Thalpophila matura)  2
2306  Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)  37
2341  Cloaked Minor (Mesoligia furuncula)  5
2343x  Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.)  5
2353  Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea)  5
2381  Uncertain (Hoplodrina alsines)  1
2384  Vine's Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua)  13
2441  Silver Y (Autographa gamma)  63
2450  Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita)  1
2474  Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis)  1
2477  Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)  42

Aroga velocella

Eulamprotes wilkella

Pyrausta despicata

Dioryctria sylvestrella

Dioryctria simpliciella

Yellow Belle

Cypress Pug


Marbled Green

Lots of other non-lepidopteran highlights (apart from the awesome Ant-lion) in the traps which I'll cover separately, plus a few new plants from around beaches and saltmarsh. I should mention that our shingle traps were part of a larger group effort with more traps running on the saltmarsh and around a wooded car park. Good moths taken in those traps included Sandhill Rustic and Tree-lichen Beauty - both would be new for me but I'm resisting ticking them as I didn't even get a chance to walk around those traps during the night, let alone assist with the emptying! We were also shown a Small Marbled that Matthew took at his current regular site at Bawdsey Hall - a first for Suffolk I believe.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Lets .. Play .. Darts!

Amongst the trapped goodies on Sunday night, we took a bewildering range of coastal darts. By range, I mean in terms of size, colouration and markings - not necessarily species! White-line Dart is rare in VC55, and for some reason I've never knowingly seen one when trapping out of county. I was therefore pleased when we took what was apparently White-line Dart, but this was soon tempered by some frustration and confusion as the night wore on and we ended up with a bunch of potted darts that looked like contenders for Coast or Sand, but were quite likely all White-line and probably included one or more 'new' species currently being extracted from the White-line complex (like 'Dusky Dart' Euxoa eruta). So, here's a few 'White-line Darts' which will have their bits scrutinised in due course.

Dark dagger marks, white lines - White-Line Dart?

Very dark, barely discernible white line - Dusky Dart?

Small, sandy, err - WTF Dart?

Luckily there were a few other darts that were not so problematic, and featured highly on the unwritten list of moths that I'd really like to see. Stunning.

Archer's Dart

A bit tenuous, but I suppose an archer's dart is an arrow ....

Monday, 27 August 2012


A group of us were moth trapping over in Suffolk last night. Lots of good stuff in the traps, and also a few bits from around the site - but that can wait. Aside from the moths and other bits, we did pick up something that I certainly wasn't expecting. Some things are just inherently awesome for any number of reasons - sheer beauty, impressive size, rarity. This one fits the awesome bill .....


Mind you, this one isn't bad either ....

Convolvulous Hawk-moth

Friday, 24 August 2012


Had a grand family day yesterday at Wells-next-the-Sea; not exactly a nearby place but the beach there is well worth the drive for a long day out. We had a great time, doing all the seasidy things that young boys like to do including some crabbing in the harbour.

I love Wells; the beach is big, sandy and adourned with loads of seashells, with large shallow pools left behind after high tide (no rock pools though), and the pine woods behind are also good for anyone with a wildlife interest. Throughout the day I managed to point the camera at a few things and actually managed to quite easily pick up a fair few new species without any real effort. Some of the plants are fairly confident provisional IDs - shout up if you notice anything clearly wrong.

First up a couple of beetles - one from the beach and one from the scrubby area alongside the wood:

Phaleria cadaverina - kept buring its front end in the sand

Anthocomus rufus - sadly too active to get a fully clear and in-frame shot!

Some beachy stuff:

Frosted Orache

Prickly Saltwort

Sea Rocket

Common Cockle - quite a few live specimens in the shallow pools

Sand Goby - much easier to see in the shallow pools than to photograph!

Green Shore Crab - two of many seen during the day

A couple of bits from the pine wood:

Dogs Vomit Slime Mould - such a charming vernacular name

An as yet unidentified sawfly larva

And some more plants from along the long stretch between the beach and the harbour:

Sea Wormwood

'Glasswort' and Annual Sea-blite growing side-by-side
Appears the Glasswort is not so straightforward to ID as I believed.