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

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Post-eclipse Moths

Like many did up and down the country, I spent a few minutes yesterday at around 09:20 - 09:35 waiting for darkness and impending doom. It didn't happen, and to be honest I was surprised at how light it remained despite the c89% eclipse we had over clear skies in Leicestershire. A few of us were up on the roof car-park at work making good use of welding masks to view the spectacle, just like I did at my old workplace back in 1999 - good enough protection for brief peeks but not for extended viewing. Once the spectacle was over we were back to full sunshine until later in the afternoon when it clouded over which looked good for getting the garden moth traps out.

Total catch 42 of 9sp.
125W MV 17 of 7sp., 22W/20W Synergetic/Actinic combo 25 of 7sp.

0688  Agonopterix heracliana  7
1524  Emmelina monodactyla  2
1663  March Moth (Alsophila aescularia)  1
1746  Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata)  2
2182  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  1
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  17
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  8
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  3
2243  Early Grey (Xylocampa areola)  1

Early Grey

Clouded Drab

Shoulder Stripe

March Moth

Small Quaker

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Moths and Bits

Managed to run the garden trap on Thursday and Friday nights, using the 22W synergetic combined with a 20W actinic CFL for a change. Neither night was spectacular, but the first Orthosia spp. of the spring turned up ...

Common Quaker

Hebrew Character

Best moth though was another Oak Beauty - raising hopes that this species could become a spring regular in coming years. Definitely a different individual as the first had a damaged patch to the left forewing.


On Friday I also managed to get home from work early enough to enjoy an hour or so of daylight in the garden - feels like the first time that's happened for months. Pointed the camera at a few bits because I could.

Philodromus cespitum

Empoasca vitis

Orchesella cincta

Saturday, 28 February 2015

310 / 659

Back home yesterday afternoon after a week working away in Slovakia. It was mild, dry and with sunshine so I was looking forward to getting the garden trap back out. By the time I lit up though it had turned distinctly chilly and I very low expectations. I was a bit knackered so didn't bother checking the trap at all before heading off to bed early, and it was not until late this morning that I bothered to check it. There was nothing in or under the trap at all, and just a single moth resting on the house wall nearest the trap. So just one moth of one species .......

Oak Beauty - a garden tick!

Not the best individual with a bit of wear and a patch of missing scales, but a nice garden tick all the same. It brings the garden macro list up to 310 and the overall garden moth list to 659.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Overdue - Garden Tiger

Time for another overdue species to highlight, though I'm not sure whether this one really is an overdue or more likely 'long gone' from around here.

Garden Tiger is a species I was familiar with long before I started moth recording, so I was pleased but not spectacularly surprised when one turned up on 22/07/2001 - just my second full year of garden light trapping. Never had a sniff of one here since, and whilst I have seen odd ones over the years whilst out of county trapping (notably at the inlaws North Devon garden and at Wicken Fen) I don't think I've seen one in VC55 since 2006. I'm not expecting this one to reappear in the garden trap any time soon.

Garden Tiger, Whetstone 22/07/2001

Monday, 16 February 2015

Garden Moths / Garden Tick

Ran the garden synergetic last night for the first time this year. Four moths, three species - good to start trapping with a catch rather than a blank!

1524  Emmelina monodactyla  1
1926  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  1
1934  Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria)  2

Still haven't got to grips with indoor photography using the bright led ring I bought. I can't seem to get the right white balance set regardless of what I do including using the photographers grey card. Need more practice, but for that I need more moths in the early/late season and more time. Here's a couple of not too bad quick shots in the meantime.

Pale Brindled Beauty

Dotted Border

Forgot to post a note a couple of weeks back about a lucky garden tick. I'd made some pack-up for work and then promptly forgot to take it in the morning so I nipped home at lunch. Whilst peering out of the kitchen window with a sarnie hovering in front of my face, two Cormorants flew over the garden. I've seen a few flyover Cormorants around here over the last couple of years, but these were the first over the garden.

And whilst I'm at it, here's an old photo from the garden that I found whilst sorting out some old files from one back-up drive to another.

Speckled Bush Cricket, 17/08/2006

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Early Moth

Today was one of those days where it looked quite nice out, a bit of sun and dry, but standing on the touchline this afternoon whilst Josh kicked a bag of wind about with the Cosby team it was bloody freezing cold. All the more surprising then that the first garden macro for 2015 appeared to a lit window this evening - and for the third year on the trot it was an Early Moth.