58 moths of 20 species is a little disappointing for the time of year but it did include an Elephant Hawkmoth
- my first since 2011 when I had eight during June.
26/6/13 Overnight Min 9°C.
65 moths, 27 species. Lozotaenoides formosanus, Crysoteuchia culmella, Hypsopygia costalis, Toadflax Pug, Dark Arches, Rustic Shoulder-knot
were all first for the year.
25/6/13 Sunny and warm.
After another poor moth night, another long stretch with the Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project without much in the way of Barn Owls - just one chick. Hardly wildlife but this massive sow and her litter of about 10 were an endearing sight at a barn where owls nested last year:
24/6/13 Continuing breezy but a vast improvement over the weekend's blustery showers and chill breeze.
Slightly better news on the Barn Owls with one chick and an unhatched egg at a box today. Highlight (for me) was finding a Reed Warbler
's nest with one egg near Hickling and the lowlight (for Howard) was seeing another Barn Owl
leave the box before it could be controlled.
22/6/13 Blustery, wet night after a very warm day.
Garden Moth Survey night coincided with rough mothing weather (15 moths, 9 sp) but it did result in my first ever garden Shears
20/6/13 Overnight min 12°. Raining at dawn. Humid and hot later
59 moths of 28 species included a Diamond-back, Small Fan-foot, Grey Pine Carpet, Peppered Moth
and a Brown Silver-line
A netting session in the Burial Ground Meadow put up 32 Silver Y
, 2 Common Blue
, 1 Small Copper
, 3 Yellow Shell
and a Straw Dot
- the first Straw Dot I've seen since 2011. In the net was a micro moth Grapholita compositella
(another was too worn to id) a hoverfly, Eupodes corollae
and an ichneumon, Amblypteles (armatorius?)
19/6/13 Cloudy calm night. Min 12°
45 moths of 22 species was the best catch so far this year and included a Figure of 80
. Willow Beauty, Dot
and Middle-barred Minor
were also firsts for the year among the macros.
18/6/13 Clear skies at dawn. Hot and humid later
I was expecting more but at least the 18 moths of 9 species included a Pale Tussock
Out with RUBOP again for three hours around Wysall, Widmerpool and Costock but once again there were no eggs and no chicks though one box held a pair of roosting birds.
I spotted a day-flying Small Yellow Underwing
amongst some lovely grassland near Thorpe in the Glebe.
17/6/13 Warm and cloudy.
More moths this morning! 31 of 19 species but nothing too exciting amongst them.
Out with RUBOP most of the day visiting ten boxes and not finding a single egg or chick. At least not of the intended Barn Owl though there was a big Tawny Owl
chick near Radcliffe and a pair of adult Barn Owls
in a box together further east only one of which was ringed.
16/6/13 Breeze easing and a bright start. 11.2° min.
Two moths - both Heart & Dart. Looking back for my best 16th June catch, it was in 2011 with 191 moths of 34 species. 112 of them were Heart & Dart!
15/6/13 Breezy with overnight rain
Garden Moth Survey night so I dutifully put out the trap and was rewarded with 3 Heart & Dart and 1 Common Marbled Carpet! The same night last year (hardly a classic in itself) got 69 moths of 17 species.
The Burial Ground Meadow had Common Blue and several Small Coppers on the wing, a Nettle-tap Moth and a hoverfly new to me; Helophilus trivittatus. A Yellow Wagtail was heard flying over.
14/6/13 Breezy sunny am, heavy showers pm.
No moth trapping for two nights as conditions were so unfavourable.
Another visit to the Wysall Lane Wildflower Meadow in between showers found Small White
and Small Copper
butterflies on the wing and another Silver Y
A more careful look also found the odd Quaking Grass
and Crested Dogstail
and some reference to the Wild Flower Key got Lesser Trefoil
(as well as Black Medick).
Howard of the Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project called to say that his first round of the nest boxes on Thursday had been a total disappointment as far as Barn Owls were concerned but that he was able to ring three Little Owl
chicks from the box next to Fox Hill (where I'd photographed a Little Owl guarding the entrance). Reports and confirmations of dead Barn Owls at Costock and elsewhere may be the prelude to a disastrous year for the species. The relentless rain of last summer followed by the bitter winter and delayed spring seem to have taken its toll. Reports that my moth-ing experience is typical would suggest that our bats are going to be in trouble too.
12/6/13 Breezy and mild with some sunshine.
Despite a milder night the dire mothing season continues with the highlight being a stranded Peppered Moth
(stuck to the greenhouse dew) with Flame Shoulder
and Heart & Dart
. June is also the doldrums for local birdwatching so without some sunshine, to stir the butterflies, natural history is slow. However there was a Common Blue
(butterfly) and a Silver Y
in the burial ground meadow and the following species of plant were in flower: Pignut, Ox-eye Daisy, Ribwort Plantain, Meadow Buttercup, Red Clover, Common Mouse-ear, Yellow Rattle, Common Sorrel, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Tare, Black Medick
and Ragged Robin. Meadow Foxtail
are coming in to bloom.
7/6/13 Overnight min 6.5°.
16 moths of 11 species; The star was the garden's second ever Coronet
whilst Common Marbled Carpet
and Poplar Hawkmoth
were new for the year. Coronet is at the edge of its British range here and gardens are not favoured habitat though the tall Ash in a corner of mine seems near enough to its preferred woodland.
10:00 - 12.00 V. Warm and sunny
A Yellow Wagtail
was an unexpected bird for summertime but the rest of the birds were predictable - Green Woodpecker, Buzzards, Pied Wagtails
, etc. A Silver Y
moth was in the Meadow and three Chimney Sweepers
were present today also but the best insect was a Large Red Damselfly
- an addition to the reserve list. The Meadow is not really a diverse Odonata site despite what some literature might tell you.
The Burial Ground Wildflower Meadow is as difficult to capture in a photo as any, but here's my effort:
5/6/13 Max 15° and cloudy all day.
16 moths of 9 species in the garden trap included a Green Silver-lines
The new wildlflower meadow at the burial ground is beginning to look really nice and is a million times better than I could have wished considering last summer's rank display. Unfortunately, the sewer running through the field has been blocked and there is a large area of unsavoury ground in the middle of the field so if you visit, avoid the centre and step carefully. Severn Trent has resolved the problem for now at least.
Who said moths were dull brown things?
4/6/13 05.30 5.6° at 04:30 but another sunny day ahead.
18 moths of 10 species included the season's first Green Carpet, Heart and Dart
and Flame Shoulder
. Scalloped Hazel
is the most numerous species at the moment.
3/6/13 08:30 - 10:15 Very warm and sunny
A Privet Hawkmoth
and a Muslin
were the best of the garden moths (12 of 8 species).
Following the drenching by dew yesterday, I returned with brushcutter and secateurs and cleared paths of the rank vegetation and overhanging hawthorn and elder that has sprung up in the last week; the growth rate has been remarkable. The Hawthorn
is only now coming in to full flower (at least two weeks later than normal) and although the Pignut
is blossoming, there were no Chimney Sweeper moths evident.
2/6/13 04:00 - 06:00 Cool but sunny. (Hot later)
After an early night I was checking the moths at 4.00am (Scalloped Hazels, Brimstones, Common and Brindled Pugs
plus Argyresthia trifasciata
and then out for a walk to the Meadow between 4.30 and 6.00. The low sun and promise of a hot day was nice, but the dew and lack of early-morning wildlife surprises was a) wet and b) a disappointment.
Tim has a preponderance of black lambs from his white ewes.
1/6/13 Warm and sunny.
Ian has now ringed the Blue Tits and sent this sequence of photos from eggs to ringed fledgling.
Here's hoping for reports of these birds and the Tree Sparrows in future months and years.