25/07/13 23° and very humid.
Both meadows have been mown and baled. This is the first time it's happened in Keyworth Meadow and it is hoped that if it continues, the flora will improve as the nutrients reduce. The paths in Keyworth Meadow are very overgrown and contractors are due in over the next couple of weeks to redress this.
There were many butterflies on the wing in the hot humid conditions including these Small
and Green-veined Whites
finding something to their liking on horse droppings in the manner of Purple Emperor:
20/07/13 Overnight min. 16°.
This Scarce Silver-lines
was the best of 41 species overnight:
226 moths of 67 species this morning. The last few days have seen lots of moths but nothing out of the ordinary amongst them but today I found two new species; the distinctively marked tortrix, Epiblemma foenella
and a Narrow-winged Pug
, the latter is associated with heather which is not a wild plant locally but the moth is said to be prone to vagrancy. 92 species so far this month is already the best since 2006.
11/07/13 11.3° overnight minimum.
A much poorer moth night only got 21 species with a Brown Rustic
being the most unusual of them.
A visit to Cotgrave Forest confirmed the continuing presence of Dark-green Fritillaries
there. The meadow had been mown for hay rather earlier than usual (in common with most other hay fields) but there were still hundreds of Meadow Browns
, a Small Skipper
lots of Ringlet
, a few Speckled Wood
and a single Small Tortoiseshell
A Common Toad
was making its way somewhere.
Melilot, Figwort, Self-heal
and Spiked Sedge
were spotted along the ride.
10/07/13 13° overnight minimum.
164 moths and 48 species this morning included a Buff Arches
, a Beautiful Hook-tip
and another Red-necked Footman
09/07/13 11.7° overnight minimum.
Two Privet Hawkmoths (bringing the total this year to 5) were the best of the 85 moths and 29 species. Dicrorampha alpinana was a new species for the garden - found at rest on Ox-eye Daisy during the day.
08/07/13 14° overnight minimum (and again)
102 moths of 35 species included the first Spinach
for the garden, which was not a great surprise as they are nationally common and a Red-necked Footman
, which was a very nice surprise, as they are so scarce. The first Notts specimen since the 1800's was recorded in 2005 and this is the fourth since then. Correction; 5th - one was found in north Notts a couple of weeks ago.
07/07/13 14° overnight minimum (again)
111 moths of 41 species was the best this year (so far) but there was little to write home about among the catch. Though it did include my first garden Nettle-tap (which is common all around Keyworth) and my first ever Cherry-bark Tortrix (Enarmonia formosana). A Ghost, a Marbled Beauty and two Miller were firsts for the year.
06/07/13 14° overnight minimum
Ian has revisited the Tree Sparrow boxes and informed me that of the three second broods, two failed - each had five well-grown but dead chicks and Ian believes that the foul weather last weekend may have made it impossible to find sufficient food. However the other box had healthy chicks that were on the verge of fledging. So, I make that six successful broods of Tree Sparrow (and one of Blue Tit). It is remarkable how a few adverse days of weather, even in high summer, can prove so catastrophic.
Overnight mothing was a trifle disappointing given the overnight minimum and calm conditions: 50 moths and 28 species included a Varied Coronet.
05/07/13 10° at dawn and very warm and sunny later
73 moths of 36 species was the best night so far this year. They included 2 Sycamore
, 3 Coronet
the first Swallow-tailed
of the year and 19 of the 36 were micros, which, several years ago, would have gone largely unnamed. My most macros in one night was back in 2005 (July 9th) with 37 (plus 10 micros) and the most species was July 2nd 2011 with 55 but 22 of those were micros.
In the evening I joined one of Keyworth's cub packs for a trip to the meadow and a spot of kick sampling:
We found a few small Stone Loach
and there were lots of Chimney Sweepers
on the wing amongst the lush, tall grasses.
An outline planning application was brought to my attention last week by Neil Hunter as it involves the parish boundary hedge between Keyworth and Stanton on the Wolds. We had a look at a short length of this hedge and found that it contained Crab Apple, Midland Hawthorn, Common Hawthorn, Field Maple, Wych Elm, Dogwood, Hazel, Elder, Blackthorn and White Willow. I'm advised by Neil that hedgerow Hazels are very rare in this area and this and the presence of Midland Hawthorn (they are both woodland species) suggests that this hedge was created from the ancient woodland that would once have stood here and that it is at least 800 years old and maybe a lot older - dating from a time when the parish boundaries were first agreed i.e. before 1086 when the Domesday book was produced.
If there are any landscape archaeologists out there who can add to or put me straight on this - I'd be very appreciative.
The worrying thing about this is that neither the ecological survey, nor the tree survey commissioned by the developer noticed the importance of the feature and in fact the ecologists (ecology solutions ltd) dismissed the hedge as of no importance at all. Their survey identified only "willow, blackthorn and bramble" (despite their survey being in June 2012) and they said that "whilst (H4) will be lost, losses will be fully compensated through new landscape planting"!
02/07/13 Double figure temperatures overnight
35 moths of 16 species is rather poor but this year has thrown up a few surprises considering the low numbers. The "Suspected" turned out to be the "Uncertain"! but the catch did include another new micro, Phtheochroa rugosana. This is described as "local" and the distribution map in Sterling et. al. suggests it is not recorded at all from this part of the midlands and it is classed as a very scarce resident or migrant in Leiestershire.
This moth seemed to me to be broader-winged than the Uncertain/Rustic with a (straight) cross band between the orbicular stigmata but which nomally curves forwards from the reniform stigmata. A gen. det. showed it to be the Uncertain (Hoplodrines alsines).