Thursday, 20 July 2017

Least Carpet

I recorded my first Least Carpet here at Norchard on Tuesday night. I see that at least four were recorded in 2014 when it first appeared in Worcestershire, but I don't know if any have been seen since then?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Barred Rivulet

This one had me flummoxed for a moment when it came into the trap at Haugh Wood on Saturday evening.
Haugh Wood north: Barred Rivulet
Peter Hall

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Migrants in Bewdley

Last night, in addition to a fine Angle-striped Sallow, we had migrants in the form of a Rush Veneer and a Ni Moth. The latter is our second garden record after one in August 2011. Seems like the early Summer bonanza is thinning out now with lesser numbers of Uncertain, Dot etc-and many worn specimens in the trap. Fewer micros  but did catch abietella.

Bringsty Common July 13-14th

Despite the nights being on the cool side, I decided to run 1 trap in the garden to see what arrives.  I've also been looking at the buddleia and ragwort at night to see what is nectaring on them.  Waved Black was the most notable.  The catch on the night of the 13th was better than last nights and it included 2 Angle-striped Sallow moths, Garden Tiger, Brown-line Bright-eye, Satin Beauty and Bordered Pug.  These last 3 are new to the garden so the total creeps ever closer to 700 species.  Indication that Summer is almost over increase with records of Canary-shouldered Thorn and Rosy Rustic.  Common Rustic (aggregates until to look more closely) increase in number every night.  Migrant interest is still low with singleton Nomophila nocutella each night. Excluding some that I have kept for closer analysis, I recorded 63 macros and 29 micros on the 13th and 61 species of macro and 23 micro last night.  The best news was only 8 Large Yellow Underwing last night! Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Angle-striped Sallow

Bringsty Common: Brown-line Bright-eye

Bringsty Common: Bordered Pug

Bringsty Common: Agapeta zoegana

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Surprise in Colwall

A surprise in the garden trap in Colwall on Friday night - Brown-veined Wainscot, a first for me and for vc36. Have yet to find the nearest reedbed. Also a very dark form of Small Fan-footed wave which I haven't seen before. Good to see another Waved Black here  Phyl King
Brown-veined Wainscot

Small Fan-footed Wave

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Bringsty Common July 10th

I very nearly didn't put out a trap last night, and then when walking the dog just before midnight it was getting chilly with a bright moon, so I nearly switched it off.  However, this morning I was surprised at the number of species.  Not so many micros (13 species with about another 5 to add later) but 71 species of macro-moth.  Not too bad after all.  Included in the haul was my second Garden Tiger of the year, my second Suspected, my first Waved Black and first Oak Eggar of the year.  Rosy Footman and Muslin Footman put in appearances and I'm pleased to see Heart & Dart and Large Yellow Underwing numbers in decline.  Uncertain and Rustic numbers now on a par as Rustic builds up and Uncertain declines.  Commonest moth was the Common Footman (23 individuals) for macros and Chrysoteuchia culmella (also 23) for micros.  I shall go out this evening (as you do) and check my ragwort and buddleias for good migrants.  The trap recorded 2 Silver Y only last night. Peter Hall
Bringsty Common: Garden Tiger

Bringsty Common: Waved Black

Bringsty Common: Oak Eggar

Bringsty Common: Suspected

Small Marbled at Halesowen

Small Marbled
Andrew Barker was walking round his Halesowen garden by torchlight in the early hours of yesterday morning (as you do?), when he spotted a Small Marbled at rest on Ragwort.
I believe this is the 5th record for Worcestershire, with the previous records all from 2011.

Patrick Clement

Monday, 10 July 2017

Garden surprises

Last night the garden trap was particularly busy with two new macros, both completely unexpected-Latticed Heath and Campion. Supporting cast included Double Lobed, Dark Dagger, Phoenix, Currant Pug, Scalloped Hook Tip and Round Winged Muslin. Micros were not so prevalent as in previous nights but still included our third Luquitia lobella and a very fresh pallidata.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Haugh Wood July 5th

A warm and humid night, but with a bright moon.  19 degrees at switch on and 16 and switch off some three and a bit hours later. I trapped in my usual spot for 2017 and so far have a total of 99 macro-species and 54 micro-moth species.  It wasn't really busy but more like "steady" and I did expect more activity because of the conditions.  The moon was behind the trees for most of the nights trapping.  Plenty of interest as usual at this excellent site including White-line Snout, Brussels Lace, Clouded Magpie, Double Lobed, Pinion-streaked Snout, Round-winged Muslin, lots of Rosy Footman, and Cloaked Carpet.  Nothing too exciting in the micros as yet, but there are a number to id later in the year.  One of my indicator species for late Summer appeared  - Dun-bar - so that was a sad moment! Peter Hall
Haugh Wood: Brussels Lace

Haugh Wood: Cloaked Carpet

Haugh Wood: Double Lobed

Haugh Wood: Rosy Footman

Haugh Wood: Muslin Footman

Haugh Wood: White-line Snout

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Box Tree Moth

Hi. Thanks for letting me join the group.
I found this Box Tree Moth in the trap in Malvern, Worcestershire yesterday morning. I read that it is a pest and spreading from the South-East, so I was wondering whether it is common in Herefordshire/Worcestershire  now? Nicky Rowberry

Monday, 3 July 2017

South Herefordshire migrants


Trapped down in Whitchurch at the weekend. Lots of new for year, Clouded Magpie, Cloaked Carpet, Beautiful Snout etc, but on Friday night I picked out a Ni Moth. It was handy that I'd seen Robin's the evening before as I knew what to look for. On Saturday night The streak continued when I found a Small Marbled on the trap side!

Ni Moth, Whitchurch 30/6/17

Small Marbled, Whitchurch 1/7/17

Bohemannia quadrimaculella

It seems that I am doing well with sweep-netting Alder's at the moment. Found on the same tree as yesterday's Stathmopoda pedella at Wofferwood Common.

ID confirmed by Erik van Nieukerken.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Stathmopoda pedella

An unexpected find while sweep-netting Alders at Wofferwood Common today. A first for me and probably 2nd record for Herefordshire.

Stathmopoda pedella

Bringsty Common July 1st

In amongst the 69 macro-moth and 23 micro-moth species recorded last night, there was one Small Mottled Willow and one Udea ferrugalisPeter Hall

Friday, 30 June 2017

An Anouncement - Hereford Recording

It is with some sadness that it has been decided that Mike Harper will no longer continue in the role of Hereford County Moth Recorder, due to long term ill health.  Sheila would really appreciate it if no-one made contact with Mike regarding this please.

From immediate effect Phyl King becomes Hereford Macro-moth County Recorder and I become the Micro-moth Recorder.  However, I will also have a copy of the Mapmate Macro-moth database and will be more than happy to receive macro-moth records from you all and answer queries and produce data upon request.  Of course Phyl will too. The county database is for everyone to have information from and I will be glad to help in this respect.

The Micro-moth database needs re-building, with a mass of information needing entering to bring it up to date, a lot of it Mike Harper's records.  This will take some time to do, but I plan to start as soon as possible with the aim to have available all information on Hereford micro-moths, both new and historical.

If you click on the link on the right hand side for the list of County Moth Recorders, you will find details of us both in there and this is a request for all people with moth records, however old, to submit them to me (or Phyl) soonest please.  If they are in notebook form, I am happy to input these for you.  One such recorder last year was delighted when I put in 30,000 of his moth records over the winter months.  I am happy to do this for anyone with Hereford records (notebooks returned after of course).

Some of you I know, and some I don't.  So please can I apologise now if I query a record.  For the micro-moths I shall be using the Butterfly Conservation guide, plus my own experience in micro-moths.  For Macro-moths it will be those that need dissection or are unusual in their rarity or timing.

Peter Hall

Thursday, 29 June 2017


Three nights of trapping just South of Barcelona did not produce any Vestals, but I had one at home this morning in Worcestershire. This Striped Hawk-moth was my Spanish highlight.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Palpita vitrealis & aberrant Swallow-tailed

Alan Prior at Hall Green has also had a good migrant in the last couple of nights, Palpita vitrealis (photo may follow).
He also trapped an interesting form of Swallow-tailed Moth which according to Warwicshire CMR David Brown is a recognised form but very scarce. Patrick Clement

Aberrant Swallow-tailed Moth
Palpita vitrealis

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Another Vestal

Upon returning from Patrick's Hawkbatch venture I just had time to go through the garden trap. The big surprise was a Vestal on the perspex. Are these breeding individuals? Seems rather like the Bordered Straw Summer records of 2015. Seems most unlikely to be a migrant.
Just to note that this June 2017 has been the second best for moths in 11 years recording, only bettered by 2011.

Hawkbatch, Wyre Forest, 26th June.

              With the weather forecasted to go downhill I decided to make use of possibly the last good night for a while and target the Norway Spruce at Hawkbatch for Argyresthia glabratella and Epinotia nanana. I ran 3 traps, using my custom built wheelbarrow to transport traps, cables and generator to a suitable location and was joined by Ian Machin and Steve Whitehouse.
              Sadly we failed to trap either of our targets or indeed some of the Wyre specialities such as Orange Moth, Great Oak Beauty, Oecophora bractella or Dasycera oliviella so the general feeling was that we had a below par performance despite recording in the region of 140 species!
             I photographed just the two specimens below from the nights catch.   Patrick Clement

Amblyptilia punctidactyla

Piniphila bifasciana

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Great Farley Wood, 21st June

Pammene regiana
           Great Farley Wood in North Worcestershire had just a handful of very old moth records on the Mapmate database so my visit on the 21st June, the last night of the heatwave, seemed more valuable than usual because even common moths would be new for the site. As it turned out it wasn't just common moths I recorded, Cydia illutana is a very scarce species in Worcestershire but I recorded 8 of them on a ride bordering mixed conifers and broadleaved trees.
           Argyresthia laevigatella, Cedestis gysseleniella and Narycia duplicella (adult) were all new moths for me and in the perfect conditions my 4 traps were humming. I'm still working on some of the tricky species but the total will certainly be over 160.        Patrick Clement

Cydia illutana
Argyresthia laevigatella
Cedestis gysseleniella
Narycia duplicella

Cryptoblabes bistriga

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Brockhampton Estate - updated!

 A small brown pyrale-like moth has now been identified that came to one of the traps.  It's a Marsh Oblique-barred.  Such a tiny macro-moth, but nonetheless a county first for Hereford.

After a very successful return to Bernwood Forest in Buckinghamshire a couple of nights ago where Dave Wilton and myself recorded well over 200 species (and completed the double - 100+ macros and 100+micros), I felt suitably recovered and enthused to venture out again. This time I went to Limepits Wood on the Brockhampton Estate.  I chose this part as it was fairly well sheltered from the stiff breeze.  Not the most exciting of evenings, but the number of species slowly increased during my 3 hour trapping session.  72 macro species recorded and 24 micro species, with a few potted up to look at more closely.  Blomer's Rivulet numbers were surprisingly low considering I trapped next to a line of young Wych Elm trees, with just 7 individuals.  Other species of note: Dingy Shell (4), Lilac Beauty (1), Sandy Carpet (13), Dingy Shears (1), Triple-spotted Clay (1), Minor Shoulder-knot (2) and the surprise of the night a Vestal.  Commonest moth of the night was The Flame (34). Peter Hall
Brockhampton Estate: Beautiful Carpet

Brockhampton Estate:Blomer's Rivulet

Brockhampton Estate: Dingy Shell

Brockhampton Estate: Swallow-tailed

Brockhampton Estate: Vestal

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The heat is on...

Had to have a day's rest today to catch up on the recent heatwave moths and pinch several 40 winks-oh and a few dog walks! First up are all the garden goodies in this hot spell: Macro highlights have been Satin Lutestring, Beautiful Snout, Red-necked Footman, Blotched Emerald, up to 8 Scarlet Tigers nightly, more Grass Rivulets, Lilac Beauty, Beautiful Carpet, Leopards and a Wainscot invasion on the 20th-14 Smoky, 4 Common, 2 Shoulder-striped and a garden first Obscure.  Unusual Micros included formosa, oppressana and ljungiana.

At Burlish Top, I have netted trifolli, many sinuella, pterodactyla, brunnichana and Marbled White butterflies. Today in the Wyre, near Tanner's Hill car park, I netted the scarce oliviella.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bromyard Downs

My third night in a row.  Who needs sleep?  Promising to be another warm still night, I decided I was well overdue a visit to this site.  The weather station hit 33 late afternoon, but it dropped really quickly just before dark and by the time the lights went on it was 21.  The good news was that it stayed warm, dropping only to 18 by the time I had packed up and left after the 3 hour session plus going through time (around 2.30am).  The bad news was that the breeze picked up and this seemed to reduce the micro-moths in particular from flying too much.  I was joined for part of the night by a neighbour - Evan Bowen-Jones of HWT.

As per usual I have some Minors and Pugs to look at more closely plus around 10 species of micro-moth to id also.  To date the species tally stands at 101 species of macro-moth and 29 species of micro-moth, so I anticipate the final list will be about 140 species.  To my surprise the commonest moth was Grass Rivulet with 88 individuals counted.  Single examples of Triple-spotted Clay, Ruddy Carpet , White Satin and an Obscure Wainscot appeared.  Phyl, how many Obscure Wainscot records do we have now for Hereford? Two or three? The only Dagger to turn up proved to be a Dark Dagger upon closer inspection.

Since trapping in Herefordshire (third season now), all of my Burnished Brass have either had no band between the two burnished parts, or at best a narrow band.  Chatting to Colin Plant, these are likely to be the real Burnished Brass.  For the first time last night I had a good candidate for the Cryptic Brass (stenochrysis), it having a thicker band and a very rounded edge to the cross linkage.  It's worth noting each time you catch one in the event they are offically recognised as two species. See:

Lots of water species like Catacylsta lemnata and Elophila nymphaeata, but no Water Veneer at all (Acentria ephemerella).  And with the lack of any dew, a cool breeze, it was a joy to be outside. Peter Hall
Bromyard Downs: White Satin

Bromyard Downs: Scallop Shell
Bromyard Downs: Oak Nycteoline

Bromyard Downs: Grass Rivulet

Bromyard Downs: Obscure Wainscot
Bromyard Downs: Burnished Brass (Cryptic Brass)

Bromyard Downs: Ruddy Carpet

Haugh Wood

With the weather looking extremely promising I returned to Haugh Wood again to trap in the same spot as last week, which is adjacent to a number of large Small-leaved Lime trees.  Patrick Clement joined me for the evening and together we ran 4 Hall-Robinson 125w moth traps.  At switch on time it was around 21 degrees and after the usual 3 hour session and an hour or so packing up, it was still 15 degrees when we left.  To our surprise things started off slowly, despite the perfect conditions, but slowly increased in activity as the night progressed.  I'm unable to give you exact numbers of species, but my 2 traps recorded to date 91 macro-species and 38 micro-species and I reckon I have about another 15 or so still to id later in the year.  That will make -  using my Grammar school education  - around 140+ species.  In all probability, when Patrick's list is merged with mine, we will be looking at around 180+ species.  Not bad at all in the end.  This site usually turns up moths of interest.  This was no exception, with a Double Line a nice find and the 5th county record.  Beautiful Snout also appeared.  Then I had 2 Brown Scallop in the traps - the first records for 17 years.  And a regular, but still stunning Beautiful Carpet. The star of the show this time, was a micro-moth (of course) when we both recorded Salebriopsis albicilla which will be the third and fourth records for this moth in Herefordshire. I recorded it on the other side of the wood last year. Peter Hall
Haugh is a really excellent site and for me it is like holiday mothing, even relatively common species like Pretty Chalk Carpet and Haworth's Pug are species I don't see in north Worcestershire. Unfortunately the journey from Halesown to Haugh is also a bit like going on holiday so it is not a site I visit very often.   Patrick Clement
Haugh Wood: Beautiful Snout

Haugh Wood: Brown Scallop

Haugh Wood: Beautiful Carpet

Haugh Wood: Double Line
Epinotia signatana

Salebriopsis albicilla