Sunday, 28 June 2015

110 moth sp and some goodies

A successful moth morning at Strumpshaw on Saturday saw 110 species, a decent haul to look through and it did take a little longer than the allotted event time (I overran by an hour!) but while there were still moths to show I was happy to look through them.

The trap was roughly 70/40 Macro:micro split, the macros were good but it was the micros that really held the interest (for me).

The highlights were a 1st for the 10k square and a first for the reserve, Biselachista albidella and crambus ulignosellus, other new for me were elachista maculicerusella. A tortrix -phalonidia udana or manniana was also taken, udana is a newly discovered species so it would be great to get this, however gen det is needed to be sure, so I may hang on to that one for someone else to have a closer look (dad?).
we had the reedbed pyralid quintet as well as the following; I'm aware there may be limited interest in the following, but it took me a while to id them all so thought i'd share it!
Argyresthia cupressella
Parachronistis albiceps
Olindia schumacherana
Phiaris micana
Clepsis consimilana
Aethes beatricella
Aleimma loeflingiana
Crambus uliginosellus
Biselachista albidella
Elachista maculicerusella
Chrysoteuchia culmella
Crambus pascuella
Scoparia ambigualis
Celypha lacunana
Tortrix viridana
Agapeta hamana
Aphomia sociella
Udea olivalis
Hofmannophila pseudospretella
Epiblema uddmanniana
Archips podana
Parapoynx stratiotata
Dipleurina lacustrata
Eucosma cana
Hedya pruniana
Chilo phragmitella
Nymphula stagnata
Eudonia pallida
Brachmia inornatella
Epiblema cynosbatella
Donacaula forficella
Calamotropha paludella
Teleiodes luculella
Schoenobius gigantella
Donacaula mucronellus
Psyche casta
Nematopogon metaxella        


Monday, 22 June 2015

Moths are on the up

With Saturday night being around 14 degrees and cloudy all night I thought it would be rude not to put my two new home made MV traps out to see what moths I could catch and of course ensure the traps worked!
I woke up at around 4.30 and an almighty rainstorm had just moved through the broads, the roads were absolutely drenched and I feared for the MV bulbs (even with rainguards!). I was happy to see that both lights were still in good working order so I set up the table, made a coffee and went about the identification process.

The trap in the fen was bursting with life with around 58 species in it. a lot of routine expected moths for the time of the year, but there were a few highlights;
-A whopping 11 elephant hawkmoths in 1 trap
-Rosy footmn
-Silky wainscot
-Alder Kitten
-White pinion spotted
-puss moth
-2 figure of 80
-2 Alder moth
-Cream bordered green pea
-2 Flame wainscot
-Beautiful golden Y
-Reedbed pyralid trio- schoenobius gigantella, donacaulia murcronella and chilo fragmitella
-Phiaris micana (a scarce moth in Norfolk, 2 were seen at Claxton last week too) this is a new species for me.

The woodland trap, which I was expecting to be jam packed as it is often the case that the woodland far exceeds the fen trap, was very quiet for a change. There were many less moths and only around 30 species. Some of these were new for the day though, this trap did have slightly more micros in it, which are always more of an identification challenge for me.
The list got to 73 species by the end of the mornings micro identifications, which is not bad, given that it has been a slow year so far, but still down a bit on what I would be expecting for the time of year and the trap location, very nice to see a decent selection though.
This Saturday coming is the reserve moth morning so hopefully it will be a repeat performance or better. If the weather is mild on Friday night I may put a trap in the meadows to give a third habitat trap (book up at Strumpshaw office if you wish to attend the session 8am start on Saturday)
Phiaris micana

Silky wainscot

Alder Kitten

White pinion spotted

Alder Moth

Beautiful golden Y

Beautiful golden Y

Donacaulia mucronella

Schoenobius gigantella

Chilo phragmitella

Donacaulia mucronella

Reedbed pyralid trio

attractive coleophora sp

Lathronympha stringana

Friday, 12 June 2015

Nick Nack Paddy Wack!

Filthy twitching again today!
After a 4am start moth trapping at Winterton I headed up the point to try to see the Paddyfield Warbler.

I arrived at the beach car park at 9am and with the low tide helping take the strain off of the walking I was at long hills in just under an hour. The blue sky, warm sun and cool easterly breeze with terns of all species plunging next to me made the walk very pleasant as always.
Shortly after I arrived an organised search was conducted by the NT staff. This yielded 4-5 flight views, one of which I actually managed to follow with my scope somehow, this gave me the first view of its supercillium. Apart from that it was a cold coloured acro seen briefly, not ideal for a uk tick! After the flush Adam Pointer and I searched Yankee ridge area and some annoying sightings ensued. Firstly we had small bird fly up from the path and crash into some suada, we flushed it once more but failed to see it well, we both thought the colour size and shape was spot on for Quail. The annoying thing was that on the views we got I'm not sure that a young partridge could be ruled out, however it was most probably a quail on shape size and colour. Secondly we saw a rather plain looking passerine fly by us calling, neither of us recognised the call and watched it fly by and into the suada not far from the paddyfield warbler spot. The bird was rather plain brown all over and looked good for a finch, no pale in the tail or grey in the wing (tail was seen spread) and clearly not a dunnock. This rules out just about every breeding passerine on the point as mipit, skylark, reed bunting and linnet are the main contenders (all with pale somewhere). So it is another probable, rosfinch this time.
We headed back to see the mid day flush of the paddy. This time we had another 4 or so flights and it perched up for a couple of seconds in full view too, which was great. I was happy that I had all features that I was likely to see, essentially it was a cold coloured acro with a pale supercilium and no warm rump, I didnt get the bill pattern though!
I decided  to stay for the final flush since I had not seen the species before and it was almost guarenteed to see it again. The first two fushes I was concentrating on seeing the bird well enough to be happy to add it to my uk list, I decided to stay for the third to try and photograph it.
Photographing an illusive acro being flushed in suada was always going to be a challenge but I gave it a go thanks to 6 flights. The results are hardly great but I suspect the readers of this blog are well used to some dodgy shots of rarities by now, but as hoped I suspect it is identifiable from the photos (with a good description alongside it!) I was standing next to David Bryant who has a proper camera so hopefully some better shots will be his blog tonight.
So another addition to my uk list and certainly a bird that was not particularly expected, especially in Norfolk as always a very welcome addition!

A big thanks to the Nation Trust staff for carrying out the 'organised searches' for the bird, without the rope fence and staff flushes the bird would have been booted all over the place and probably not seen as well.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Strumpy explosion

We are at that time of the year again where Strumpshaw Fen explodes into life, especially when the sun shines. There are so many inverts to be seen as well as plants and of course birds, its always my favorite time of the year to go for a walk around and see new things each time. It can be a sensory overload at times especially when you are faced with bitterns fying, bearded tits rapidly feeding, endless hidden warblers singing a few feet away as well as swallowtails emerging from the fen alongside dragons and damselflies of all shapes and sizes. It really is great to see the fen burst into life each year, it transforms from its dead reed coloured state into a lush green.

Swallowtails have been showing superbly by the reception nectar garden this year

Always good to see GG's with young

Common Twayblade near reception
1st nesting female bittern of the year

Rhinga campestris AKA Pinocchio hoverfly

Golden-Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens

Scarce Chaser abetter example than the male above

Speckled bush cricket nymph