Friday, 24 September 2010

From out of town

Had little time to check the moth trap this morning so I've covered it up and kept it dry. I did seen my first Green-brindled Crescent of the year lurking inside at least, so it's looking promising. In this weather the contents should settle down and will be quiet enough for me to go through when I get back home later.
A north-easterly wind and rain so there should be some decent seabirds passing offshore today and tomorrow at least, though they will not be seen in Waldridge that's for sure - Oh I wish I could be proved wrong.

7 House Martin flew south over the house early on and also 2 Blackbird heading south-west high up, these may well not be local birds.

Later, when I was in Sunderland we caught a strange insect that was climbing up an office wall. It turned out to be a Western Conifer Seed Bug - Leptoglossus occidentalis.  This is a spectacular and quite large beetle  which has characteristic expansions on the hind tibiae and a white zigzag mark across the centre of the forewings. Native to the USA and introduced into Europe in 1999, this species has since spread rapidly and during the autumn of 2008 and 2009 influxes of immigrants were reported from the coast of southern England, with a wide scatter of records inland.

Western Conifer Seed Bug 

I know it has been seen in Cumbria but I'm unaware of any Durham records so I'm making some enquiries.

As it happens, the sea-watching at the coast was very disappointing, with the wind nothing like as strong as forecast. Checked the trap when I got back, 41 Moths of 16 species were present, as well as the Green-brindled Crescent, which was a spanking fresh individual with it's patches of metallic green scales, there were 2 Lunar Underwing which were also new for the year. Took the whole catch into the Hermitage woods for release as I have to put the trap out again tonight.

Green-brindled Crescent
Lunar Underwing

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