Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Blood-veins, Minors and a Flycatcher.

Put the moth trap out overnight and was rewarded with 85 moths of 35 species, a nice haul, probably because the temperature stayed above 10C all night. Having said that, most of the moths were either Hearts & Darts (52) or Marbled Minors (10). This later species is really a group of three notoriously difficult to identify species aggregated together, Marbled, Rufous & Tawny Marbled. The only sure way to identity them is under the microscope. Over the years I have had a number of them checked and all three species do occur in the garden, though it would seem that Marbled Minor is the common one, and all the dark, melanistic minors seem to be this species. Of the few Rufous Minors I have had confirmed, they have all been similar, bright warm brown moths with a grey band and a little tuft of rufous on the thorax.  Without dissecting it and  looking at it under the microscope, I am quite confident that one I caught last night was this species.

Probably a Rufous Minor
Easier to identify, but also new for the year last night was my first Common Wainscot of the year,

Common Wainscot
together with only my second and third Blood-vein for the garden,


plus a few new micro-moths - a Bee Moth, 2 Garden Grass-veneer, 2  Pseudargyrotoza conwagana and a Blastobasis lacticolella.

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana 

Later, a Grey Heron flew over, heading toward the village.

I had to take the cat to the vet today and on walking back home along Pelton Fell Road I heard a Spotted Flycatcher. I dashed across the road and was fortunate to pick it up straight away and watched it for a while catching flies, of all things. That little stretch was rather productive as the little meadow by the river there had a couple of Small Skipper butterflies flitting about.

Small Skipper
and the rough ground adjacent to it held a good sized patch of Field Pennycress and the first of the Indian Balsam (aka Policeman's Helmet) in flower along the river bank.

OFFH List this year

Flowering plants - 261
Birds - 104
Butterflies - 15
Moths - 123
Dragonflies - 2
Hoverflies - 8
Mammals - 10 

1 comment:

  1. I`m hoping for a Blood-vein this year, Keith. I`ve found more during the daylight hours, than i`ve netted after dark.