Thursday, 18 August 2011

What is the first sign of autumn?

So what is the first sign of autumn?
The Common Swifts have all gone or the Swallows gathering on the telegraph wires or the first of the Sallow moths of the year appearing. This morning it was yes to all of them. Autumn is approaching, and at a rapid pace.

Centre-barred Sallow - A sign of autumn

Put the moth tap out last night and it was quite good, at least for species and especially as the temperature dropped to single figures.84 moths of 29 species were present this morning including 7 new ones.
These were:
Aspilapteryx tringipennella 
Blastobasis adustella
Agriphila straminella
Scoparia pyralella 
Acleris laterana
Purple Bar
Centre-barred Sallow

The Aspilapteryx tringipennella  took some working out as admittedly its not the most exciting of species, and four more were also rather drab micros. I am saying Acleris laterana as opposed to Acleris comariana which can be virtually identical mainly because of the time of year. Though both species have occurred in the garden in the past, this one was the first this year.

Aspilapteryx tringipennella
The Purple Bar was the best of the bunch but it was on the outside of the trap and as soon as I got the camera near an eruption of Large Yellow Underwings flushed it and it was gone. As I said, the first of the Sallows was also present, a Centre-barred Sallow, my earliest ever (by 6 days). I always regard getting my first of the Sallows as a sure sign that autumn is just around the corner. The moth list for the year moves to 219. A few other nice moths were in the trap too including

Sallow Kitten

Gold Spot

Also in the trap this morning, as well as a half dozen Common Wasp were 2 of the Big Black Dung beetles  Nicrophorus humator, a Heather Fly and another of the smaller dung beetles, this one being Aphodius rufipes, which occurs not uncommonly in moth traps.

Aphodius rufipes
Though it was dull and overcast when I got home I did see a Speckled Wood near the house and a small party of Mistle Thrush flew over.


  1. Nice one, Keith. Yeah, autumn is upon us.
    The LYU`s are a real pain for disturbing everything else in the trap. Something i don`t miss, one bit.

  2. As I say every year, what happened to the summer?