Saturday, 27 July 2013

White-letter Hairstreak

The moth trap was relatively quiet with only 2 being new for the year, though both Early and Purple Thorn and a nicely marked July Highflyer being amongst 46 species present. The two new one were Single-dotted Wave and Elachista atricomella .

Elachista atricomella

Single-dotted Wave 

July Highflyer

Purple Thorn 

Later a walk around the fell was more productive as quite out of the blue whilst checking the flat tops of a patch of Tansy for overflies I noticed a White-letter Hairstreak. Apart from seeing some larvae in the adjacent 1k square many years ago by the mine pond off Waldridge Road, this was a first for me (at least) for Waldridge. I was standing on Waldridge Lane at the time and just managed to get my camera out before a car went passed that made both myself and the hairstreak move. I managed to get a single shot off before it flew off. I did manage to get one quick photo.

White-letter Hairstreak

A Chiffchaff  and a Willow Tit were very vocal nearby, with a Tree Sparrow singing, if you can call it that, further up the lane. Three Curlew flew over calling too.

Tree Sparrow

Together with a few more plants and hoverflies seen, my number of species I have seen this year in the 1ksq at Waldridge is now 820, Only 180 o go for the 1000for1ksq challenge.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Summer Fell colours

This warm weather has been great for the moth traps and also the butterflies, especially as this is a quiet time for birds. The fell is looking very dry but there are some patches of colour.

Bell Heather

Lime Hawkmoth
The last couple of catches have have 60-70 odd species each including a sack of new ones for the year including  Lime Hawkmoth, (one of the specialities of the garden), my first ever, though well overdue Broom Moth and a micro moth Ptycholomoides aeriferanus which is rare in the county and another first for me. There have been a few migrant moths turning up in trap too with Silver Ys and Diamond-backed Moths both being caught in fair numbers over the last few weeks. The garden moth list has now hit 200 species this year.

The garden Wood Mouse have avoided me this year until last night when I caught a young hiding behind a box in the garden.

Six-spot Burnet

On the fell both Narrow-bordered five-spot and Six-spot Burnets are on the wing and I have been getting some great butterfly counts both in numbers and species on my little wanderings. 

Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Skipper, Common Blue, Small Heath all well into double figures with smaller numbers of the Whites, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood. Yesterday also produced my first of the new generation Wall butterflies. 

Small Skipper

It's a good year for Dragonflies too with Four-spotted Chaser, Azure and Large Red Damselfly, Common Darter and Common Hawker all being seen the last couple of days.

Azure Damselfly

Plant wise, a patch of Musk Mallow has appeared in a field adjacent to South Burn Wood which I have not seen before there and some searching found my Sand Spurrey on the Fell which I couldn't remember exactly where I had seen it before, though it was several years ago.

Sand Spurrey
Musk Mallow

AsI said its a quiet time for birds but Oystercatchers are continuing to fly over calling noisily and both Chiffchaff and Garden Warbler were singing which means both are probably on their second broods.

My tally for how many different species I can see in the fell 1km square of NZ2549 (1000for1ksq) has now reached 782 with a few bugs in containers in the fridge awaiting me having the time to try and identify them.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Another 32

The moth trap is still performing well with 66 species overnight including 17 new ones for the year.
In addition, a few hours on the fell on Sunday produced two more new moths as well as a host of butterflies on the wing including my first Small Skippers. Also 9 new species of plant, Field Grasshopper and Common Froghopper. Whilst walking around I also came across a Garden Warbler's nest with 3, possible 4 chicks in it being fed by their parents

This makes my list of species in the 1 km square now sitting at 743.

The list of new ones were -

On the Fell
Scotopteryx chenopodiata (Shaded Broad-bar)
Zygaena lonicerae (Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet)
Chorthippus brunneus (Common Field Grasshopper)
Philaenus spumarius (Common Froghopper)
Thymelicus sylvestris (Small Skipper)

Small Skipper

Epilobium parviflorum (Hoary Willow-herb)
Reseda lutea (Wild Mignonette)
Silene vulgaris subsp. vulgaris (Bladder Campion)
Torilis japonica (Upright Hedge-parsley)
Trifolium hybridum (Alsike Clover) 
Centaurium erythraea (Common Centaury)

Common Centaury

Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort) 
Avena sativa (Oat) 
Erica cinerea (Bell Heather) 

In the moth trap

Leucoma salicis (White Satin)
Phalera bucephala (Buff-tip)
Tinea semifulvella (a micro-moth)

Cabera exanthemata (Common Wave)
Cerapteryx graminis (Antler Moth)
Eupithecia lariciata (Larch Pug)
Eupithecia tantillaria (Dwarf Pug)
Pheosia tremula (Swallow Prominent)
Autographa bractea (Gold Spangle)

Gold Spangle

Dipleurina lacustrata  (a micro-moth)
Yponomeuta evonymella (Bird-cherry Ermine) 

Platyptilia pallidactyla (a plume-moth)
Phlyctaenia coronata (a micro-moth)
Eulithis mellinata (Spinach)
Tortrix viridana (Green Oak Tortrix) 
Udea olivalis (a micro-moth)
Helcystogramma rufescens (a micro-moth)
Elachista albifrontella (a micro-moth)

A very nice tally, which also included some moths already seen this year like Blood-vein


but yesterday was most remembered for the butterflies that were flying around, literally dozens of Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Large and Small Skippers and Common Blues, with smaller numbers of Small Tortoiseshells, Painted Ladys, Large Whites and Speckled Woods.


Friday, 12 July 2013

2 new moths in the trap

61 moths in trap last night and I rarely get new ones for garden these days but 2 - Grey Mountain moth and the micro-moth  Epermenia chaerophyllella. Also present was another Beautiful Carpet and 6 Small Elephant Hawkmoth.

Birds   75
Vascular Plants   279
Mosses & Liverworts  41
Lichens   12
Fungi & Slime Moulds   13
Terrestrial Mammals   6
Butterflies   18
Moths   152
Dragonflies   3
Hoverflies   22
Other inverts   89
Amphibians & Reptiles   1
Aggregates & hybrids (not included) 17

so that puts me on 711 for #1000for1ksq.

6 Oystercatcher flew over the house in one group, calling noisily followed by a single bird (I had one over earlier in the week too). Not sure where they are coming from as I don't think they breed on the patch though a couple of pair do breed on factory roofs in Birtley these days.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Improvement in moth numbers (at last)

52 species in the trap overnight, an improvement at long last. Included in the nice assortment was one I have never caught in the garden before - a Beautiful Carpet.

The Beautiful Carpet from last night

Aslo both Elephant and Small Elephant Hawkmoth, several Snout and a couple of Small Angle Shades

Small Elephant and Elephant Hawkmoth, Small Angle Shades and The Snout
Non-moths in the trap included a Lesser Boatman and a late Cockchafer.

Lesser Water Boatman

I was up early to check the trap and at 04:40hrs a group of 5 Crossbill flew over. and later, an Oyster-catcher did the same.

That brings my 1000for1ksq list for the year to 670 species