Most of July continued on the same theme as June, with good numbers of moths around, keeping me very busy. On top of this there were all the field meetings going on and a holiday at the end of the month so I’ve been rushed off my feet and only now have the time to write a report. Bad weather too has also allowed me to do this, we had to get some eventually!
The last week of the month saw a drop in temperature and hence a drop in moths, except for the 26th which was a good night (more on this later).
Main highlights were 2 new site records – Marbled clover on the 19th trapping out on a heath area on site and Dichomeris alacella, trapped on the 26th at home.
Other observations included the following, starting with the macros.
Lackey – 1st, first since 2010.
Minor shoulder-knot – 1st, first since 1996!
Shaded fan-foot – regular
Beautiful golden Y – a good year with a few more noted
Grass emerald – a few
Dark spectacle – again a good year for this with a few seen
Haworth’s pug – 10th, scarce here
Saltern ear – 10th
Triple-spotted clay – second site record on 17th
Maple pug – at end of month
Garden dart – towards end of month, one a nice fresh specimen never seen a pristine one here before!
Small rufous – 19th
Square-spotted clay – 26th
It has been an excellent year for Beautiful hook-tip, with it appearing almost every trap night, along with the Festoon too, never seen so many. Yellow-legged clearwing has also done well with 2 more sightings this month. Late summer species started early too, with Black arches and Canary-shouldered thorn appearing before their usual time.
On to the micros. Evergestis limbata (2 records, seems established in the area), Coleophora limoniella (a saltmarsh wanderer on the 4th), Bucculatrix nigricomella (7th), Anerastia lotella (another coastal wanderer on the 8th, second site record), Anarsia inoxiella (9th), Oncocera semirubella (2 records), Cydia amplana (first for year on 18th), Thiotricha subocellea (18th), Bucculatrix maritima (26th, yet another coastal wanderer) and Eucosma tripoliana (you’ve guessed it, another coastal species – 27th).
The night of the 6th I ran traps in my main reedbed area to check the White-mantled wainscot colony. Doing well it seems, with 5 trapped, my highest count. Also recorded there were Dotted fan-foot, Shaded fan-foot, Gelechia muscosella, Anania verbascalis and Brachima inornatella, all species known from the spot but still nice to get as they are scarce in the county. I also surprisingly picked up another White-mantled wainscot in my trap at home on the 26th which is about a quarter of a mile away from the colony site, the second time this has happened.
Migrant moths have been in very low numbers at the site with only a few of the commoner ones noted. Best species recorded was still a lepidopteran, but not a moth – a pristine Long-tailed blue butterfly, present in my garden for 10 minutes on the 9th . My first UK sighting of this species – superb!
I’ve found larvae of Toadflax brocade and Broad-barred white again this year in the garden which was good to see. My banana experiment hasn’t done too well as the bad weather started as soon as I put it up! Just Copper underwing noted so far but I’ll be carrying it on.
With rain pouring down outside and most of the start of August cool, has summer come to an early end?