Friday, 23 May 2014

23rd May - I Don't Fly Around Your Flame Anymore

It has been an interesting week weather wise, and it transpired to prevent me getting out.  However there has been some interesting events throughout the week.  A Fox cub was seen wandering down the middle of Gradwell Lane early evening on Wednesday (21st), and the Jay that visited on Sunday has continued to use the bird bath by the fence in the garden.  Sadly we found a dead Slow Worm in the middle of Lymington Rise on Thursday, not sure how it got there, I hope it wasn't malicious.

As suspected the House Martins have stopped building the nest, and I believe they were a young pair that are not really sure where they want to nest.  Over the years I have seen this behaviour around the houses here.  Nests are started and then abandoned.  They may come back, we shall have to wait and see.

Last year outside my office window the nest box was used by the expected tenant a pair of Blue Tits, however this year the Blue Tits have missed out and it is now being used by Tree Bumblebees.  They have built the nest, and can be seen regularly going in and out.  My initial identification was wrong and was duly pointed out to me.  According to my informant they are really colonizing the country now after arriving from the continent.





It will be fascinating to watch and see how this develops, and how the bees get on.

Last weekend with the good weather I had the moth trap out, and there were several new moths to be found in the trap.  As always identification is a challenge on some of the smaller moths, and if I have made a mistake, I am always pleased if someone helps or points out the error of my ways.  Butterflies and birds I am totally confident with, but I am learning with moths, insects, fungi, and flowers.

So here goes:  First to catch the eye were several Cockchaffer beetles, or as they are sometimes known May Bug.  It usually flies by night, and can be quite noisy in flight.  The adults feed on leaves and shrubs while the larvae feed on the roots of crops



I love the pattern on the side of the abdomen, and although you can't see them here the antenna have a lovely feathery look.



This one is I think a Scalloped Hazel


This lovely soft grey moth is a Pale Tussock


This one is definitely a Brimstone.



This one was a surprise hiding under the egg boxes, a Poplar Hawkmoth.



Here you can see the size relative to my daughter's hand.  I love the frizzy furry look it has just like a poodle



This one is a Garden Carpet, and as well as finding two in the trap I saw several flying in the day as I walked around the patch last weekend.


I have caught this one before, the Games of Thrones like Muslin Moth.



Here we have a moth with a buff yellow patch on the head, otherwise know as a Buff Tip.



This I believe to be a Flame Shoulder


Now this one has been a challenge, the closest I can get is to Heart and Dart, but I am not certain.  The pattern on the wings may have faded, but I am open to offers here.



And I can't find anything like this one so please help.



A little more certainty here, I think this is a White Pinion Spotted, but....



Finally this is a Nut Tree Tussock, a close look at the pattern and you can make out the shape of a wolf's head, a really beautifully marked insect.




My sources for identification have been the "Collins Guide to British Insects", Moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Townsend and Waring, and the Hampshire Moth's "Fling Tonight" page.  With all that information you can see I still struggle to identify these fascinating insects.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, I think the 1st moth is a Shuttle-shaped Dart (between the two dark spots is an elongated light spot with a darker centre. The 2nd is a Caddis Fly, which are attracted to light traps. Mark Painter

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