Monday, 1 June 2015

Good Housekeeping 2015, Part 1 (a bit of an epic)

The canal towpath resembles a maternity ward at the moment. I posted a picture of one of the local duck families the other day. Now here are their upmarket relatives, the Swans. Both were nonchalant about the regular procession of human passers-by on foot, bike and scooter or in buggies although, as almost always with swans, Dad was very much on hand (that's part of his tail on the bottom left of the photo). Mallards more often appear to be single (Mum) parent families once the female has been successfully wooed.

The swans let me and Penny get quite close. I am always very careful with them and advise you to be. Many years ago when I was a teenage boy in a sculling boat on the river Severn, a notorious swan called Freddy attacked me near his nest, flying straight at the little craft and its somewhat wobbly skipper. All I could do was flick up my sculling oar, almost on reflex, and Freddie flew straight into the end of it. The blade snapped in two and he subsided in the water making hissing noises.

I was extremely relieved but anxious, both about the possibility of having injured a swan, because however unpleasant (and Freddy was), they are protected birds; and also at the prospect of my reception when I limped back to the school boathouse with an expensively-damaged bit of kit. Luckily, Freddy's pride was the only part of him injured and I won sympathy rather than a reproof because of his evil name. But as I say, I have taken care with swans since then.

After that exciting diversion, to business. As forecast yesterday, here are the moths which have visited me in May, as well as my lists for the months in the last two years since we moved from Leeds to Oxfordshire. I have interspersed the long roll-call with pictures of five micro-moths whose identity I need to nail, in case the saintly Ben or one of my other kindly, expert readers is passing this way. I have in the meanwhile hazarded a guess. Sorry about the different formating, both in terms of order and typography. On the latter, after all these years I have yet to master Blogspot's sensitivity to cut and paste.

Cochylis atricapitana?
2015: Agonopterix arenellaBright-line Brown-eye, Brimstone, Buff Ermine, Celypha lacunanaChestnut, Chinese Character, Cinnabar, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Clouded Drab, Clouded Silver, Common Quaker, Common Swift, Common Wainscot, Coronet, Dotted Border, Early Grey, Emperor, Elachista apicipunctellaFigure of 80, Flame, Flame Shoulder, Flounced Rustic, Garden Carpet. Green Carpet. Gold Spot. Heart and Dart. Hebrew Character. Herald, Iron Prominent, Juniper Pug (poss; being checked), Knot Grass. Lead-coloured Drab, Lime-speck Pug, Lychnis, Marbled Minor, Mottled Pug, Muslin, Nut-tree Tussock, Oak Tree Pug, Orange Footman, Pale Prominent, Pale Tussock, Pine Beauty, Poplar Hawk, Powdered Quaker, Puss Moth, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Rustic Shoulder Knot, Scalloped Hazel, Scorched Wing, Seraphim, Shears, Shuttle-shape Dart, Silver Y, Small Square-spot, Small Waved Umber, Small White Wave, Spectacle, Swallow Prominent, Treble  Bar, Treble Lines, Twin-spot Carpet, Twin-spot Quaker, Waved Umber, White Ermine, White-pinion Spotted, White-spotted Pug, Yellow-barred Brindle (69)

Cnephasia communana?

2014 (in date of arrival rather than alphabetically): Tawny Pinion 1 May, Poplar Hawk 2 May, Emperor 8 May, Heart and Dart 8 May, Chinese Character 13 May, Green Carpet 13 May, Garden Carpet 13 May, Cinnabar 14 May, Cnephasia ssp (needs detailed exam) 14 May, Treble Lines 15 May, Maiden’s Blush 16 May, Clouded-bordered Brindle 16 May, Clouded-bordered Brindle f. combusta 16 May, Common Carpet 16 May, Small Square-spot 16 May, Rustic Shoulder-knot 16 May, Coronet 16 May, Large Nutmeg 16 May, Acleris Aspersana 16 May, Bee Moth (Aphomoa sociella) 16 May, Scrobipalpa acuminatella/Aproaerema anthyllidella 16 May, Cnephasia ssp prob communana 16 May, Privet Hawk 18 May (in red because it's my birthday and what better gift than a very big hawk moth?), Lime Hawk 19 May, Puss Moth 19 May, Poplar Kitten 19 May, Marbled Brown 19 May, Knot Grass 19 May, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana 19 May, Phtheochroa rugozana 19 May, Treble Bar 19 May, Small Elephant Hawk 20 May, Peppered 20 May, White Ermine 20 May, Buff Ermine 20 May, Common Swift 20 May, Figure of 80 20 May, Barred Hook-tip 20 May, Pale-shouldered Brocade/Dog’s Tooth 20 May, Cochylimorpha straminea 20 May, Celypha lacunana 20 May, Clouded Silver 20 May, Buff Tip 20 May, Common Marbled Carpet 20 May, Silver-ground Carpet 20 May, Lime-speck Pug 20 May, Flame 20 May, Small Phoenix 20 May, Scorched Wing 20 May, Lychnis 20 May, Marbled Minor 20 May, Eyed Hawk 21 May, Pale Tussock 21 May, Freyer’s Pug 21 May, Currant Pug 21 May, Middle-barred Minor 22 May, Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis) 22 May, Setaceous Hebrew Character 22 May, Scalloped Hazel 22 May, Flame Carpet 22 May, Bright-line Brown-eye 25 May, Elephant Hawk 26 May, Crambus lathoniellus 30 May, Large Yellow Underwing 30 May, Clouded Border 30 May, Green Pug 30 May, Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata) 30 May, Straw Dot 30 May, Pebble Hook-tip 30 May, Snout 31 May, Pale Oak Beauty 31 May, Shears 31 May, Dusky Brocade 31 May, Mottled Beauty 31 May (73)

Cnephasia communana on the right?
And finally 2013 (with, again, a slightly different way of sorting, into first macro and then micro moths and with ones not previously found in Leeds in red):   Macro-moths: Bright-line Brown-eye, Brimstone, Brindled Pug, Chocolate Tip, Cinnabar, Clouded Border, Clouded Drab, Clouded Silver, Common Quaker, Common White Wave, Early Grey, Early Thorn, Early Tooth-striped, Flame Shoulder, Green Carpet, Hebrew Character, Iron Prominent, Least Black Arches, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Muslin, Nut-tree Tussock, Pale Pinion, Pale ProminentPebble Prominent, Pine Beauty, Poplar Hawk, Powdered Quaker, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Small Quaker, Swallow Prominent, Twin-spot Carpet, Twin-spot Quaker, V-pug, Waved Umber, White Ermine, Yellow-barred Brindle. Micro-moths: Agonopterix arenella,  Diurnea fagellaLarge Tabby (Aglossa pinguinalis) (40)

Celypha lacunana?
I haven't had time to pour a glass of wine and mull over the different lists, other than to note the interesting number of absentees so far this year, notably among the hawk moths and the larger and more obvious type of visitor such as the Buff Tip. No Chocolate Tips either and a reduced number of Prominents compared with the two previous years.

I mentioned yesterday that the number of different species this year is very similar to last year but the comparison is not straightforward (as ever with statistics). This year I only started trapping in May and the tally therefore includes moths which in 2014 were first recorded in April, March and even February.

Now for June!

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