25 August 2014

Washout at the patch

My first visit to the patch this morning for months turned out to be a complete washout, but it was great to have Rachel and good friends Andrew Proudfoot and Sam Woods along for the soaking. 'Highlights' in the short period before the monsoon started and we were forced back home were 1 Hobby N, 6 Northern Lapwing SW, 3+ Barn Swallow over Stanwell Moor, and 1 Whinchat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Blackcap (all in the NW corner), 2 Eurasian Teal over, 1 Kestrel, c.60 Goldfinch, 3 Blackcap, a few Meadow Pipit and 1 Grey Heron at Staines Moor. The water level on the Colne is very high and the iris channels are also holding plenty of water - surprising for this time of year. On a negative side, it was depressing to find that the Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera is making rapid gains in its invasion of Stanwell Moor.

18 August 2014

Birdfair 2014: 15 - 17 August

Another successful Birdfair, and my eighth representing REGUA with Rachel. This year Sue Healey and Alan Martin also helped out and Rachel once again baked brownies, flapjack and shortbread. It was even busier at the stand this year, and it was great to find so many people now booking trips to REGUA for butterflies and moths as well as for birds. Many thanks to everyone who visited us at the stand.

4 August 2014

Gypsy Moth

Bogged down at the moment building new websites for both REGUA and Beddington Farmlands. No time for birding or the patch, as I'm aiming to have the new REGUA website live before the Birdfair in two weeks. Rather a tall order, but I'm making good progress now and I'm learning a lot of new code.

Much cooler nights over the last few days have seen moth activity around the light very much reduced. The highlight was a male Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar on 2/3 August. No idea if this is an immigrant or locally introduced breeder, but a stunning moth all the same. Thanks to various people on Twitter for confirming the identification.

Male Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar, 3 August

Male Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar - immigrant or local breeder? The English race has been extinct since the early 1900s, but some
appear each year from the continent. However, since 1995 some larvae, probably accidentally introduced from the continent, have
been found in parts of London and the home counties, though apparently have not become established.

Also amongst the other species caught over the last few nights:
Turnip Moth Agrotis segetum - 1 on 31 July/1 August
Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria - 2 on 31 July/1 August, 1 on 1/2 August
Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae - 6 on 31 July/1 August
Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata - 1 on 31 July/1 August
Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla - 1 on 31 July/1 August
Small Rivulet Perizoma alchemillata - 1 on 2/3 August
The Lychnis Hadena bicruris - 1 on 2/3 August
Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana - 1 on 1/2 August
Lilac Leafminer/Privet Leafminer/Common Slender Gracillaria (Caloptilia) syringella - 1 on 2/3 August
Flame Carpet Xanthorhoe designata - 1 on 1/2 August
Marbled Beauty Cryphia domestica - 3 on 31 July/1 August, 1 on 1/2 August
Single-dotted Wave Idaea dimidiata - 1 on 31 July/1 August
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe - 2 on 31 July/1 August
Cherry Fruit Moth Argyresthia pruniella - 1 on 31 July/1 August and 1 on 2/3 August
Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis - 1 on 2/3 August 2014
Phlyctaenia coronata - 1 on 31 July/1 August
Blastobasis adustella - Quite common at the moment

Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata, 1 August

Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, 1 August

Lilac Leafminer/Privet Leafminer/Common Slender Gracillaria (Caloptilia) syringella, 3 August

Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana, 2 August

Flame Carpet Xanthorhoe designata, 2 August

The Lychnis Hadena bicruris, 3 August

Cherry Fruit Moth Argyresthia pruniella, 3 August. Presumably it was the larvae of these species that I found in some of the plums
I stoned for my other half the RAW Baker last month?

Turnip Moth Agrotis segetum, 1 August

Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis, 3 August. Mainly found in southern Britain, the larvae burrow into the bark of ash
(Fraxinus) trees and can kill the tree if present in large numbers.