24th December: Still lean pickings with poor weather: cold and pretty wet.
Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe writes: "I actually put a moth trap on the evening of 19th and it’s still on now! This is the first time mothing since mid-October, when I went on holiday and never got back into it, mainly because changing climate and flights resulted in a bad case of bronchitis.I had on 20th 1 Dark Chestnut; on 21st 4 Winter Moth and 1 male Mottled Umber and nothing on 22nd, 23rd and 24th. All moths were pristine. The Winter Moths were all on the vanes of the actinic Robinson trap. The Umber male was really dark and contrasty."
22nd December: Unexpected moths at Low Hameringham!
Alan Dale from Low Hameringham reported: "Not one, not binary two, but 10 - and all the same. Ten Winter Moths, lured out by the rise in temperature, scattered over the conservatory windows on the evening of 21st December, in Low Hameringham. Never seen so many before. And tonight - not one!"
17th December: Extremely cold weather recently - hardly anything about for the past couple of weeks!
Roy Harvey from Grasby, Barnetby e-mailed: "Had a Mottled Umber come into the house this evening."
3rd December: First moth for December? But ... not a December Moth!
Peter Burnett from Fiskerton says: " A single Scarce Umber was attracted to our lounge window last night. New garden record - still waiting for my first garden December Moth!' (For photo of Peter's Scarce Umber, please see our Twitter Account @BC_Lincolnshire.)
25th November: A last Red Admiral?
Jonathan Bye says: "Yesterday was cold but sunny at Donna Nook. I expected to see Seals but also spotted a Red Admiral sunning itself on the path."
21st November: A single moth!
Andy Sims from Swanpool writes: "Despite a very mild night there was only 1 moth in my trap this morning, a Mottled Umber."
19th November: Surprise moths underneath things!
Brian Hedley: " ... happened across a couple of moth species today: a Chestnut whilst raking leaves in the garden, and an Agonopterix alstromeriana found under bark at Trent Port, Marton."
16th November: Few in number but nevertheless, quality moths!
Mark & Sally Johnson of North Somercotes had: " ... just one Feathered Thorn in the trap this morning."
15th November: Congratulations to Mark Johnson - see third entry below.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool writes: "After several blank nights I had 3 moths in my trap this morning: a December Moth, only my 2nd ever record, a Scarce Umber and a November Moth agg."
- Adrian White at Winterton e-mailed: "Encouraged by the weather I also trapped last night with 3 Light-Brown Apple moths and a lot of Diptera in the trap this morning. Oh well, there's always next year...!"
- Phil Lee wrote in: "The weatherman said it was going to stay mild (down to 8 deg.C) so I put the trap out in the garden over here at Misterton last night and had a fresh looking Silver Y, a couple of Light Brown Apple Moths and another Rusty-dot Pearl which is the third this year in the garden. Also, well done Mark on your prize winning photo of a Green-veined White shown in the Butterfly conservation magazine that is just out." (Indeed. Very well done Mark. Mark took Second Prize in this year's Big Butterfly Count Photography Competition. See page 17 in Issue 126 - Autumn 2017.)
7th November: Sparse pickings in the moth traps this week. Very cold and heavy frosts.
- Peter Cawdell writes Red Admirals roll on: "On 5th November, 1 in Glebe Park garden nectaring on Lavender, and 3 at Southrey trackside meadow nectaring on yellow Buddleia."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool says: "I have had my trap out 6 times so far this month. Sparse pickings!" He had moths only on 3 of those. Moths trapped variously were: Red Green and Juniper Carpets, November Moth agg, Feathered Thorn and Silver Y.
- Pete Burnett wrote: "Put the trap out last week here in Fiskerton but completely empty in the morning!"
- Adrian White says: "Total moths for the last week at Winterton: 1 Light-brown Apple Moth, I counted twice to make sure! Time to put the trap away, I think, although it says it will get warmer by the weekend."
- Phil Lee e-mailed: "The frost on Sunday night over here at Misterton was hard enough to freeze the water in the bird bath but when the sun got out on Monday afternoon I was pleased to see that a Red Admiral was still with us and a Silver Y was patrolling the garden and I disturbed a few Common and Beautiful Plume moths whilst cutting back the now fading border flowers. Winter draws on, and mine soon will be!"
- Brian Hedley wrote: "Just to let you know that I noted a single Red Admiral on the wing at Trent Port, Marton, on the 5th November."
Richard Smith e-mailed: "Seen a late Red Admiral flying around in my Grantham back garden in the sun after a frosty night."
1st November: Moth with a colour missing!
Phil Lee wrote in: " Whenever I catch a Red-green Carpet without a trace of red on it I always think of Autumn Green Carpet which I believe is rare in Lincs? Also trying to separate Winter and Northern Winter Moth is not straight forward." Phil had a moth which he thinks is a Northern, slightly larger and paler than Winter with a more whitish hindwing - which tends to hang lower in Northern.
31st October: First Sprawler this year?
Alan Dale e-mailed: "A solitary visitor to the lit workshop window in Low Hameringham on Monday night: one Sprawler!"
30th October: New garden moth record.
- Peter Cawdell wrote: "From the reports looks like the Red Admirals are hanging on well and it will be interesting to see who records the last one for the year. Yesterday we came across a Red Admiral nectaring on a late yellow flowering Buddleia at Southrey Old Railway, despite the cool winds. Also a Small Tortoiseshell was nectaring there on Ragwort on Friday 27th.".
- Andy Sims wrote: "After years of hoping I finally caught my first December Moth. Good start to the week."
28th October: Smaller moth catches.
- Adrian White reports: "It's been a poor week here at Winterton, with gales and/or rain and cold nights. The best were 1 Feathered Thorn, 1 Angle Shades, 3 Beaded Chestnut, 1 Satellite and 2 Straw Dot. Could these last late-comers be migrants?"
- Phil Lee writes: " ... just the one migrant over here at Misterton, a Rusty-dot Pearl which looks in very good condition to be a migrant? I'm still a Vestal virgin but hopeful." (er ... yes, Phil: noted!)
25th October: Red Admiral-fest at Gibraltar Point!
- Brian Hedley had a: " ... good stomp around Gibraltar Point NNR today which produced: 112 Red Admirals (mostly on Ivy clumps), 1 Painted Lady, 2 Small Coppers and 3 Small Tortoiseshells."
- Lawrie Poole had an amazing seven Red Admirals today at Thorpe on the Hill. "The four from yesterday brought three of their pristine friends along to nectar on Ivy, French Marigolds or to just 'chill', two or three at a time, on Elaeagnus!"
- Ian & Jeannie McGlynn: "On a walk today to Bourne Woods we saw a Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood."
- Toby Ludlow from Coningsby: "Had a Red Admiral and Small Copper in my garden yesterday. Good to see Small Copper on the wing still!"
24th. October: Red Admirals still about.
- Lawrie Poole had four beautiful Red Admirals in his Thorpe on the Hill garden this afternoon. One pristine, one pristine but much lighter colouring - see photo, one with rub marks on both top wings and one with a large lump out of one top wing. On this warm & sunny day, they were nectaring exclusively on orange French Marigold. "Last week, I tried, unsuccessfully, to stop a Small Tortoiseshell from entering the garage, presumably to hibernate?"
- Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: "26 moths of 12 species in this mornings trap. Included was a Small Mottled Willow."
23rd October: Another Vestal sighting.
- Phil Lee e-mailed: " You maybe won't believe this. A mothing friend of mine rang me from Westwoodside this morning full of excitement because he had a Merveille du Jour in his garden trap last night. As the discussion went on I advised him to keep a look out for Vestal which was turning up all over the place. He replied that he had one last week in his garden but didn't think that they were rare so didn't think to tell me. I put him right and filled the local swear box at the same time!"
- Brian Hedley from Marton had: "Actinic lamp in garden overnight produced 13 moths of 11 species including Feathered Thorn, Yellow-line Quaker, Silver Y, Blair's Shoulder knot, Common Plume and Green-brindled Crescent. Not too bad considering i forgot to put the perspex sheets over the trap top to keep moths in!
22nd October: Very unusual Purple Hairstreak sighting.
Jan Rousseau wrote: "Purple Hairstreak found at Whisby Nature Park on Sat. 14th. October whilst looking for Galls on Oak leaves: first seen four or five feet above me on a leaf before looping up a little onto another branch and then flying up into the canopy before I could get a photo. I was very surprised to find this in mid October!" Richard Davidson commented: "Possible second generation or a prolonged first one due to the very mild Autumn?" Peter Cawdell commented: "Amazing sighting. Yes, there is not a second generation even in Spain. Think this one's clock has gone wrong. Suicidal and a lonely time as Billy No-mates!" And, Pete Smith further commented: "That is a very interesting sighting! The latest record I have for Purple Hairstreak is 15th September 2012 at Chambers Farm Wood. Mid-October is extremely late to see a Purple Hairstreak, even more so when you consider how most species were on the wing several weeks earlier than "normal" during this advanced year. I don't think a second generation has ever been recorded in this species. As far as I know they appear to be "programmed" to overwinter as a well developed larva within the egg. Remarkable!"
18th October: Modest moth catches.
Andy Sims from Swanpool had: " ... only 4 moths last night Willow Beauty, Blair’s Shoulder Knot, Green Brindled Crescent and a Satellite which was new for this year." On the 17th. October, after a windy night the only moth Andy had in the trap was a single Green-brindled Crescent.
16th October: Weather, not brilliant, affecting moth catches.
Andy Sims had 8 moths of 8 species last night including a November Moth (agg), and a Large Wainscot, both new for this year.
15th October: Migrant moth trapped.
- Nige Lound e-mailed: "Using a Robinson 125w MV last night in Syke's Farm at Gibraltar Point produced 123 Moths of 22 species. A migrant Palpita vitrealis being the highlight. Also included was a Dark Swordgrass."
- Brian Hedley at Marton: " ... tried 125w MV bulb last night in the garden to contrast with actinic lamp used night before. Slightly cooler last night. Exactly same number of moths in total (21) but fewer species (10). A few different species noted though including Engrailed, Snout and Carcina quercana. Others included Garden Rose Tortrix, Green-brindled Crescent and at least 7 November Moth agg. Personally, I do think actinics do seem to attract a wider variety in the autumn? They do here anywhere and my neighbours appreciate that! Also, Vapourer Moth noted in flight at Trent Port, Marton this morning (seem to be quite a few around at the moment)."
14th October: Great sighting: Clouded Yellow at Gibraltar Point!
- Kev Wilson saw: " ... a single Clouded Yellow nectaring on Ragwort at Gib this morning. Perhaps a good sign of migration?" (Probably only the third Clouded Yellow in Lincs this year)
- Mark & Sally Johnson from North Somercotes: " ... found Tawny Pinion on Ivy flowers Thursday evening with Lesser Yellow Underwing, Angle Shades, Setaceous Hebrew Character and a Green-brindled Cresent. This mornings trap had 111 moths of 13 species."
- Karen & Sarah Hand: "had the trap out the last couple of nights in the hope of catching something to show at the moth night at Gibraltar Point tonight. We weren't really expecting to be able to draw much in as it was forecast to be quite windy overnight here. We were pleasantly surprised with a catch of 82 moths last night and 66 on Thursday night. The best of the catch was a Delicate (only 2nd for site)."
- Pete Burnett says: "Here in Fiskerton managed 23 moths...Beaded Chestnut the most numerous plus a single Silver Y and a Satellite ( white spots ) was new for rhis year."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had 14 moths of 8 species last night including a Feathered Thorn and a Black Rustic.
- Nige Lound wrote: "Robinson 125MV in my Skegness garden last night produced 15 Moths of 12 species so quite a nice variety. Overnight low here was a very mild 14 degrees but windy."
13th October: Another M du J!
Andy Sims had 11 moths with 8 species last night with a Merveille du Jour, 2nd of year.
11th October: Merveille de Jour are cropping up only here and there, causing some frustration!
Martin Gray wrote in: "Three Merveille de Jour's last night, ten in the last week in my Broadholme garden. Lucky to have a good breeding population in the vicinity. Warming up at the weekend!"
10th October: Some good butterflies still about.
Phil Bowler e-mailed: " Thought I'd let you know about a pristine third brood Small Copper seen yesterday and today in our Amber Hill garden, feeding on Michaelmas Daisies and on Orange Hawkweed, upon which it looked stunning. A few Red Admirals still around, but not seen the other Nymphalids for a few days. Small Whites still reaching double figures plus a Large White yesterday."
9th October: Rare moth 'tapped' from a Yew tree.
- Phil Lee wrote in: "A micro moth Caloptilia semifascia - autumn generation - was tapped from a Yew tree yesterday by Charlie Barnes during the LNU field trip to Bloxholm Wood LWT NR. It is a new moth for me and I sent it to Martin Gray and Karen & Sarah who have agreed the id. K&S have only seen it down south and Martin has only seen the leafmine saying that there are only a handful of Lincs records. It is said to be very rare in Yorkshire, scarce in Norfolk and local nationally."
- Nigel Lound wrote: "14 Moths of 8 species in Skegness last night: Large Yellow Underwing 2, Setaceous Hebrew 5, Red-line Quaker 1, Angle Shades 1, Blair's Shoulder-knot 1, Beaded Chestnut 2, Common Marbled Carpet 1 and a Light Brown Apple. No Merveille de Jour here either. Ever!"
- Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe had: "13 species and 29 moths overnight, with 2 new autumn species, Dark Chestnut and Yellow-line Quaker. I’ve had 4 Blair’s Shoulder-knot now over the past 10 days or so."
- Adrian White had: "Five moths here in Winterton as well: 1 Riband Wave, 1 Common Marbled Carpet, 1 Black Rustic and 2 Blair's Shoulder-knot. No Merveille de Jour. Oh well, maybe one day..."
- Andy Sims reports: "Only 5 moths in my trap last night but well worth it: 1 Common Marbled Carpet, 1 Mottled Umber, dark example, nfy, 1 Shuttle-shaped Dart, 1 Beaded Chestnut and a Merveille du Jour nfy & only my 3rd record." (nfy = new for this year)
7th October: New moth at Theddlethorpe.
Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe says: "After a couple of cold nights, last night was forecast warmer so I put the traps out and caught 62 moths of 13 species. The highlight was a Delicate moth."
3rd October: Lovely Red Underwing.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had just 7 moths last night, but this total included a pristine Red Underwing.
- Lawrie Poole had a Humming-bird Hawkmoth in his Thorpe on the Hill garden.
2nd October: Out of season moth recorded.
Andy Sims had just: "12 moths of 6 species, including an unseasonal Swallow-tailed Moth. Books say June to August."
- John Davison saw a Pink-barred Sallow at Messingham Sand Quarry this morning.
- Andy Sims had Pink-barred Sallows and Red-green Carpet both new for this year.
30th September: Unusual moth at Low Hameringham, and good news re: Brown Hairstreaks.
- Alan Dale writes: "An unlikely visitor to the MV trap on 28th September was a Shore Wainscot. Certainly a first for Low Hameringham. Indeed, so unlikely that I was hesitant to naming it. However, the dark abdominal triangle certainly seems to link it to Mythimna ferrago, the male Clay. So there is a family connection. And as it seemed to be in very good condition for an immigrant moth."
- Richard Davidson sent in this interesting account: "I've had a couple of walks round at Chambers Farm Wood over the last week or so looking at how areas we've done management work on over the last few winters are shaping up. Not far from Minting Triangle I was very pleased to find 24 Brown Hairstreak eggs on Blackthorn along the edge of a ride and not far from Fiveways quite quickly found another 51. Although I've found a few eggs in September in past years they've just been one or two here and there and it's the first time I've found such big numbers so early into the Autumn before the leaves have dropped from the Blackthorn bushes and while there may still be egg laying Brown Hairstreaks about. Perhaps I've not looked hard enough before but hopefully it's a good sign that the Hairstreaks have had a better summer than of late and hopefully we'll find a lot more eggs over the winter. The Spring was warmer and drier than the previous two or three years which perhaps benefited the caterpillars and consequently the butterflies."
- Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: "Feathered Ranunculus and Rusty Dot Pearl, highlights from yesterday’s trap."
29th September: More nice Sallows.
Alan Dale wrote: "Had the MV trap out at Low Hameringham last night and attracted 50+ moths. A couple of nice Barred and Centre-barred Sallows turned up to brighten up the haul of 24 Setacious Hebrew Characters!"
28th September: New Leaf-mine moth.
Martin Gray writes: "After a hectic few weeks working I have had a couple of days visiting various habitats and with some success. Firstly a visit to a local wetland area known as Saxilby flood resulted in a new micro moth for Lincolnshire with the leaf-mine found on Alder of Caloptilia falconipennella and a second site for Stigmella sakhalinella another leaf-miner. A visit to Whisby Pits also proved productive with the Willow leaf-miner Phyllocnistis saligna found on White Willow, this is the third Lincolnshire record following Colin Smith's first record (Tetney) last year and John Lamins a few weeks ago in near Bourne. Another leaf-mine found on Birch was also recorded with Stigmella betulicola found."
27th September: Speckled Wood still about.
Lawrie Poole saw several Small Whites, a Green-veined White and a Speckled Wood on a short walk along Clay Lane, Thorpe on the Hill. "The Speckled Wood was content to fly around short distances, then just perch on grass, several times, some way from any tree cover!"
26th September: Immigrant "Gem" seen!
- Colin Pumfrett from Broughton reported: " ... found a Gem moth in my garden shed, obviously came out of my moth trap."
- Stephen Palmer from Healing had 27 moths of 10 species, also with a Sallow new for this year and a Small Scallop being a new record for his garden.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool e-mailed: "Highlights from last night were a Sallow (new for this year), Frosted Orange, Silver Y and a Lunar Underwing with an unusual light colouration."
24th September: Better weather - better Mothing!
- Adrian White says: "A good week with some nice moths trapped. Two sessions at Far Ings attracted 2 Bulrush and 2 Large Wainscots, 8 Barred Sallow, 3 Black Rustic and a new moth Triangle Plume. The home trap at Winterton, produced 2 Dusky Thorn, Barred Sallow, Black Rustic and, last night, another new moth for me, a near-pristine Dark Sword-grass."
- Lawrie Poole had the following in his Thorpe on the Hill garden: 8 Red Admirals, 2 Comma, 1 Large White, 2 Small White and a single Peacock. "Walking along Clay Lane, towards Tunman Wood, there is a huge patch of Ivy. On this were 9 Red Admirals and 3 Comma."
- Nige Lound had: "83 Moths of 13 species here in 'Sunny Skeggy' last night with the highlight being my 3rd Scarce Bordered Straw of the year. Agree with Cliff, fascinating to see the different moths in different parts of our fair county. Well gripped by John’s Merveille de Jourtoo!"
- Cliff Morrison says: "Interesting to see the different species caught in various locations across the county last night. At home in Theddlethorpe, I had 242 moths of 19 species, 120 of which were Setaceous Hebrew Characters. I too had a Svensson’s Copper Underwing, only the second I’ve confirmed this year, along with a 3rd Large Wainscot for the year and first Convolvulus Hawk Moth, a worn female. Interestingly, I has an early Lunar Underwing over a month ago and last week, a late Meadow Brown, recently emerged, so a bit topsy turvy. With south easterly winds this week, migrant moths may be interesting."
- Brian Hedley from Marton: "Tried MV bulb again in garden last night. About 52 moths of 20 species including Blair's shoulder-knot, Black Rustic, Red-green Carpet, Engrailed, Burnished Brass, Turnip, Rosy Rustic and Acleris sparsana."
- John Clarkson from Louth had, new for this year, a Svensson's Copper Underwing and also two new moths, a Merveille du Jour and a Red-green Carpet.
- Pete Burnett wrote in: "Only 17 moths of 6 species for me in Fiskerton. New for this year were Beaded Chestnut and Mallow."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had 29 moths of 10 species last night: "including Black Rustic and Beaded Chestnut, both new for this year."
23rd September: Butterfly of the year?
- Pete Smith e-mailed: "If there was a 'Lincolnshire butterfly of the year 2017' award, I am sure that the Red Admiral would win hands down! They have been numerous this summer, but never more so than during the past few weeks - the flowering Ivy along the lanes around Heighington have been alive with them, and there are more to come, as evidenced by the presence of several pupae on two small Nettlepatches in my village garden. The chrysalis of this species is quite a handsome beast, and usually well concealed within its Nettle-leaf tent, but not hard to find if you know where to look."
- John Clarkson from Louth reported: "A modest catch with 21 moths of 6 species. Included new for this year were a Lunar Underwing and 2 Large Ranunculus."
Steve Palmer from Healing had 27 moths with 9 species including a Lunar Underwing which was new for this year.
20th September: Black Rustic showing.
Steve Palmer from Healing wrote in: "Only 13 moths which included a Black Rustic which was a new garden record."
Steve Palmer from Healing e-mailed: "I thought I would put my moth trap out on a clear and cool night to see if there was anything about and not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised with the result and caught 38 moths, including a Frosted Orange and a Small Phoenix
Andy Sims from Swanpool: "Only 9 moths in the trap last night including a fine Large Ranunculus which was new for this year."
16th September: More Red Admirals!
- Ian McGlynn wrote: "On a walk today from South Rauceby to River Slea and return, we saw 30+ Red Admirals. This is the butterfly that I have seen more often than any other.
- Pete Burnett wrote: " ... not many moths about last night, just 16 of which 9 were Setaceous Hebrew Character plus the second Old Lady ot the year."
- Andy Sims e-mailed: "Only 11 moths in trap last night including a Lunar Underwing which was new for this year."
14th September: Some Moth-ers still going despite poor weather! And a spectacular Red Admiral count.
- Pete Burnett wrote: " ... managed 36 moths in our Fiskerton garden last night; again most numerous were Setaceous Hebrew Character with 25. Rosy Rustic new for this year, and like Brian no Clifden Nonpareil this time!"
- Kevin Moore wrote in with: "Living in South Yorkshire now, and having few family left in Scunthorpe, I don't get over to North Lincs. as much as formerly - however you might be interested in the following record: I visited Hemswell Antiques with friends on 22nd. July, and had a spectacular Red Admiral session! 60+ (stopped counting as butterflies coming and going constantly....) adults on Buddleia close to the Water Tower antiques. Strangely enough, we could see no other species of butterfly in the proximity, which I thought very odd. Anyway - a glorious sight on a nice Summer's day!"
12th September: Still butterflies to see - when the weather permits!
- Lawrie Poole at Thorpe on the Hill remarked: "There still are a number of butterfly species around in the garden. Variously on Buddleia (dead headed and in good flower again), orange Marigolds (seeds saved from last year), and Ice Plant (from a plant sale at Chambers Farm Wood) were 6 Red Admirals, perhaps 4 Small Tortoiseshells, half a dozen or so Small White, a couple of Large Whites and a lovely, quite dark, Painted Lady. The latter, when not feeding, was happy enough, perched on warm stone paving, with wings wide open to, and facing, the sun at some 18 degC. Nothing very rare, but all fresh and just great to see!"
- Top tip from John Petyt: "Remember to apply your moth sugar to garden trees and posts for late Red Admirals!"
9th September: Good numbers of Autumn moths.
Brian Hedley from Marton writes: "Actinic lamp out in garden overnight produced about 80 moths of 18 species including Small Dusty Wave, Centre-barred Sallow, Silver Y, Lime-speck Pug and Vine's Rustic. No Clifden this time!"
8th September: Good numbers of Small Copper.
Pete Smith looks back: "I have been reminiscing on the days of my youth, when Small Coppers used to be commonly found in my part of Lincolnshire along farm tracks, on rough grassland, "wasteland" and even roadside verges. These days I rarely see them at all, so I really enjoyed spending a day in the Woodhall Spa area on Wednesday, where they were flying in excellent numbers. I counted well over a hundred, and many of them were very fresh. It is sad how they, along with Wall Brown and Small Heath, have become so localised in central Lincs, but the flip-side is that we now have widespread Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, Brown Argus and plentiful Commas, all of which were decidedly less common thirty or forty years back, and of course our woods have been recolonized with Silver-washed Fritillary. Change truly is the only constant in the world of butterflies!"
7th September: Lilac Beauties showing in Lincs. and a report of a Clifden Nonpareil in Notts!
- Phil Lee reports: "Only 35 macros in the garden trap here at Misterton last night with a Lilac Beauty being the best. Meanwhile just 8 miles away at Lound gravel pits my mate, Phil Cadman, caught a Clifden Nonpareil!"
- Andy Sims from Swanpool writes: "Highlights from 51 macros last night were Lilac Beauty and Bordered Pug, both new for this year."
- Roy Harvey had: " ... a surprise this evening when preparing corn on the cob for freezing. A Dot Moth caterpillar was in the the top of the cob and appeared to have been feeding on the grain!"
- Martin Gray from Broadholme wrote: "Small Mottled Willow in the trap this morning, here's hoping for a few more migrants this Autumn."
5th September: Fantastic news! Clouded Yellow sightings!
- Richard Davidson sent in the following report: "I took a walk along the Humber Bank last Thursday the 31st. August at South Ferriby Cliff. It's Lincolnshire's only bit of sea cliff and is a mixture of clay and chalk. It looks more like parts of the East Yorkshire and Norfolk coasts but is not very high and only about a mile long. Not many people know it's there. I was looking for interesting invertebrates along the shore at the base of the cliff and that's when I saw a Clouded Yellow, my first for a few years actually. (Grid: SE994220) It was flitting around on a clump of Ragwort just for a short while before heading over the top of the cliff. I confess it's not the first Clouded Yellow to be seen in Lincolnshire this year. A friend of mine called Simon Hunter saw one back on the 10th. August along the edge of the disused landfill site at Colsterworth, South of Grantham, (Grid SK903243) (Great news and photo, Richard. Now all we want is the blue under-winged Clifden Nonpareil - come on you Moth-ers!)
- Jill Hall e-mailed that she saw a Small Heath at Redhill NR on 3rd September.
- Alan Dale from Low Hameringham wrote: "Popped out to the workshop at 10.30pm, switched the light on for 15 minutes - and lo! one Wax Moth attracted to the window. Didn't recognise it at first with wings spread out in arrow head shape. It was only when asked to pose for the camera that all became clear."
- Adrian White from Winterton also had the same species: "Thanks you have saved me from posting for ID. I had a Wax Moth in my trap this morning and it had me beaten. It is a first for me too."
- Richard Penson, a Project Ecologist from Nottingham e-mailed: "I found a well grown larva of Sand Dart moth at Rimac last Sunday (3rd September) feeding on Prickly Saltwort on the dune fringe at approx TF 475 922. I understand this is a scarce species in Lincolnshire."
- Martin Gray from Broadholme wrote: "A rather worn Scarce Bordered Straw in the trap this morning. Looking back at my records what a year 2006 was for migrants I trapped 10 of these on one September night!"
4th September: New for this year moths.
- John Clarkson from Louth writes: "Low variety this week with 10-15 species but I'm still getting significant numbers of Large Yellow Underwings with c170 last night, next commonest is Setacious Hebrew Character, Old Lady is regular. A few new moths for my garden this week with Hemp Agrimony Plume, Garden Rose tortrix, and last night a Feathered Gothic and a Pug which I think is Double-striped Pug."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had: " ... a superb Red Underwing in trap this morning. Only my 3rd record & 1st since 2008. Also caught a Rush Wainscot, RDB species, last night. Needless to say it was new for my garden. Thanks to Martin for id."
3rd September: Another Scarce Bordered Straw sighting.
Nige Lound from Skegness had: "119 Moths of 18 species. Made interesting by the appearance of yet another Scarce Bordered Straw."
2nd September: Good butterfly numbers and species at Chambers Farm Wood.
- Phil Bowler wrote in: "Decided to have a check at Chambers Farm Wood today with the weather being so nice and Clouded Yellows being reported from Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire. I spent a lot of time in the gorgeous meadow, but no yellows. In fact I never saw a Brimstone all day, even in the woods! Brown Hairstreak is over too, it would seem. Red Admiral stole the day, with 88 counted, followed by Small Tortoiseshell (37), Speckled Wood (33), Small White (22), Green-veined White (12), Comma (10), Peacock (3), and singles of Common Blue, Painted Lady, and Meadow Brown. I was down in Berkshire last weekend, photographing the Adonis Blue, and was amazed to see over 200 very fresh Meadow Brown. Surely this must be a second brood? Wonder whether same will happen up here?"
- Just for interest, and in support of Martin Gray's comment on 29th August (last entry), in @Warksbirdobs Twitter account, a tweet today, tells how in Somerset, a twitch took place at 2 a.m. when a Clifden Nonpareil caught itself in a bat mist net!
31st August: Modest moth catches.
- Pete Burnett e-mailed: "Garden trap in Fiskerton produced 45 moths of 9 species. Again Setaceous Hebrew Character was the most numerous with 31. Small Blood-vein was new for this year. No sign of anything with a blue underwing ....just the usual yellow variety!"
- Brian Hedley says he had: "Actinic lamp in garden here at Marton last night produced about 50 moths of 17 species including Centre-barred Sallow, Pale Mottled Willow and Burnished Brass. Very few micros at the moment."
30th August: Autumn moths getting established.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool says his: "... highlights from last night were Bordered Beauty and Swallow Prominent - both new for this year, Blood-vein, 3 Light Emerald and Angle-striped Sallow."
- Phil Lee from Misterton writes: "Finally had a migrant in the garden last night but not the big one I wanted, the attached Rusty-dot Pearl is a good record for this far inland, and is the second for the garden in consecutive years around about the same date too."
29th August: Good numbers of butterflies at Red Hill NR.
- Harry Turner from Louth 'phoned this morning to say that yesterday, he had been to Red Hill's Coronation Meadow. He was very encouraged to see so many butterflies: 130 Small Tortoiseshells, 60+ Common Blues largely on Small Scabious, 20+ Red Admirals, 20+ Peacocks, upto 10 Brimstones, several of the Whites, still a remnant of Meadow Browns and 10+ Painted Ladies. (Harry Turner was a prime mover in the development of Red Hills to the fine reserve it is today. He still takes fresh plants up there and still has a Red Hill Transect Walk.)
- Tony Burgess sent in several very fine photos involving butterflies in flight, taken at high speeds. Shown here are two of them involving Brimstones. Tony used a speed of 1/6400 at f/8 and iso 2000 for both of these. They are attracting many "likes" on our Twitter account.
- Adrian White from Winterton wrote in: "A good week here with the highlights; a second generation Poplar Hawkmoth at Far Ings, Pebble, Iron and Swallow Prominent at home, an Angle-striped Sallow at Silica Park, Scunthorpe with a second in the home trap the next night, my first British Maiden's Blush (trapped in the Pyrenees before) at home, Dusky-lemon Sallow at Silica Park, several Centre-barred Sallow at home and Sallow Kitten at Silica Park and Winteringham churchyard. A happy moth-er!
- Graham Beckwith e-mailed the following interesting account: "I would like to share the sightings that I and my butterfly colleagues, Steve Austin and Stephen Lowther, experienced on Sunday 27th August. It was a 3 hour journey from our home Butterfly Conservation patch in Durham in the hope of seeing Brown Hairstreak at the closest site to us, Chambers Farm Wood. This would be a new species for myself and Stephen. After a quick look in the Butterfly Garden where there were few butterflies (a few Red Admirals and a Small Tortoiseshell) but numerous Hornets, we were just exiting the gate when we noticed an orange-looking butterfly with a sort of swirling flight fly out of the garden and up over the toilet block. We weren't 100% sure what it was until a few yards towards the car park we saw another, but closer but it proceeded to fly along the hedgerow and into the field with the bull warning sign. We then were pretty sure we'd seen 2 Brown Hairstreaks but not the best of views. After a visit to Minting Triangle and back to the car park for lunch we had seen 2 more in flight but none at close quarters to photograph. After a well-earned lunch we headed back but saw none for the entire walk back to the Triangle. After photographing a female Brimstone (another species absent from most of Co Durham except for 1 or 2 sightings per year in the south of the county), I had walked on for about 10-15 metres when I spotted an unusual-looking butterfly (to me). It soon became clear I had found my first ever Brown Hairstreak, a pristine female making short flights among the verge vegetation. We were over the moon; rewarded for our long journey and patience. It didn't settle too long between flights before it flew up into the trees. Other species became incidental after that, but we did also see good numbers of pristine Brimstone, incredible numbers of Red Admiral (notably in the meadows), a single Brown Argus in the meadow, a single Painted Lady in the meadow, a few Small Tortoiseshell mainly in the meadows but also through the wood, a few Comma, a single female Common Blue also at Minting Triangle, 4 Peacock and numerous Whites of all 3 common species. We had a great day at a superb site and we'll be back next year hopefully for Black Hairstreak, White Admiral and that icing on the cake, Purple Emperor."
- Steve Palmer from Healing wrote: "17 species last night including Centre-barred Sallow( first of year), 3 Old Ladies, Orange Swift, Burnished Brass, Copper Underwing and Lime Speck Pug."
- Nige Lound from Skegness writes: "Canary-shouldered Thorn and Currant Pug were new for this year here in Sunny Skeggy last night. Had 235 moths of 27 species."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool writes: "Highlights from last night were Small Blood-vein and Frosted Orange, both new for this year, and 2 Angle-striped Sallow."
- Martin Gray from Broadholme e-mailed: " had a Convolvulous Hawkmoth necturing on Salvia at around 09:30 pm in my garden last night. Be on the look out for the Clifden Nonpareil and other scarce migrants as they are being recorded quite regularly in other parts of the country."
28th August: Unusual place for a sighting?
Colin Pumfrett e-mailed: "I found a Small Ranunculus on a wall of a building near Lincoln Castle, bang in the middle of Lincoln Steampunk show!"
27th August: Old Ladies featuring strongly.
- Andy Sims writes: "2 Old Ladies in my trap but both very old and worn. Also Angle-striped Sallow, 3rd of year, & Small Dusty Wave new for this year."
- Chris Dobson e-mailed: "Two Old Ladies last night which is unusual for my garden. Still getting hundreds of Setaceous Hebrew Characters and Large Yellow Underwings!"
- Nige Lound from Skegness writes: "271 moths of 32 species. Undoubted highlight was a Scarce Bordered Straw, not surprisingly new garden record (thanks to Karen and Sarah Hand as usual for the ID). Supporting cast of Dark Sword-grass and 3 Old Lady.
- Martin Gray e-mailed: "Heath Rustic in the trap this morning, not common away from its normal Heathland habitat. Good numbers of Old Ladies about as well."
26th August: Still plenty of both moths and butterflies to see.
- Jill Hall photographed a Brimstone, in flight, unusually, with its wings wide open, at Messingham Sand Quarry today. She also saw a Brown Hairstreak at Chambers Farm Wood last week.
- Karen and Sarah Hand write: "A single Robinson MV trap here last night produced some relatively impressive numbers of moths, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Highlights included Turnip Moth, 2 Red Underwings, Canary Shouldered Thorn, Rush Veneer and Sharp Angled Peacock. A total of 764 moths of 59 species, which included 255 Large Yellow Uderwings, 147 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 81 Small Square-spot, 76 Square-spot Rustics and 25 Brimstone Moths."
- Pete Burnett e-mailed: "116 moths of 22 species in our Fiskerton garden last night. Another big haul of 73 Setaceous Hebrew Character and new for this year was a single Frosted Orange ... Autumn is upon us."
25th August: Interesting sightings at Snakeholme Pit.
- Phil Lee wrote: "I spent an hour at Snakeholme Pit after visiting the Brown Hairstreaks at Chambers Farm Wood yesterday, and I was amazed at how many Small Red-eyed Damselfly were on the floating vegetation. I saw at least 10 along with Southern, Brown and Migrant Hawkers, Common and Ruddy Darter and Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselfy. Butterflies included Peacock, Speckled Wood, Comma, Brimstone, Small White, Common Blue and Brown Argus."
- Mark & Sally Johnson e-mailed the following: "420 moths of 27 species on Thursday morning. Large Yellow Underwings down to 70, but Setaceous Hebrew Characters up to 199! Two Frosted Orange and two Willow Beauties were new for this year."
24th August: Good haul of moths at Theddlethorpe.
Cliff Morrison wrote in with: "I had 2 new species for me today, Bullrush Wainscot and Crescent, whilst Canary-shouldered Thorn was new for this year on 21st. August. Overall, there were 361 moths of 52 species on 21st and 365 moths of 49 species on 24th, so without tabulating, that’s 726 moths of around 60 species over the 2 nights. 229 Large Yellow Underwongs & 90 Setaceous Hebrew Characters. A dozen Sharp-angled Peacocks around the trap this morning, a couple of Poplar Hawk Moths, White-lined Darts, Archer’s Dart and Ear aggs. were amongst the catch."
23rd August: The Sallows (and Autumn!) are coming.
- Pete Burnett wrote: " ... biggest haul this year in our Fiskerton garden last night,182 moths of which 117 were Setaceous Hebrew Character! New for year were a single Old Lady and a Flounced Rustic."
- Steve Palmer writes that he, "Chris Atkin and Dave Wright had a moth night in our Healing village garden last night and caught 30 plus species. The main highlights were Frosted Orange, 2 Swallow Prominent, Burnished Brass, 12 Gold Spots and 8 Old Ladies! Happy days!"
- Lawrie Poole from Thorpe on the Hill caught the usual suspects last night. Amongst the catch was a nice Dusky Thorn a Centre-barred Sallow, a Copper Underwing and a Small China-mark."
22nd August: Hummingbird Hawkmoths around.
- Toby Ludlow e-mailed: "Due to a lack of Old Ladies here in Coningsby, I've had to hang my own washing out! However, like Phil, I also had a "Hummer" in my garden on Sunday, which spent some time frequenting my Buddleia. I also had another sighting of one the next day (yesterday), so sounds like there are a few about."
- Phil Lee writes from Misterton: "146 macros in the garden last night, of which 75 were Large Yellow Underwing. I did however have a new one for the garden in the shape of the attached Ear Moth agg."
21st August: Interesting Moths showing.
- Steve Palmer from Healing says: "Ideal weather conditions only produced 11 species. Of note were Suspected, Common Wainscott, Small Square Spot and Rustic. On weeding my son's garden in Grimsby I found an Elephant Hawkmoth larva."
- Phil Lee says: " ... excitement in the (Misterton) garden on Sunday 20th with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on the Verbenas and Fuchsias for a few minutes and 2 Old Ladies, one in the overnight trap and one hanging out the washing!" (Er ... yes! Thanks for that, Phil!)
- Nige Lound from Gibraltar Point e-mailed: "180 moths of 35 species with the highlights being White-point, Old Lady, Dark Sword-grass and Pale Mottled Willow. Yellow Shell, Copper Underwing and Double-striped Pug were all new for this year."
19th August: Large Yellow Underwings having a blast!
Steve Palmer from Healing had: "A good night included Dusky thorn, Copper Underwing, 2 Maidens Blush, Mouse Moth, Suspected and the micros Ringed China-mark and Meal Moth. 72 Large Yellow Underwings!"
17th August: Some nice moth 'highlights'.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool says his highlights from last night were: Antler (new for this year), Lesser Treble-bar and Bright-line Brown-eye.
- Steve Palmer from Healing, near Grimsby says: "Despite the rain we had a fairly good night. Included in the catch were: Willow Beauty, Iron and Pebble Prominents, Burnished Brass, Green and Flame Carpet moths."
16th August: Some interesting moths showing.
- Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: " ... Sharp-angled Peacock 2nd record for garden, Southern Wainscot 2nd for garden and a Six- striped Rustic which was a !st for garden. 179 moths of 32 species in all."
- Pete Burnett had a: "Decent night last night in our Fiskerton garden. 56 moths of 22 species including new for trhis year Dusky Thorn (2) and new for the garden the immigrant Vestal. Most numerous were 17 Setaceous Hebrew Character."
- Steve Palmer wrote in: "Last night only produced 19 species and died after 12 o'clock when clear, cooler weather turned up here in Healing, near Grimsby. Catch included 8 Gold Spot and 44 Large Yellow Underwings."
- Colin Smith wrote: "I was surprised to find a Great Brocade on the grass by my trap this morning."
15th August: Good hauls of macro moths.
- Steve Palmer, from Healing near Grimsby, had: "25 species including Spectacle, Iron Prominent, Pebble Prominent, Burnished Brass and just the 44 Large Yellow Underwings!"
- Rick Camm saw a Small Copper at Gorse Lane, Silk Willoughby, near Sleaford on Sunday 13th August.
- Cliff Morrison reports: "In my Theddlethorpe 1ha paddock, I had 550 moths of 53 species caught in 1 Robinson 2x30w actinide and 1Skinner 125MV. trap. The traps were light separated by the stable block and it was interesting that the Robinson caught 218 moths of 31 species, whilst the Skinner caught 332 moths of 45 species. Last year, the Robinson actinic always caught far less LYUs than the Skinner, but this year it seems to be the other way round, with 135 and 85 respectively today, but I guess statistically insignificant yet. I have a new aluminium/polythene plastic sandwich structure box for the Skinner electrics and it lets nothing escape, so a good buy. Moths of interest included Waved Umber nfy, 6 Copper Underwings and 2 Svennsen’s Copper Underwings, 4 Archer’s Darts and 4 White-lined Darts. Migrants included 1 Rush Veneer nfy and 2 Dark Sword Grass." (nfy=new for this year)
- Nige Lound had: "249 moths of 22 species overnight in my Skegness garden. Highlights were a Bordered Straw and an Old Lady."
14th August: More Brown Hairstreaks seen.
- Zoe Shreeve e-mailed: "we saw two Brown Hairstreaks, one more battered than the other, they were on the Red Trail route between what I believe is called Fiveways and the Triangle; roughly equal distance between the two. Also saw an Elephant Hawkmoth larva."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool records: "Highlights this morning were Gold Spot, Orange Swift, Yellow-barred Brindle, Pale Mottled Willow and Vine’s Rustic."
- Phil Lee wrote: " Following a fairly quiet spell I had a couple of good moths for my area over here at Misterton last night. A Dark Sword-grass, which is a migrant and can turn up in any month and a Small Rufous which has a local status but which turns up annually in my garden."
- Chris Dobson from Langworth says: "Got a nice Barred Rivulet last night, only the third I've ever had in the garden."
13th August: Good number of species still at Chambers Farm Wood.
- James Bradbury from Sheffield e-mailed: "My family and I visited Chambers Farm Wood today in search of butterflies with target species including Essex Skipper, Silver Washed Fritillary and Brown Hairstreak. We managed 15 species however this included none of the targets, with a fair few surprises too including no Skippers or Ringlets & very few Small Tortoiseshells & Gatekeepers. Locally the Peacocks are having their worst year on record. However, today, it was the modal species by quite some distance, which was a pleasant surprise. On two occasions I noted unusual behaviour from a Purple Hairsteak, the first in Little Scrubbs Meadow flying low amongst the Scabious and the second on the left hand track at ‘Five-ways’ down in the long grass. Both were very worn specimens but it's a butterfly I rarely see at ground level. Generally butterflies and numbers were down on previous years although 15 species is still a good count, and its always great to visit the site. A full list of sightings were 10 Meadow Brown, 24 Red Admiral, 7 Large White, 17 Small White, 69 Peacock, 2 Comma, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 19 Brimstone, 3 Gatekeeper, 5 Painted Lady, 35 Green Veined White, 8 Purple Hairstreak, 8 Speckled Wood, 2 Brow Argus and 1 Common Blue. Hope to visit in Spring again next year."
- John Clarkson from Louth e-mailed: "Only 13 species with a mere 92 Large Yellow Underwings out of the 127 moths in my trap! Only one new for this year was a Ringed China Mark."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool says: "Highlights from last night were 3 Lesser Swallow Prominent new for this year and 1 Old Lady."
12th August: Silver-washed Fritillary still showing.
- Val & Phil Emmett reported: " ... saw this butterfly at Five-ways in Chambers Farm Wood yesterday. Having looked up its colouration, etc. in Collins Butterfly Guide (2008); Tolman, T and Lewington R, we are inclined to identify it as Silver-washed Fritillary." (In fact it is a darkish, female Silver-washed Fritillary).
- Richard Davidson wrote: "On Thursday the 10th it was a lovely day so I went to the coast and did one of my favourite walks north of Skegness up towards Seathorne. Nice sandy dune habitat between the North Dunes Golf Course and the beach with lots of Ragwort, Birds Foot Trefoil and Soapwort in flower. Good for invertebrates, particularly bees and wasps. Also saw a good selection of butterflies. Gatekeepers were the most numerous 30+ but also saw three male and two female Common Blues plus two Brown Argus and a single Wall Brown. Also 6 Speckled Woods, perhaps surprising for the edge of the beach. Other interesting invertebrates were Dune Villa (Villa modesta) bee flies which appear to be breeding there and Podalonia hirsuta predatory wasps which may be new for the county. The OS grid reference would be TF 573652."
- Mark & Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: "155 macros of 27 species today. Maidens Blush, Square Spot Rustic and Angle Shades new for year. Ear sp second for year and Bloodvein is a first for our garden."
- Kathy & Steve Palmer from Healing Village wrote in: "This is my first entry onto the Moth Forum and here is a selection of moths I have caught in my back garden in the last week: Copper Underwing, Hoary Footman, Magpie, Maiden’s Blush, Six-striped Rustic, Bedstraw Hawkmoth, Pebble Prominent and Small Phoenix. The Large Yellow Underwing invasion has started in my garden too, with 30 in the trap last night."
- Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe wrote in: "Interesting to see how a cool overnight on 11th, followed by a warm overnight on 12th led to an increase in both moths and species. Two traps in essentially same conditions, although relocated to avoid retraps as far as possible. 140 moths of 35 species on the 11th and 360 moths of around 45 species on the 12th. with a total of 500 moths of around 50 species. 100 Large Yellow Underwings were the most numerous species with 43 Straw Dots second in frequency. Interesting species included a new species for me, Brown-veined Wainscot, Archer’s Dart, 4 White-lined Dart, Saltmarsh Plume, Sallow Kitten and first Orange Swifts. Cochylimorpha straminea was common."
- John Clarkson from Louth says: "Only ten species in my trap overnight but highlights were 3 Ruby Tigers, 120+ Large Yellow Underwings! Old Lady (new for this year), Gold Spot and Iron Prominent, a new moth for me."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had: "48 Large Yellow Underwings in trap this morning. Also, Mouse Moth new for this year and a Pebble Hook-tip."
- Phil Bowler wrote in: " At last a day worth venturing out on - 10th August. Alas, numbers at Chambers Farm Wood still either very low, lower than average, or even absent altogether. 2 Vapourer. 2 Silver Y, 1 Small Skipper, 14 Brimstone (10m 4f), 1 Large White, 3 Small White, 14 Green-veined White 14, 1(m) Common Blue, 4 Brown Hairstreak (1m 3f) all at Minting stretch beyond the Triangle, 11 Purple Hairstreak, 25 Red Admiral, 103 Peacock. 6 Comma (1 hutchinsoni, rest very fresh typical form), Silver-washed Fritillary (1m 2f - male fresh), 5 Speckled Wood, 12 Gatekeeper and 9 Meadow Brown."
- Alan Rodda saw: " ... plenty of Chasers at Chambers yesterday all looking for Brown Hairstreak we were very lucky seeing 7 or more, 6 in the Minting Triangle area and one first right after the barrier near the car park Also near Oak tree corner I saw at least 5 Brown Argus and 3 Common Blue (Oak tree corner is past the triangle). Lots of very fresh Brimstone too."
- Peter and Tehani Cawdell: " ... visited Risby Warren on 7th August and saw 9 Grayling. Also, spotted a Comma pupa hanging from a grass stem near Nettles in Chambers Farm Woods on 6th August. At times it was shaking vigorously."
8th August: More 'new for this year' records
- Andy Sims from Swanpool reported: " ... my recent highlights were Ear Moth agg caught today, 1st for garden, and Wood Carpet caught Sunday (6th August), 2nd for garden."
- Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: "Orange Swift, Sallow Kitten and 2 Gold Spots all new for this year."
6th August: Optimism rewarded!
- Paul Daubney wrote in: "I went to Gosling Corner Woods N.R. today, with the optimistic aim of finding Brown Hairstreaks … and was pleasantly surprised to actually find one on the path not far from the car park. A lovely fresh female, unfortunately she didn’t stick around for long."
- Alan Dale e-mailed: "Found on the internal ceiling of my Low Hameringham garage at 11pm a Tissue Moth. Now, I ask you, how often do you look at the ceiling of your garage? But there it was in all it's pristine glory. (I'm presuming that it isn't the Scarce Tissue because of a white tornal spot on the forewing but don't know if that is a diagnostic feature?)"
- Roy Harvey wrote: "Hummingbird Hawkmoth this morning. It was on a Buddleia beside the entrance track to Rimac car park. Lots of Peacock butterflies about today: I also saw a pristine Painted Lady at Manby Flashes - have encountered very few this year."
- Brian Hedley from Marton: "Just got home to find a Red Underwing sitting on the wall next to back door! The LNU moth session to Mareham Pastures yesterday wasn't particularly noteworthy with 35 common species. Straw Dot most numerous. Straw Underwing probably most interesting - for me anyway."
- Phil Lee e-mailed: "A couple of the goodies we saw at Chambers Farm Wood last night, were 2 Devon Carpets and an unexpected Waved Black which must have been on tour from its nearby Langworth gardens! Other moths only seen occasionally included Olive, Bordered Beauty and both Copper and Svensson's Copper Underwings."
- George Rutter e-mailed: "I have just found an Old Lady (moth) hiding among silage bales here in Sloothby. Totally unexpected, only had a couple of small pots in my pocket, but fortunately some herbert had thrown a Macdonalds paper drink cup on the grass verge and I was able to contain the specimen. Only the second one I have seen in the flesh."
5th August: New Garden records.
- John Clarkson from Louth: "Last night's catch was fairly modest with 14 species including 28 Large Yellow Underwings. New for year and garden were a Lychnis and a Lime-speck Pug."
- Andy Sims at Swanpool had " ... a Lesser Treble-bar, which was new for this year, today."
4th August: New moth at North Somercotes.
Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: "A new species for the garden from this mornings trap: a Lozotaeniodes formosana."
2nd August: Laughton Forest yields interesting butterfly sightings.
- Peter Cawdell e-mailed: "After torrential rain cleared late yesterday afternoon, I managed a brief look around the Tuetoes area of Laughton Forest. Pleasantly surprised to find a female Wall Brown. Other goodies seen included both male and female Small Copper, a Brown Argus, and a male Silver-washed Fritillary at 5:30 pm (John Davison and John Petyt had at least 4 Silver-washed Fritillaries on the Saturday before, 29th July, earlier in the day in better weather). This is part of a large complex of woods, and warrants much more exploration."
- Pete Burnett had: " ... a decent night in our Fiskerton garden last night: 83 moths of 31 species. New for this year a was Straw Underwing and a couple of micros were garden firsts: Cochylis roseana and Blastobasis adustella.Thanks to Martin gray for ID confirmation."
- Tim Bagworth writes: "Only 2 Common Rustic in my trap here in Spalding. I'm getting very few moths this year due to the new excessively bright LED street lights that have been installed along the road including one that shines into the garden."
1st August: Seasoned Moth-ers still getting new garden records.
Andy Sims from Swanpool had: " ... only 23 moths in the trap this morning but a Pearly Underwing was new for the garden."
31st July: A new site for Silver-washed Fritillaries.
- Peter Cawdell writes: "Following up a lead from Ian McGlynn I visited Woodland Trust, Ingoldsby Wood today. Delighted to find at least 5 Silver-Washed Fritillaries there. Also, judging by large numbers of Red Admiral eggs being laid, and caterpillars visible on the Nettles, Red Admirals will be flying in even greater numbers later this year."
- Paul Daubney e-mailed that yesterday: "There was a single Brown Argus beyond Minting Triangle at Chambers Farm Wood. It was pointed out to me that it was an aberration of the form snelleni, i.e. it had white dots on the forewings, a bit like a Northern Brown Argus. I saw the same form in the same place 2 years ago."
- Ian McGlynn e-mailed: "Today, Jeannie and I went blackberrying in Bourne Woods. She was wearing sandals so lagged behind. I waited for her to catch up, and wait for it: she said, 'Did you see the Purple Emperor?'. I did not, even though I went back to where she had seen it. I will stay by her side when looking for Brown Hairstreaks!"
30th July: Alas, no Moth Night due to torrential rain, but weather held for successful Open Day & AGM.
Over 50 people, including several families, came for the start of the Open Day for Lincs. Branch of Butterfly Conservation. Many checked out the bookstall, checked out the i.d. cards, looked around the Butterfly Garden, bought raffle tickets, had a coffee and cake, or just chatted. 37 people went on the Guided Butterfly Walk. 20 butterfly species were seen including Purple Hairstreaks, Silver-washed Fritillaries (male & female), Common Blue, Small Copper, Brown Argus and White Admiral. Several day-flying moths were seen too, including Shaded Broad-bar, Yellow Shell, Magpie, Mother of Pearl, Dusky Sallow, and Latticed Heath. The children seemed to particularly enjoy the walk, seeing the butterflies and moths, and learning their names. One young man had a Brown Argus butterfly clinging to his sun hat for a while, which was fun! The AGM went well with well illustrated reports on the past year. The point was made that the Branch is short of Committee Members. If you are interested in joining the Committee, please contact Peter Cawdell on 01522-262991 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks are due, particularly, to Audrey and John Spring, and their team, for managing the kitchen throughout the day.
29th July: Last of the regular Lincolnshire butterfly species seen today, for the first time this year.
- Paul Daubney writes: "Had my first (brief) sighting of a Brown Hairstreak this year, a single (male?) at Minting Triangle. Also, in the short spells of sunshine, 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries, a few fading White Admirals, lots of fresh Essex Skippers (these were past the Triangle), lots of Red Admirals, Peacocks, Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Whites (Large, Small & Green-veined), a few Commas, Large & Small Skippers, Painted Ladies and Speckled Woods, and singles of Purple Hairstreak, Brimstone, Common Blue and Brown Argus. Not bad for a generally gloomy day. Let’s hope that the sun comes out for tomorrow’s Open Day."
- Pete Burnett e-mailed: " ... walked round Snakeholme this afternoon, a lovely reserve thanks to the hard work of the local BC volunteers. Numerous Peacock, Red Admirals, Gatekeeper and Meadow Browns. Single Painted Lady, 2 Brimstone, single Common Blue and single Brown Argus. Lots of Dragonflies and Bees which I cannot put a name to. A really good and under-rated little reserve. Also, had a Painted Lady on my (Lincoln) garden Buddleia this afternoon."
- Phil and Val Emmett were at Chambers Farm Wood and saw a Holly Blue "The upper wing, which we were not able to get a shot of was blue (seen when flying) with dark edges." (The female Holly Blue has wide, dark borders and tips, especially noticeable in the second brood, which this one would be.)
28th July: Some butterflies are braving the very mixed weather.
- Phil Bowler: “The weather seems to be constantly tripping me up this year, especially when I venture out to Chambers Farm Wood! On my way it was lovely sunshine, but upon getting there the sun never came out once, plus it rained quite a bit! Nevertheless I went for quite a walk amidst the showers, a few butterflies were risking the elements, and I even caught a glimpse of a Purple Emperor circling high above the trees at Fiveways. No Hairstreaks of any type seen and apart from 16 Red Admirals in the butterfly garden, very little else to report. Here is my full list: 5 Green-veined White, 16 Red Admiral, 3 Peacock, 2 Speckled Wood 2 Gatekeeper, 5 Ringlet and singletons of Large White, Small White, Purple Emperor (m), Painted Lady, Comma, Meadow Brown and Common Purple & Gold.”
- Andy Sims at Swanpool caught a White-line Dart ovenight. (Confirmed by Martin Gray and Karen & Sarah Hand.)
- Lawrie Poole had 7 Red Admirals, 3 Peacock butterflies, 2 Commas, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Gatekeeper and Large & Small Whites in his Thorpe on the Hill garden today, despite some heavy showers. Buddleia is by far the preferred nectar plant, followed by Verbena bonariensis.
26th July: Poor, very wet weather limits sightings.
John Clarkson from Louth had: " ... a very modest catch of 12 species overnight in pretty cool conditions. Endotricha flammealis was new for this year and Dusky Sallow was new for the garden."
23rd July: Silver-washed Fritillaries pushing the boundaries, but High Brown Fritillaries on the decrease.
- John Petyt and John Davison: " ... went to Broughton West Wood yesterday to see if the Silver-washed Fritillaries were still there. They have been opening up the wood over the last few years and we saw 2 in 2015 and 1 last year. There were lots of butterflies in the rides including at least 14 Silver-washed Fritillaries."
- Peter Cawdell wrote in with: "Not Lincs., but some members who went on our Field Trips to see this rare species last year in Devon and the year before in Cumbria may be interested. Apparently High Brown Fritillaries are now extinct on the Malverns, and the only other small population left, therefore, apart from those above, is in South Wales. Tehani and I joined a very small group there trying to count these on a transect earlier this month. They were not settling for long and so were very hard to separate from the much more numerous Dark Green Fritillaries sharing the habitat. We were the only ones having a net, which was covered under licence, and we were pleased to have caught, and positively identify, 3 of only 5 definite High Browns that afternoon (1st July)."
- Rachel Scopes from Horncastle: " ... hasn't had the trap out at all lately for various reasons, but had a new moth for my garden in the shape of a Scorched Carpet found in the bathroom!"
- Nige Lound in his Skegness garden had: "55 macros of 19 species. Herald, Gothic and Knot-grass were all new for this year."
22nd July: More, interesting moths.
- Adrian White from Winterton, N. Lincs., sent in : "Despite some wet weather my home trap recently has produced: Pine Hawkmoth, my fifth Hawkmoth species this year, a Sophonia semicostella, and a totally unexpected Wormwood. I also ran a light at Far Ings on three nights last week, and caught a Haworth's Minor."
- Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had " ... two new moths for the year from Thursday evening (20th July), Brown-line Bright-eye and Dark Sword-grass."
- Geoff Sykes and Lawrie Poole have almost adjacent gardens at Thorpe on the Hill. Between the two gardens they saw: Brimstone, Comma, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small White and Large White. The Comma was behaving in a most most aggressive manner, trying to 'see off' at huge speed, any other butterfly which came anywhere near it, returning to a particular small area in Geoff's garden, often even to the same flower! A lovely, settled, sunny afternoon, with Buzzards sailing and mewing overhead. A pretty magic day, in fact!"
20th July: Migrant moth: Lyme Grass.
- Karen & Sarah Hand from Addlethorpe e-mailed: "Last night's warm and muggy conditions prompted us to put the trap out, despite having to go to work in the morning, and despite the probability of getting drenched whilst emptying the trap in the rain before work! The trap was very busy and the star of the show was a migrant Small Mottled Willow, albeit a bit battered. Also in the trap were 4 Platytes alpinella, which we recorded at home for the first time only last week, and a Kent Black Arches (3rd for site)."
- Mark & Sally Johnson had a Lyme Grass confirmed which was caught on 3rd June at their North Somercotes garden. Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe, commented: "I had a similar Lyme Grass to yours in June which Karen & Sarah Hand identified for me as the most heavily marked one they had seen. Perhaps we specialise in some darker varieties on our section of the coast, but having said that, I guess I’ve had a dozen typical ones in the past month."
18th July: New Species?!
- John Davison: Saw a new butterfly species today at Yarborough Warren: a Tree Grayling! Well ... let's say a Grayling in an unusual habitat!
- Nige Lound wrote: "I ran a 125W MV Robinson overnight in the clearing between North car park and the Mere at Gib which resulted in 188 moths of 55 species. New for this year were Broad-bordered and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Twin-spot Carpet, Engrailed and Antler Moth."
17th July: Still a good number of butterfly species in Chambers Farm Wood.
- Jason Sargerson wrote in: "I have been today on my annual pilgrimage to Chambers Farm Wood. My sightings were: Purple Emperor, Comma, Green-veined White, Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Painted Lady, Large White, Silver-washed Fritillary, Marbled White and Brimstone."
- Mark and Sally Johnson from North Somercotes had: " ... new moths for the garden yesterday, Honeysuckle Moth, Southern Wainscot with the grey 'headband', and an Oak Eggar."
16th July: Successful catch again, at Gibraltar Point.
Nige Lound at his Gibraltar Point garden on 14th July, had 88 Moths of 28 species; Ruby Tiger and Barred Straw were new for this year, and noteworthy were 2 Star-wort.
15th July: Purple Emperor spreading its wings?
- Will McLaughlin e-mailed that he: " ... has now recorded Purple Emperors in Bourne Wood, Spring Wood, Elsethorpe and Pickworth Great Wood, which I know is in Rutland, but close to Holywell, and not too far from Roberts Field."
- Peter Cawdell sent in an account of the Lincs Branch of BC's Field Trip on 8th July to Fermyn Woods in Northamptonshire. An early start on a beautiful day ensured some good sightings: Purple Emperors, incuding a number of females, White-letter Hairstreaks, Purple Hairstreaks, Silver-washed Fritillaries, an unusual 'sufusa' aberration of the Comma, thought to be brought about by the pupa stage being subject to higher than usual temperatures, and White Admirals. It was a successful, interesting and enjoyable Trip. (Whether Derek Fox and John Davison should have gone to SpecSavers still remains questionable! See photo!).
JD/DF - Been to Specsavers so able to tell a Purple from a White-letter.
- Richard Davidson sent in the folllowing account: "Back in May I was in the Nocton area looking at Portevinia maculata, the Ramsons hoverfly, on wild Garlic on the edge of the village and also found a thicket of big Elms there as well. I returned yesterday afternoon and scanned them with my binoculars and was very pleased to see 3 White-letter Hairstreaks on the tops of them. One was right at the apex of the tallest Elm flitting around it and glinting in the sunlight in the same way I've seen them do at Chambers Farm Wood. I don't think they've been recorded in that area before. I'll have another look over the next couple of weeks to try and see more and also at other thickets of Elm I know of around the county. I then walked along another woodland edge not far away and also saw a Purple Hairstreak around the edge of a large Oak tree. Two different Hairstreaks in one afternoon was not bad! Lots of Red Admirals, Gatekeepers and Ringlets about as well."
- Karen & Sarah Hand e-mailed: "A reasonable catch at Gib last night still produced a few nice moths including: Star-wort, Cream Wave, Lesser Cream Wave, Least Carpet, Rosy Footman, Pine Hawkmoth, Drinker, Crescent Striped, Small Scallop and Antler. Last Sunday (9th July) at home in Addlethorpe the trap included: Dark Umber - 2nd for site, Slender Brindle - 2nd for site, Purple Thorn - new for site, Plum Fruit Moth - new for site and Small Emerald - 2nd for site."
- Phil Lee wrote in: " just letting you know that I had a very fresh Silver-washed Fritillary on Friday afternoon, 14th July, in Laughton Forest at Tuetoes plantation. I was netting 'longhorn' beetles and it momentarily landed on my net."
14th July: Dark Green Fritillary at Robert's Field.
Peter Burnett e-mailed: " ... made a visit to Robert's Field today. Managed half a dozen sitings of Dark Green Fritillary ,10 Marbled White, numerous Meadow Browns and a single Gatekeeper. Also numerous Six-spot Burnets ... a day flying moth. A Red Kite low overhead on the reserve and also the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight passed over!
13th July: Derek Fox, Chris Dobson and those Langworth Waved Blacks!
- Derek Fox sent in the following interesting account: "With having recorded Waved Black in the garden before I thought 'let's have a go' last night, However, with the weather being cool and clear, my expectations were very low to say the least. When I went to cover the trap up in the early hours there did not seem to be many moths about. To my surprise on the outside of the trap was a pale, slightly worn Waved Black, so I thought my good friend Chris Dobson would be thrilled to hear the news. Mid-morning he came round as he always does to do the identifying. As I uncovered the trap, he says 'keep still'. I thought 'what's up mate, are you having a funny turn'. Then with a massive grin on his face he pointed to a second Waved Black which I had not seen on the outside of the trap when covering it up. How it stayed there for so long was pure luck, so from us both thinking it would be a poor catch, that was a great surprise. As we looked at more egg boxes things got even better as we focused our eyes on a pristine second brood Chocolate-tip. In all I caught 114 moths of 39 species which considering the low night temperature was very rewarding. So the Foxes still have Waved Black and that made Mr Dobson's day!"
- Chris Dobson had previously written in with: "Just thought the people might be interested in seeing a photo of Langworth's star moth, recorded in the village in varying numbers every year since 2003. Why such a scarcity should favour this area is a bit of a mystery but long may it remain. I've trapped 4 Waved Blacks so far this year, but can catch them any time through to the middle of August."
12th July: Rare moth at Theddlethorpe.
- Martin Gray writes: "Cliff Morrison has done it again trapping a Double Line from his coastal abode in the Theddlethorpe dunes. Most likely a migrant. Not many of us would have predicted this species to be on the Lincolnshire List!"
- Lawrie Poole was unable to go on the Lincs Branch of BC Field Trip to Fermyn Woods and instead travelled down there today. "I saw only one Purple Emperor flying majestically through the tree canopy, the sun shining through its wings. No-one else that day saw one to photograph; the general thought being that they are pretty well over. Apparently, the Field Trip saw 9 of this very beautiful creatures. However, by chance, I met Ian McGlynn, in Lady Wood, just a field further on from the main Fermyn Wood. Ian pointed out a Silver-washed Fritillary of the Valezina form. Whilst there were many dozens of male Silver-washed, I saw just 4 females all told, two of which were this dusky, glossy green Valezina form, more normally found in the Southern counties. With a quick dive over to Bedford Purlieus in the afternoon, I saw in total 21 butterfly species, including 4 White-letter Hairstreaks at Bedford Purlieus - thanks to Ian again, for showing me the correct ride to check. An amazing day!"
11th July: Rare moth at Little Scrubbs Meadow. Second brood Blues out.
- Samantha Batty says: "I visited Chamber’s Farm Wood on 6th July, and spotted this colourful micro moth Nemophora cupriacella in Little Scrubbs Meadow."
- Pete Burnett had : "50 moths in the Actinic in our Fiskerton garden last night. New for this year were: Pale Prominent, Small Angle Shades and Yellowtail."
- Nige Lound set up his: "12w Actinic near the Tern Hut at Gibraltar Point overnight. It produced 176 Macros of 27 species. Noteworthy were a Lyme-grass, Dark Sword-grass and 7 Crescent Striped. New for this year were White-line Dart, Least Yellow Underwing and Ear Moth agg."
- Toby Ludlow: "saw a second brood Common Blue out at Moor Farm NR yesterday. Also several second brood Brown Argus on the wing."
10th July: Essex, Small and Large Skipper numbers?
Phil Bowler had excellent numbers of Essex Skipper and Red Admiral in his Amber Hill (near Boston) garden today: "I think I've mentioned before that in this area the Essex far outnumbers the Small - in fact Small Skipper is a rarity. Talking of which, I've noticed that (apart from Crowle Moors) the Large Skipper has been in very low numbers everywhere I go in Lincs/Notts this year. Sightings of note in my garden today were: 6 Silver Y, 36 Essex Skipper, 10 Large White, 35 Small White, 45 Green-veined White, 1 Holly Blue, 42 Red Admiral, 5 Painted Lady, 75 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Peacock, 5 Comma, 13 Gatekeeper, 14 Meadow Brown and 17 Ringlet." (Do others agree with Phil over Essex and Small Skipper numbers? Do let us know via this Sightings page.)
9th July: Good numbers of Essex Skippers reported.
- Dave Wright went to: " ... RSPB Tetney Marshes on 7th July. It produced a good selection of butterflies, with 11 Essex Skipper being the highlight, with a further 13 Essex Skippers at North Cotes Point. Yesterday (8th July) at Long Strip Wood, Immingham Dock, there were at least 8 White-letter Hairstreak with several females egg-laying low down on the Elm."
- Hugh Middleton spotted: " a White Admiral and a Small Copper in Chambers Farm Wood Butterfly Garden this afternoon."
- Mark & Sally Johnson reported: "Another morning and more new moths for the garden. We think Buff Footman and Star-wort."
- Nige Lound e-mailed the following: "I had 3 Least Carpet to an Actinic at Gibratar Point on 20th July, 2014 which (if I recall correctly) were the 3rd, 4th and 5th for Lincs. I had 6 Least Carpet at Gib. on 21st July 2014, followed by 2 on 23rd July 2014. Despite trapping regularly on the coast I have not had one since so they are still scarce on the coast to say the least. 125w MV Robinson trap in the garden at Gib. Point last night, produced 112 moths of 29 species. Of note were a Lyme Grass and The Fern which was a new garden record."
- Phil Lee wrote: "I said the other week that it's an unbelievable year so far for Macros in my garden over here in Misterton. Well it just goes on and on (a bit like me!). The other night I had Valerian Pug and this morning as I was taking in the trap a moth flew up onto my shorts. I almost brushed it off as a Small Fan-footed Wave and then with my hands full I saw the white spot on the thorax and dropped everything and potted it in a flash. It's my first ever Least Carpet and I don't know it's status over here in Notts. I think it is more common nearer the coast in Lincs, perhaps someone can tell me?" (See Nige Lound's comment above.)
- Lawrie Poole writes: "I'm slightly surprised at certain field species coming into the garden at the moment. During the last three days we've had the following: Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Brimstone, Painted Lady (pristine and very beautiful), Red Admiral, Large White, Small White and Small Tortoiseshell."
8th July: New Members.
- Joanna Favill wrote in from Retford: "We are new family members of Butterfly Conservation and Lincolnshire is our local branch. We have become enthralled with spotting and identifying butterflies since joining, especially my five year old daughter. This was her first 'spot and identification' from the week before last. We know it's not a rare butterfly, but she was so proud to identify it as her 'first Ringlet' and so we thought we'd share our photo of it. We are now thinking more carefully about how we manage our garden for butterflies and our wild flower patch for pollinators is working a treat this year! We are continuing to go on walks and spot and identify various butterflies in and around our village." (Thanks, Joanna - good to have you 'on board'!)
- Andy Sims from swanpool e-mailed: "Highlights from last night: Vapourer, Old Lady, Scallop Shell, Small Ranunculus and a Southern Wainscot. " (Sarah and Karen Hand explain: "The Southern Wainscot has dots which are 'joined up', and a grey 'head-band' is the definitive marking.")
- Karen and Sarah Hand had " ... a good catch of moths last night at Gibraltar Point with 157 species (macro and micro)." (Please e-mail Karen & Sarah for their full list.)
- Mark & Sally Johnson from North Somercotes, had: "two new moths for garden this morning. Golden Triangle, and the other was an Archer’s Dart."
7th July: Many butterfly species seen at Chambers Farm Wood. Another Bedstraw Hawkmoth!
- Phil Bowler paid: "Another visit to Chambers Farm wood producing the following: 1 Silver Y moth, 5 Large Skipper, 5 Small Skipper, 2 Large White, 2 Small White, 25 Green-veined White, 13 Purple Hairstreak, 5 Purple Emperor - all male. One came down at Fiveways and landed right behind me whilst I was photographing a Purple Hairstreak. Disturbed by me, it circled the area many times, swooping down at me. Wonderful! 12 White Admiral, 7 Red Admiral, 9 Comma, 2 Silver-washed Fritillary, one of each sex. 2 Speckled Wood - not new ones, 14 Meadow Brown and 199 Ringlet." (A good number of Ringlet, Phil, but you have not overtaken Harry Turner! See first entry for 5th July!)
- Kev Wilson reports: "A Silver-washed Fritillary at Gibraltar Point today - bizarre - but beautiful!"
- Cliff Morrison e-mailed: "I attended the really good moth course at Gib. last weekend. We had 118 macro species (micros don’t count on the course), including Coast Dart, one of which was caught quite close to the point on the shore by the reinforcement rock, but around a dozen were caught on the sand dune edge at Mill Hill in a Skinner with 15W actinic. I had Archer’s Dart and Lyme Grass in my 30 w Actinic just over the wall at CoastGuard and also had an Archer's Dart at home the previous Monday. We also had Bedstraw Hawkmoth, which was new for 13 out of 15 on the course."
- Andy Sims had: " A good catch again last night. Highlights, all new for this year, were Angle-striped Sallow, my 7th record in my garden, Large Emerald and V-Pug."
- Tim Bagworth says: " I had the trap out in my garden last night. The highlight was a Ethmia quadrillella of the 32 moths of 25 species caught."
6th July: Mixed pairing butterflies reported!
- Derek Fox reported: " Last week was a total washout in the garden, but at the weekend it was pleasing to see between 20-30 Small Tortoiseshells and a few fresh Whites in the garden. But to my surprise on Wednesday (5th July) a really fresh male Brimstone, then today, a pristine Peacock probably the earliest garden records I have got for these two species, so that was a real shock!"
- Jim Ashton wrote: "Yesterday me and Joel went to Bourne Woods and had an excellent time seeing the following: our first ever record of a male Purple Emperor descended briefly onto main track, Holly Blue, 2 Purple Hairstreak, 19 Silver-washed Fritillaries, 5 Large Skipper, 4 Red Admiral, 6 White Admiral, 50+ Ringlet and plenty of Meadow Browns. Although not within the county we've had some great moments with the Purple Emperors at Fermyn Woods." (Don't forget our Lincs Branch Field Trip to Fermyn on Sat. 8th July!)
- Toby Ludlow saw: " ... a rather bizarre sighting at Moor Farm NR (LWT) today. A mixed pairing between a female Ringlet and a male Meadow Brown. Saw it happen before my very eyes. Not a common occurrence, but have seen a few before."
- Kev Wilson, the Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve Warden, e-mailed: "David Brown had a few Sand Dart and Lyme Grass when he put a trap out from Mill Hill on last weekend’s Moth and Butterfly course. As well as a Bordered Straw and a Bedstraw Hawkmoth. Also, 2-3 Humming-bird Hawkmoths have been regular at Gib. over the last week."
- Andy Sims wrote in: "Another new moth for the garden this morning: a Dark Umber. Thanks to Chris Dobson for confirming the i.d."
- Brian Hedley e-mailed: "Actinic lamp over Skinner trap left in garden overnight here at Marton (05/07) produced about 50 species including Dwarf Cream Wave, Small Fan-footed Wave, Dun-bar, Silver Y, many Scarce Footman and Early Thorns plus Anania coronata."
- Nige Lound at Gibraltar Point e-mailed: "2 nights at Gib with 12V actinic: 3rdJuly on 'The Spit', a sparsely vegetated shingle ridge adjacent to saltmarsh some 300m South of the Tern Hut: 47 moths of 14 species; and on 4th July, trap was situated directly outside the Tern Hut at the southern end of the East Dunes. 139 moths of 28 species. Still not had Coast, Sand or Archer’s Dart this year but still plenty of time!" (Please e-mail Nige for his full lists.)
- Roy Harvey wrote: "A very pleasant 5 mile walk at Nettleton yesterday produced the following: Chimney Sweeper moth, Small Heath, the first seen this year, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Skipper. It was interesting to see Small Skippers, plus a few Small Tortoiseshell, gathering in muddy areas where cows had been standing. Also, there were Emperor Dragonflies, egg laying females and male zooming around, Broad-bodied Chaser, Four-spot Chaser and Common Blue damselfly."
5th July: Will Harry get into the Guiness Book of Records?!
- Harry Turner 'phoned this morning to say he had been to Red Hill NR. From 10.15 hrs to 11.45 hrs he counted ... 314 Marbled Whites! He said it was just "beautiful to see them all - sometimes three or four on the same flower head!" The preferred plants are Greater Knapweed and the Red Clover. (temp. was 20 degC; light cloud; Westerly breeze). (Harry used to be Warden of Red Hill NR and had much to do with its development. Today, he reaped some reward which is great.)
- Pete Smith reported: " ... very good numbers of White Admiral at New Park Wood today."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool reported: "A Southern Wainscot was new for my garden yesterday."
- Martin Gray from Broadholme wrote: "A nice surprise this morning with a Wormwood in the trap, a new moth for me, also a Dark Umber. Certainly not recorded many times in Lincolnshire and a Nationally Scarcity B (Nb) species."
4th July: Rare immigrant moth in North Lincs.
- Adrian White of Winterton North Lincs writes: "After a fairly quiet week with Ancylis achatana, Large Twin-spot Carpet, July Highflyerand Pale Mottled Willow, last night really came up with the goods! My first British trap of Blackneck, a first Acleris aspersana, and a first Dingy Shears, but underneath the last egg box a stunning and unexpected BEDSTRAW HAWK-MOTH! Forgive the shouting but I'm still coming down as I nearly dismissed it as a Privet Hawk!"
- Phil Lee e-mailed: " ... the moth year seems to be getting better and better. A Bird's Wing is a new Macro moth for my garden over here at Misterton and is the 8th new Macro in the garden this year. I also saw my first Gatekeepers of the year today at Langholme and Idle Stop. Also, a White Admiral looked how I sometimes feel when the joints are playing up, it was seen at Chambers Farm Wood last Sunday, was very worn and torn, and showed that no matter what, if you push hard enough you can carry on when all seems lost. Surely an inspiration to us all - it was to me!"
3rd July: First Gatekeepers at Whisby NR.
- Lawrie Poole was at Whisby NR this afternoon: "Using lures, I was really after the Yellow-legged Clearwing (lure used was 'ves') which Mark Bibby had seen on 1st July, but without success. Wondering if the lures were still effective I went to the little stand of Silver Birch trees where we know the Six-belted Clearwings are. Using the 'api' lure, after a few minutes only, some 6 Six-belted Clearwings were buzzing around the pheremone! Lures ok then! I saw one of the moths before using the pheremone at all. On the way, and before the rail crossing, there were fresh Gatekeeper butterflies. Sadly no Yellow-legged Clearwings on this trip though!"
- Les Austin e-mailed: "At Chambers Farm Wood, yesterday, saw good numbers of Purple Hairstreaks; a few coming down from the tree tops. Plenty of White Admirals too. Got a fleeting Silver-washed Fritillary at Fiveways and then a settled siting on the main route. After seeing a couple of Purple Emperors high up, one settled on my partner's leg, only leaving when some excited onlookers disturbed it. A single Marbled White at Little Scrubbs Meadow completed the morning."
- Nige Lound titled his e-mail: "Two nights in a Skegness Garden!" He lists for 30th June, 136 moths of 26 species, and for 2nd July, 148 moths of 44 species. There are some great moths there. Please contact Nige if you'd like to see his two lists.
- Perhaps we should entitle Chris Dobson's latest e-mail: "Tales of the Paranormal"! See what you think! Chris writes: "Some good stuff there Andy (Sims), I've never had a Common Lutestring record for the garden. (Here we go!) Did have a rather unnerving experience on checking the garden trap this morning. For no reason especially, as I was checking the egg boxes my mind wandered to species I'd have expected at some point and whose appearance seemed long overdue. A number of species fall into this category for me but immediately I had an overwhelming feeling for Blackneck and as I checked the boxes the feeling grew and it was as though I almost expected to get one. You can believe this or believe it not but I got to the final box and on lifting it a rather worn Blackneck was on the Robinson trap immediately under the egg box. I'm not normally given to experiences like this and would normally be the first to be sceptical in the face of such accounts. I don't mind admitting though that it made the hairs rise on the back of my neck." (Ours too, Chris!)
- Andy Sims writes: "Highlights from this morning: Privet Hawkmoth and then the following are all new for this year: Black Arches, Old Lady, Lychnis, Common Lutestring and July Highflyer."
- Richard Davidson wrote in: "I was over near Skegness on Sunday the 2nd of July, and late afternoon, decided to have a quick look at the sea before returning to Lincoln. I parked near the golf course south of Skegness and walked through a strip of scrub to the dunes bordering the beach. Lots of Ragwort in flower and also lots of Essex Skippers about there with their characteristic black tipped antennae. Must have seen around 40 within a relatively small area. Also a couple of pristine newly emerged Commas plus lots of bees and hoverflies. Weather warm and sunny."
2nd July: A Purple Emperor - in trouble? White-letter Hairstreaks emerging.
- Paul Daubney writes: "Finally got close-ups of Purple Emperors at Chambers Wood this afternoon. The attached photo (taken near the car park) shows a male with two ‘proboscises’. When a butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, the proboscis is in two parts which must be ‘zippered’ together to form the feeding tube. It looks as if this individual didn’t zip up, which must hinder/stop it feeding successfully."
- Phil Lee e-mailed: " ... the wife and I (and others) saw at least 4 White-letter Hairstreaks this afternoon at Chambers Farm Wood. They were in the usual area on Elm just past Fiveways where the path leads off to the left. Also there was 'his imperial majesty' Apatura iris the Purple Emperor high up on Ash but showing well. Purple Hairstreak seemed to be everywhere and a fresh looking Silver-washed Fritillary was seen several times near Fiveways. White Admirals, Red Admirals and Comma were all very numerous."
- Mark Bibby writes: "I tried a site in Tattershall for Hornet Moth today for a quick visit and a single Hornet Moth came to the lure. This looks like a very active site with a huge amount of exit holes around the base of every Poplar tree."
- Mark and Sally Johnson report: "Last night’s garden trap gave us 65 moths of 28 species: three were new for the garden - Blackneck, Large Twin-spot Carpet and V Pug."
- Brian Hedley took a: "pleasant circular walk around Marton village this morning produced good numbers of butterflies comprising: Comma 28, Red Admiral 12, Small Tortoiseshell 10, Large Skipper 25, Small Skipper 20, Essex Skipper 2 (my first of the year), Large White 2, Green-veined White 35, Meadow Brown 100+ and Ringlet 100+."
1st July: Excellent news from Twyford Woods.
- Mark Bibby, using lures, saw: " ... a Yellow-legged Clearwing at Whisby Nature Park. It took 4 visits to find, but they are still there."
- Martin Kew sent in this encouraging note: "A good afternoon walking the Transects at Twyford Woods. Counted 9 Marbled Whites at the Glades . Also 6 Silver-washed Fritillaries, including a mating pair which were about 12' up in a tree by the track on the way to the Sanctuary (SK 947232) - the same area I've seen the odd one in the past. I think we can safely assume Twyford now has breeding colonies of both species."
- Brian Hedley tweeted: "Crowle Moor Lincs: at least 30 Large Heaths noted in short stretch of track in north of reserve."
- Ian McGlynn wrote in : "I went to Braceborough Great Wood today. So many butterflies I stopped counting! Many Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Ringlets, Meadow Brown, a few Skippers, many Whites, one Red Admiral and three Silver-washed Fritillaries. Yesterday 3 White Admiral in Bourne Woods."
- Various people out and about at Chambers Farm Wood today. Dave Wright and Toby Ludlow saw a Purple Emperor at rest on top of the gate at the far end of the Orchid Ride. Judy and Rachael Theaker hot-footed there to try to see it too. Lawrie Poole confirmed the presence still of the Currant Clearwing on the Blackcurrant bush in the Visitors' centre car park, and also saw: 7 White Admiral, 5 Large White, 3 Comma, 1 Small Skipper, 3 Green-veined White, 100+ Ringlets, 16 Red Admiral, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, many Meadow Brown, 3 Small White, 5 Speckled Wood, 5 Large Skipper. On the moth front, still at Chambers Farm Wood: 100+ Six-spot Burnet Moth,1 Yellow Shell, and, the icing on the cake perhaps, a female Orange Moth flying in the wood near Snakeholme Pit.
- Alan Dale from Low Hameringham writes: " Today has started off well. A Magpie pupa was found on an Ivy leaf and a day flying Large Tabby was caught. We don't see them every day. But when it was released in the sheep shed at night, three others were disturbed. That can't be bad. A quiet night with the moth trap but did have a couple of Borkhausenia fuscescens. (Thanks Karen & Sarah Hand for the i.d.) Also, a mass hatch of P. conwagana. At least a dozen were active (very!) but I managed to single out the diamante studded belle of the ball. And the 'giant' of the night was a fresh little Nettle-tap Moth - all of 6.5 mm FW!"
30th June: Several Apatura iris at Chambers Farm Wood!
Toby Ludlow e-mailed: "Had an hour around Chambers Farm Wood this afternoon with Elliott. With his great eyesight, Elliott spotted a lot more than I did. In a brief bright spell, he saw: 4 Purple Emperors (Apatura iris) around the tree tops, 6 White Admirals and 3 Purple Hairstreaks. He got a photo of a Purple Hairstreak which descended to chest height. Also saw 2 Red Admirals, one egg-laying on Stinging Nettles and a couple of Small Tortoiseshells in the Picnic Area. Weather was grotty, so mainly just Ringlets flying in the gloomy conditions."
28th June: Marbled White at little Scrubbs Meadow, and a new Lincolnshire moth record.
- Dave and Jan Goff e-mailed the following: " We saw a Marbled White on the meadow at Chambers Farm Wood on Monday 26th. June."
- Richard Davidson wrote: "I dropped in to see the Warden at Whisby Nature Park, on Tuesday the 27th, and saw two interesting moths while I was there. A very nice greenish V Pug was on the outside wall of the Wardens office next to the door. I then went for a quick walk around the park, and in the Orchid Glade saw a lovely little Stathmopoda pedella micro moth. It's food plant is Alder and there are a number of Alders around that area."
- Hugh Middleton e-mailed today: "A nice Shark in my Navenby garden trap on 26th June."
- Martin Gray reported: "Cliff Morrison trapped a Cypress Carpet last week on the coast, a new Lincolnshire record. Now resident in the South, looks like it is the most northerly record in the UK to date!"
26th June: Purple Emperors and Silver-washed Fritillaries seen, both at more than one site.
- Linda Pilkington wrote in saying: "Went to Bourne Woods yesterday, for a walk, and saw a Purple Emperor butterfly. Also saw Red Admiral, White Admirals, Commas, Small Tortoiseshells on logs, Silver-washed Fritillary, Meadow Browns and Ringlets. Brilliant!"
- Brian Sellars saw a Purple Emperor on the main track to Fiveways at Chambers Farm Wood.
- Paul Daubney sent in the following: "Had a good morning at Chambers Wood. I got my first Purple Hairstreak, Silver-washed Fritillary and (probably) Purple Emperor of the season - all on the track to Fiveways. Jill Hall photographed a Purple Emperor nearby. Also counted 14 White Admirals on the white route, with a supporting cast of Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas, Large Skippers, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Speckled Woods and Green-veined Whites."
- Horncastle Police wrote on Twitter: "Nice to see five White Admiral butterflies at Chambers Farm Wood whilst on Rural Engagement & Rural Car Park checks."
- Phil Lee writes: "A Four-dotted Footman was found on Saturday's walk on Crowle Moors. It has a local distribution and is a moorland and heathland moth. It was flushed by Derek Fox who couldn't catch it due to being weighed down by a bumper bag of wine gums! We managed to net it for him, and helped him eat the weighty wine gums. Also seen were several Blackneck."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool, keen as he is, has been moth trapping whilst away in Lauzun, France! "The trap was in an enclosed courtyard and several nice moths resulted: Guernsey Underwing, Lunar Thorn, Druid, Lackey, Four-spotted and Hoary Footman."
- Nige Lound had another good 'catch' of moths last night - the highlight was a Starwort."
25th June: Marbled Whites at Twyford Woods.
- Martin Kew, the Twyford Woods Warden writes: "Walked the Transects yesterday, and was pleased to see the Marbled Whites have made another appearance. I recorded 3 individuals at the Glades." (For the other transect totals for the two reserves please see the Twyford Woods blog.) Martin continues: "Started early to catch the sunshine, although it turned cloudy during the Sanctuary walk."
- John Clarkson wrote in: "Some 30 species in my actinic trap last night including Buff Arches, Burnished Brass, Beautiful Hook-tip and a Leopard Moth which was new for my (Louth) garden."
24th June: Good Lincs Branch BC Field Trip to Crowle Moors.
- Phil Lee e-mailed: "We had a brilliant day today on Crowle Moors on the BC walk. There were even people from Norfolk and Liecester. Dave Wright will have the final count but we must have seen over 100 Large Heath - the main target butterfly - and over 200 Large Skipper and many other butterflies including Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Comma, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Brimstone. Many dayflying moths were seen with Engrailed, Common White Wave, Straw Dot, Clouded Border, Blackneck, Brown Silver-lines and Latticed Heath but the star for me was the Purple-bordered Gold that was flushed at the top of Nelly Tram and which flew tantalisingly low and slow over the pathway onto a drainside were it remained for only a few seconds before flying behind a Birch sapling never to be seen again. Dragonflies were in abundance with 4-spot Chaser, Common Darter, Common, Southern and Brown Hawker, Black-tailed Skimmer and Blue-tailed, Azure, Large Red and Emerald Damselflies. Adder and Red Deer were also seen along with a Birch Sawfly. In total we walked about 7.5 miles and with the LNU walk tomorrow I may need a few drams of the old single malt tonight to get the joints greased and ready. My old Dad used to say that time was never wasted when spent in good company and you certainly get that on the BC walks."
- Sarah-Louise Hall e-mailed: "We live in Bourne, Lincs and have just found a Privet Hawkmoth on our gate. It was well camouflaged."
- Martin Gray wrote: "A couple of new garden records over the past week, always nice to see is the Lilac Beauty, and also the uncommon Crescent Plume Marasmarcha lunaedactyla." Also: "Setting up my moth traps this evening and found a Round-winged Muslin close by, certainly a new garden record. Not many inland records in Lincolnshire."
- Nigel Lound e-mailed: "Another good night on 21st June at Church Lane Saltfleetby NNR, using a 125w MV Robinson trap with over 700 moths of 102 species. Micros were too numerous to sort properly and I have estimated numbers of Minors. Another Crescent Plume was noteworthy as was Silky Wainscot." (Again, Nige has a full list for those interested - the Moth Group having been circulated)
23rd June: Privet Hawkmoths showing well.
- Pete Freeman : "Although not ideal conditions at Chambers Farm Wood today, (breezy, fresh & cloudy) so no Hairstreaks seen, but 7 White Admiral, 7 Red Admiral, 11 Meadow Brown, 9 Ringlet, 5 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Large Skipper and 1 Small Tortoiseshell."
- Adrian White from Winterton e-mailed: " ... over the last week I have trapped with the 40w actinic at home. The highlights were: my first Scallop Shell, my first British Beautiful Hook-tip (previously trapped in France), Dwarf Cream Wave, 5 Privet Hawkmoths, Pale Prominent, Schoenobius gigantella and both forms of Peppered Moth."
- Toby Ludlow from Coningsby had a: "Scarce Silver-lines in my garden trap last Saturday night. It had an amazing colour and was a really fresh specimen. Only get the odd one occasionally."
22nd June: Three of the Bardney Lime-woods with White Admirals:
Lawrie Poole visited three of the Bardney Lime-woods yesterday, but kicked off with Snakeholme Pit. "Here I saw: 3 Red Admirals, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Meadow Brown, 10 Ringlet, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Large Skipper, 1 Large White and a Comma. Silver Y moths also there. I then went to a wood near Snakeholme where Silver-washed Fritillaries usually are - none here yet. Highlight though were 3 White Admirals. In addition to species at Snakeholme were 1 Painted Lady, 1 Small White and 2 Speckled Wood. At Chambers Farm Wood, the highlights were 1 Black Hairstreak which eventually spent a happy few minutes walking around actually on my camera! Also 4 White Admirals and a single Currant Clearwing on the one Black Currant bush in the Visitors' Centre car park. I finished off at Southrey Wood where I saw 3 more White Admirals. A great, although very hot, day(The photo is a complete accident! The White Admirals were hard to take being very flighty! By accident I pressed the shutter as one took off. With aperture priority at f8 and a very bright day, giving the shutter speed at 1/2500th second, it froze the 'taking off' butterfly with its shadow!)"
20th June: What a month! Purple Hairstreaks being reported now! (Slightly cooler day - light wind)
- Ian McGlynn saw a Purple Hairstreak (male) near Pickworth. Peter Cawdell comments: "very early!".
- Toby Ludlow sent a text saying he saw a Purple Hairstreak at Fiveways, Chambers Farm Wood.
- Jill Hall e-mailed: "Even though it was cloudy today I visited Redhill NR, on the off chance of seeing Marbled Whites. There were a few about in the breeze."
- Phil Lee says: " ... well after another 'scorcher' over here in Misterton, the clouds rolled in during the night, and so did the moths! The trap was brimming this morning with 285 Macros of 52 species including some not seen in the garden for a few years including Lackey and Leopard." Phil comments: "I don't bother with the Micros now, far too time consuming!"
- Nige Lound has sent in two reports of moth hauls. One for the 18th was at Rimac NR Saltfleetby NNR and had 350 moths with around 80 species. Several different Plume moths were a feature here, The second was in his Skegness garden on 17th June, with 150 moths and 41 species. A highlight here was a Red-necked Footman." (Please contact Nige if you'd like to see his full lists - they are readily available.)
19th June: Small Skippers out! (Soaring temperatures maintained at 30 degC)
- Brian Hedley writes: "Used MV bulb last night in the garden at Marton and caught over 300 moths of 72 species, including many Hawkmoths plus Varied Coronet, Lychnis, Anania perlucidalis and Dichrorampha alpinana."
- Toby Ludlow reported: "Had my first Small Skippers of 2017 yesterday at Kirkby on Bain. Also summer brood of Comma and Green-veined White now emerging.
- Mark Bibby had: "Red-tipped Clearwing came to lure at Kirkby gravel pit and also at LWT Woodhall Airfield and at Woodhall Airfield a single Six Belted Clearwing."
18th June: Black and White butterflies to see! (High temperatures - pushing 30 degC)
- Brian Hedley tweeted that he had seen 2 Black Hairstreaks and 10 White Admirals at Chambers Farm Wood today. He did not see any Marsh Fritillaries or Dingy Skippers.
- Pete Burnett reported: " A decent haul in Fiskerton last night: 130 moths with Garden Tiger, Swallow tail, Lackey, Short Cloaked and Sallow Kitten all new for this year."
- Martin Gray wrote: "A poor showing last night in Skellingthorpe Woods with Geoff Wright; a Great Oak Beauty was however, un-expected."
- Pete Freeman was at Crowle Moors today: "This morning: 17 Large Heath, 39 Large Skipper, 24 Ringlet, 11 Meadow Brown, 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Large White and 1 Brimstone."
- Tim Bagworth met up with Mark Wainwright and his son at Chambers Farm Wood last night. "We ran 4 traps and had about 2699 moths, the best of which were 2 Blotched Emeralds which were new for me."
- Mark Bibby " ... thought he'd go out for a ride and scout out some sites which have had reports from a number of years ago and hit success with 4 Red-tipped Clearwing at Barlings Lane Langworth (at 16.10 hrs to lure.)"
17th June: Marbled White butterflies showing.
- Peter Cawdell reported: "Today near Holywell, saw 20 Dark Green Fritillaries and 10 Marbled Whites."
- Dave Wright e-mailed: "Today at RSPB Tetney Marshes: butterflies included: 90 Ringlet, 50 Meadow Brown, 22 Speckled Wood, 76 Small Tortoiseshell, 11 Common Blue, 27 Large Skipper, 8 Painted Lady, 3 Red Admiral, and singles of Large, Small and Green-veined White."
- Karen & Sarah Hand: " ... put 2 Robinson traps out at Gibraltar Point last night in ideal conditions and were rewarded with a couple of very busy traps. The highlights included: Lymegrass, V Pug, Rosy Footman, Shark, Marbled White Spot, Round Winged Muslin, Small Yellow Wave, Shore Wainscot, Clouded Magpie, Ingrailed Clay, Dotted Fanfoot, Striped Wainscot, Purple Clay, Sand Dart, Aethes beatricella and Gynnidomorpha vectisana."
- Toby Ludlow wrote: "Saw my first 'Hummer' of the year today in Coningsby, along with my first Ringlet for this year."
- Nige Lound had a trap going at Mavis Enderby. He had 45 species - the most numerous being 53 Middle-barred Minor.
- Pete Burnett writes: " ... put the Actinic in the garden, here at Fiskerton last night. Managed 60 moths of 26 species. New for this year were Figure of Eighty and Beautiful Hook-tip . I've always wondered whether the difference between Actinic and Mercury Vapour Light is just the brightness, or do the different lights attract different species?" Any views anyone?
- Martin Gray: "Did not expect the number of moths in my garden traps this morning, well over a hundred species with 30 new for the year. These included Shark, Grey Arches, Clay, Swallowtail Moth, Marbled White Spot, Dark Sword-grass, Common Emerald and the rest micros."
- Andy Sims at Swanpool had: "Cream-bordered Green Pea, Single-dotted Wave & Short-cloaked Moth all new for this year, this morning."
16th June: Many new-for-this-year moths.
- George Rutter: "Trapped at home in my Sloothby garden last night using 160w MV lamp over a homemade box trap. There were good numbers of moths including: Elephant Hawk, Poplar Hawk, Spectacle, Coronet, Buff Ermine, Plain Golden Y, Small Rivulet, Clouded Silver and Ghost Moth."
- Nige Lound sent in his records for trapping at Churchill Lane area, Saltfleetby NNR, using a 125 MV/Robinson set up. He had a huge haul - please contact Nige if you would like to see his full list. New for this year were: Peach Blossom, Dark-barred Twin-spot, Dotted Fanfoot, Pinion-streaked Snout, Blackneck, Lyme Grass, Reddish Light Arches, Light Brocade, Double Dart and Cream-bordered Green Pea.
15th June: Dark Green Fritillaries out!
- Ian McGlynn reports: "Today, three Dark Green Fritillaries at Robert's Field."
- Jill Hall e-mailed: "The White Admirals were showing well today at Southrey. Lots flying about high and low. Several settling on Brambles. Lovely to see."
- Phil Bowler: " ... had a full day at Twyford Wood today, in the hope of seeing the Mother Shipton, but none seen. In fact, very few of anything was seen, despite me covering most of the woodland in addition to the Sanctuary! The weather was fine although somewhat windy. This is proving to be a very poor season so far for the common species. For example, 14 Common Blues is low just for the Sanctuary, but that number is for the entire woodland!" Despite this, Phil still managed to see: "2 Six-spot Burnet, 6 Burnet Companion, 1 Common Purple & Gold, 5 male Large Skipper, 1 Grizzled Skipper, 4 Dingy Skipper, 1 male Large White, 1 male Green-veined White, 14 Common Blue (9 male, 5 female), 8 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Comma, 7 Speckled Wood, 6 Ringlet and 4 Small Heath."
- Pete Freeman visiting from Nottinghamshire e-mailed: "Today 2+ Black Hairstreaks showing well, but intermittently at Fiveways, 1 White Admiral along White Route on Bramble flower, also 7 Red Admiral, 12 Speckled Wood, 2 Brimstone, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Large White, 1 Common Blue."
- Tim Bagworth at Spalding says: "I managed 17 species in the garden trap last night with the best being a Miller."
- Pete Burnett had: " ... just over a hundred moths here in Fiskerton, Small Elephant Hawkmoth only the second garden record. Still a couple of micros to sort out .The most numerous were 17 Cinnabar."
- Martin Gray had: " ... two lights out in Skellingthorpe Woods last night, ideal conditions but numbers quite low. (82 Species). Highlights included: Blotched Emerald, Lilac Beauty, Scalloped Shell, Poplar and Common Lutestring, Purple Clay, 11 Red-necked Footman and Pseudusciaphila branderiana. Two Adela croesellas were also enticed, not sure if these will be new for VC53."
- Chris Dobson writes: "Nice one Martin, as you know I've always wanted to get a Blotched Emerald so will be keeping my fingers crossed! I've been picking up plenty of new year records, the best of which in recent nights have been Dark Sword-grass and Small Elephant Hawkmoth."
- Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe says: "I too had a good catch this morning of 54 species and 295 moths. A new species for me was Marbled Clover, which flew very quickly. Seven Dark Arches which were new for year, also 2 Dark Sword Grass and 2 Privet Hawkmoths, impressive as ever!"
- Andy Sims from Swanpool reported: "Good catch this morning with following all new for this year: Tawny-barred Angle, Pale Prominent, Antler, Common Emerald, Light Arches, Common Wave & Dwarf Cream Wave."
- (Meanwhile, Lawrie Poole was out & about, and saw 50+ Heath Fritillaries at East Blean Woods, in Kent, where Cow Wheat is in abundance. A real treat to see them! Also there, 4 White Admirals, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Ringlet and Meadow Brown.)
13th June: White Admirals and Black Hairstreaks showing!
- Peter Cawdell reports: "Yesterday, I was surprised to find a fresh male White Admiral nectaring on Bramble flowers along Southrey Wood main ride. I think this is the earliest I have ever seen one - usually looking out for them during the last week in June."
- Jill Hall e-mailed that: " ... Black Hairstreaks are beginning to show at Chambers Farm Wood. I think Adrian Royal saw them on Sunday, but they were seen today, by my daughter Debbie, who spotted them, and me."
- Phil Lee: " ... had a lovely saunter around Tuetoes Plantation (part of Laughton Forest) today, with a good selection of Butterflies seen. There were at least 10 Puss Moth caterpillars in a small area. Also my first Meadow Brown of the year. Saw my first Ringlet yesterday - but just over the border in Notts."
- Phil Bowler from Amberhill near Boston says: " ... we have excellent numbers of Red Admiral in the garden, with a maximum so far of 16 seen on the 9th June, alongside 3 Painted Ladies. On the 7th we recorded our first Large Skipper of the season and the new brood of Small Tortoiseshell, with original Peacocks still on the wing from last summer, alongside 5 Brimstones."
12th June: Meadow Browns emerging.
- Brian Hedley took a: " ... circuit around Marton village yesterday which produced a Meadow Brown, 8 Large Skippers, 15+
Speckled Woods, 5 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Red Admiral and a Small White plus several Silver Ys and Garden Carpets."
- Toby Ludlow reported: "Summer’s on its way! Several Meadow Browns seen near Kirkby on Bain yesterday. Also, Currant Clearwing moths are still showing well at Chambers Farm Wood."
- John Clarkson from Louth had: " ... a modest catch last night of 15 species, mainly Heart & Darts but new for this year were a Riband Wave, Green Silver Lines, Coronet and Common Swift."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had: "34 moths of 19 species last night. New for this year were: Double Square Spot, Ingrailed Clay, Bright-line Brown-eye & Dusky Brocade."
- Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe had: " ... 135 moths of 42 species in the garden today. Some interesting species and thanks to Karen & Sarah Hand for identifications. Present was the second Lyme Grass of this year (a new species in the garden). Lyme grass is on the foredunes a couple hundred metres away. Although Plain Golden Y was also a new species for garden, Karen & Sarah say it’s fairly common near them. Marbled White-spot was the second record for the garden, with one last year."
11th June: Large Heath emerging.
- Mark Wainwright writes: "Trapped the main car park at Chambers Farm Wood with Tim Bagworth on Saturday, 9th June: 772 moths for 127 species so not too bad, despite a quite strong breeze. Highlights for me were the 15 Red Necked Footmans that we caught, and also, the Rosy Footmans which have started showing again too."
- Despite the high wind, Jo Crinks at Sleaford " ... saw a Painted Lady and a Red Admiral. Too windy for them to pose for me!"
- Mark Johnson tweeted: "Eight Large Heath at Crowle Moors this morning. Also, lots of Nemophora degeerella."
10th June: New Chimney Sweeper sites.
- Brian Hedley reports: "Just noted a Chimney Sweeper moth along grassy track near my garden in Marton. First one I have seen here but they do occur between Marton and the Trent. Also plenty of Speckled Woods around and a few Large Skippers, Small Tortoiseshells and Silver Ys."
- Andrew Chick e-mailed: "New for me and my Fulbeck garden last night was a Plain Golden Y - what a great moth! Also got well over 100 individual moths, mainly Heart and Dart, Hebrew Character and Flame Shoulder; but also Burnished Brass, Small Magpie, Brimstone Moth, Scorched Wing, Bee moth and Large Fruit-tree Tortrix."
- John Clarkson wrote in: "16 species overnight and 'firsts' for my relatively new Louth garden were Small Angle Shades and Pale Mottled Willow. also, Straw Dot, Turnip and Marbled Minor."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool says: "Despite rain, 52 moths of 22 species in trap this morning. 2 Barred Yellows were new for this year: 22 Heart & Dart were the predominant moth."
9th June: Another moth "First" for Lincolnshire
- Martin Gray e-mailed that: "Colin Watkin regularly traps in Morkery Wood and had this first-for-the-County overnight: a Glyphipterix forsterella." (Moth confirmed by Martin).
- Lawrie Poole reports from Thorpe on the Hill, that the Small Eggar larvae are still around in/on at least some of the webs.
8th June: Some nice moths after torrential rain over a couple of days.
Andy Sims from Swanpool says: "Despite the overnight rain I caught a new moth for the garden, a lovely Golden Plusia. Also had a Bird’s Wing which was new for this year."
5th June: Another big moth haul on the coast.
- Nige Lound had another good haul of moths at Churchill Lane area, Saltfleetby NNR by the clearing near a small pond 50m south of car park TF478900: "had 107 moths with 37 species. new for this year were White Colon, Dark Swordgrass and Dotted Fanfoot."
- Mark Johnson saw " ... over 30 Painted Lady butterflies at Donna Nook."
4th June: More on those Small Eggar larvae; and good showings of various Hawkmoths.
- Karen & Sarah Hand from Addlethorpe, joined Lawrie Poole, yesterday afternoon, at Thorpe on the Hill, to check out the Small Eggar webs. Altogether, 7 webs were found, attached to a mix of Blackthorn and Hawthorn, each containing some 20 larvae. The webs are well apart, between 10 & 20 metres, and are all situated at least 2 metres from the ground. The larvae seem to depend on each other, stroking and nuzzling each other. When at rest outside the webs, they assemble very close together touching for the bulk of their length. If disturbed, they flick abruptly from side to side. Karen & Sarah felt that the larvae were ready to pupate in most cases - in fact, those in the photo below have all disappeared, hopefully to do just that.
- Cliff Morrison from Theddlethorpe writes: "My first posting for this year. Been away quite a bit lately and earlier in the spring, howling Easterlies and Northerlies here on the coast, so been a bit slow in getting started this season. A hectic night last night in the garden with over 300 moths and it will be over 80 species by the time I’ve worked through all the photos. What was particularly impressive was the number of Hawkmoths present with 3 Elephant, 1 Small Elephant, 3 Poplar, 1 Privet & 1 Eyed Hawkmoth."
- Peter Burnett e-mailed: " ... best night trapping in the garden so far this year with 109 moths of 46 species. First Hawkmoths, Elephant and Privet, also new for the year were Green pug, Flame, Pale Tussock and a first garden record of Grass Rivulet."
- Toby Ludlow was at Chambers Farm Wood Visitors' Centre and sent in the following: "How to while away an afternoon – trying to get a small moth (the Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth) in focus. Frustrating doesn’t quite sum it up! Wish I’d given it up as a bad job!" (In fact Toby finished up with a number of very respectable photos one of which is now on our Twitter feed.)
- Nige Lound sent in his amazing results from trapping at Mavis Enderby on 2nd June. He had over 400 macro-moths with some 55 species including new for the year for him: May Highflyer, Scorched Wing, Pale Oak Beauty, Poplar Kitten, Orange Footman, Green Arches, Alder Moth, Coronet, Small Angle Shades Cream-bordered Green Pea and Beautiful Golden Y.
- Andy Sims writes: " A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was feeding on Red Valerian in my Swanpool garden this afternoon - first I have seen this year."
- Karen and Sarah Hand: " ... went to Kirkby Moor on Friday (2nd June) and managed to see quite a lot of nice species: Beautiful Yellow Underwing (both the moth and the caterpillar), Brown Silver Lines, Brimstone butterfly, lots of Marbled White Spots, lots of Common Heaths, lots of Scoparia pyralella, Grass Wave (new for us), lots of Neofaculta ericetella, Heather Shieldbug, Ancylis uncella (new for us), Prochoreutis myllerana (new for us), Yellow Shell and Micropterix aruncella. We also saw Green Tiger Beetles, the Rove Beetle Staphylinus erythropterus (which seems to be quite scarce in Lincs) and our first Adder in the wild. A very successful day! It was worth the intense harassment by clouds of midges and mosquitoes, being absolutely covered in bites by the time we'd got home!" Karen & Sarah also wrote: "We've had a successful few days trapping at home recently, with some nice records: Small Yellow Wave (new for site), May Highflyer (2nd for site) and Sandy Carpet (new for site). However, the highlight of the traps was a fresh-looking Cochylis molliculana, which Martin has confirmed is a 1st for Lincs. It will be dissected just to be sure though. We also put 2 traps out at our friends' house in Partney, as they live next to a damp woodland area. These traps produced a number of species that we don't usually get at home, including a completely new species for us: Platytes cerusella (new for us) Dingy Shell, Ingrailed Clay, Rivulet, Shears, Flame Carpet, lots of May Highflyers. We trapped 6 Hawkmoths between the 2 traps, of 4 different species (Elephant, Small Elephant, Privet and Eyed), which were the "stars of the show" to our friends, who even fetched the next door neighbours to come and admire them! It is wonderful to be able to show off our fantastic British moths to those who would never normally see them, and allow 'non moth-ers' to appreciate them for the beautiful creatures that they are."
- Toby Ludlow wrote in: "Also went to Kirkby Moor, but the day before (Thursday, 1st. May). Saw dozens of Common Heaths, 5 Grass Waves and disturbed a male Clouded Buff. Briefly saw a couple of Beautiful Yellow Underwings, but they went like the clappers! Fortunately, I’d seen one the day before (Wednesday) at Moor Farm NR, the first time I’ve seen one there. Chasing it round like a lunatic, I think I could have given Usain Bolt a run for his money. OK, maybe not! (Er ... yes! I think we agree there, Toby!) Worth the potential heart attack, when it finally decided to stop flying, and I got a decent photo of it displaying a cheeky bit of yellow!"
3rd June: Small Eggar moth webs found.
- Peter Sagar from Thorpe on the Hill, has noticed several webs of larvae in the Hawthorn hedges on the main roadside down to the A46 from Thorpe. The webs are a couple of metres from the ground, and turn out to be larvae of the Small Eggar - an Nb catagory of moth rarely found in the County. Extraordinarily, the pupa stage lasts some 2 years and can even extend to 7 years sometimes! There are at least 3 of the webs some 20 metres apart. The most accessible one contains upto 20 larvae.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had: "Gold Spot, Maiden’s Blush & Common Footman, all new for this year, last night."
- Brian Hedley was at Twyford Woods today & " ... noted the following: Grizzled skipper 6, Dingy Skipper 5, Large Skipper 1, Green Hairstreak 2, Speckled Wood 4, Painted Lady 1, Red Admiral 2, Small Heath 8, Common Blue 10+, Large White 1, Latticed Heath 2, Burnet Companion 6 and 3 Silver Y."
2nd June: Just for interest, our Twitter 'Followers' now number 801!
- Tehani Cawdell spotted a Large Skipper in a brief visit to Snakeholme Pit yesterday afternoon.
- Colin Pumfrett from Broughton caught a White Colon in his moth trap overnight.
- Mel & Carl Storer from Bucknell saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in their garden last night.
- James Ashton e-mailed: " Whilst out in Bourne Woods this afternoon with a few friends reptile and butterfly hunting, my brother Joel spotted a Green Hairstreak in excellent condition on Bramble growth! In all the years we've spent in Bourne Woods this is our first ever record of this species. The butterfly spent a while flying around young Oak trees and Bramble patches before flying off along the tree line. We will thoroughly search the clearing next spring to see if there is an obvious colony, but quite what the larval food plant/s are is an intriguing one; the only obvious plants are bramble or possibly a few isolated Birdsfoot Trefoils (although these are very few and far between)." (James would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced Green Hairstreaks in woods?)
1st June: Painted Lady butterflies beginning to show.
- Phil Bowler paid: " ... another trip to Chambers Farm Wood today, and was greeted by no less than 12 Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoths on the Red Valerian outside the Butterfly Garden. An interesting find on the Marsh Fritillary front - 106 were counted, but one was actually down at the Minting Triangle feeding on Bramble blossom. Have they been encountered away from the meadows before? There is an abundance of Devil-bit Scabious in this area. At last the Speckled Woods are showing: 14 seen, all fresh, suggesting the over-wintered larval generation. Common Blue only numbered 3 males, with 4 Dingy Skippers for company. No Brown Argus seen. Very little else: 2 male Large White, 1 Green-veined White, no Orange Tip and 2 male Brimstone.1 Red Admiral and 2 Painted Lady." (Phil is querying whether the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth is also present. Does anyone know whether this is so?)
- Pete Burnett had: "52 moths in the garden at Fiskerton last night. New for this year were Peppered Moth and Burnished Brass."
- Andy Sims at Swanpool writes: "Another good catch with Sycamore, Poplar Grey & a deformed Large Yellow Underwing being new for this year. Also another superb Scorched Wing. Lots of Chimney Sweeper moths on the wing by Pike Drain at Whisby NP this morning."
- Brian Hedley at Marton e-mailed: "Actinic lamp in garden overnight produced about 60 moths of 29 species including Privet Hawkmoth, Eyed Hawkmoth, Gold spot, Figure of 80 and a Carpet species (Galium or just Common?). Also paid a visit to the Crook Bank car park area of Saltfleetby NNR today and had 12 butterfly species including Green Hairstreak, Wall, Painted Lady and Holly Blue. Cinnabar moths extremely abundant."
- Lawrie Poole at Thorpe on the Hill had a Painted Lady and a Large White in his garden - both new for this year.
31st May: Dependable Red Valerian comes into its own! Also, Chimney Sweeper moths flying.
- Pete Smith: "Spent a couple of hours out at Chambers Farm Wood this morning - lots of Marsh Fritillary females egg laying in Little Scrubbs Meadow. I also saw two Painted Ladies (my first UK ones this year) in the meadow behind the butterfly garden ("Small Meadow", aka "Copper Meadow"). They were nectaring on Meadow Thistle. There were four Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoths on the Red Valerian by the volunteer hut also-all in all a fine morning, especially with the phenomenal numbers of Marsh Frits!"
- Richard Davidson: " ... was reversing my car out of the driveway this morning when I noticed a Painted Lady nectaring on some Red Valerian next to my front gate. I stopped and watched it for quite a while. I saw another one last week (23rd May) alongside a footpath between Wasps Nest and Nocton."
- Dave Wright saw: " ... a Hummingbird Hawkmoth early this afternoon on the Red Valerian in my back garden in Grimsby."
- Tim Bagworth e-mailed: "I spent a couple of hours at Chambers Farm Wood today. The highlights weres 8+ Broad-bordered Bee
Hawkmoths on the Red Valerian and 2 Currant Clearwings."
- Toby Ludlow writes: "Had my first Large Skipper of 2017 today at Moor Farm. Alas, it was too “flighty” and skipped off before I could get a photo of it!"
- Karen & Sarah Hand from Addlethorpe had: “A very busy trap last night at home. Highlights included: Dark Spectacle (2nd for site), White Colon (1st for site), Tawny Barred Angle (2nd for site), Dog's Tooth, Sycamore, Scorched Wing, Herald, Gold Spot & Coxcomb Prominent.”
- Andy Sims from Swanpool writes: "In a good catch last night the following were new for this year: 1 Puss Moth, 2 Small Elephant Hawkmoths, 1 Green Silver-lines and 2 Lime-speck Pugs."
- Lawrie Poole and Steve Atkinson took a stroll around Whisby NR today. They saw 2 Holly Blues, a single Red Admiral and a Green-veined White. There were many Chimney Sweeper moths along Pike Drain.
30th May: Good weather bringing out many new species.
- Andy Sims from Swanpool, last night, had "new for this year": Shoulder-striped Wainscot & Middle-barred Minor.
- Toby Ludlow: "Took a trip to Chambers Farm Wood last week to see the Marsh Fritillaries. It can only be described as “bonkers”!!! 83 singleton Marsh Fritillaries in the meadow, with frequent courting behaviour in evidence. Also found 6 mating pairs, including a “pair of pairs” on the same leaf! Magical day!" Toby also saw the "micro Aethes piercei, the second ever Lincolnshire record for this species!"
- Phil Lee wrote in: " ... a Larch Pug came to light on Sat night at the LNU moth night at Corringham Scroggs near Gainsborough. It is said to be scarce in Lincs. and also scarce in Yorks. and Norfolk. It was a new moth for me, and according to Brian Hancock (who has a good id sheet on Pugs, if you Google 'Pug Moths of Lancashire'), the diagnostic feature is the prominent white thoracic spot."
- Sarah and Karen Hand from Addlethorpe e-mailed the following: “There are certainly some nice species starting to make an appearance now. We had a new micro species, Neosphaleroptera nubilana, emerge from a larva we found at home. It doesn't seem to be particularly common and it's one we'd never seen before. We've also had 2 Lyme Grass, Buff Tip, Mullein and Orange Footman in the last couple of days. (Quite uncommon species for us to find at home.) A trip to Chambers Farm Wood on Saturday proved very productive: Nemophora degeerella, Eulia ministrana, Adela reamurella, Lesser Cream Wave, Cream Wave, Red Necked Footman, Dingy Skipper and lots of Marsh Fritillaries. A trip to CFW the week before produced Denisia similella, Micropterix mansuetella (which is quite uncommon in Lincs), and a beautiful final instar Sprawler caterpillar, amongst many other species of caterpillars.”
28th May: More "Firsts" on the moth front!
- Martin Partridge came down from Teesside: "Arriving first, at Twyford Wood and visited the Sanctuary saw 6 Grizzled Skipper, 16 Dingy Skipper, 10 Small Heath, 20 Common Blue, 2 Red Admiral and a Green Hairstreak; also, 1 Mother Shiptons Moth. I then headed off to Chambers Farm Wood as the heavens opened. Visited Little Scrubbs Meadow and adjoining field; saw 50 Marsh Fritillaries, 2 Common Blue, 3 Dingy Skipper. On the walk back to the car 2 Red Admirals and a Brimstone by the Butterfly Garden."
- Jill Hall was at Chambers Farm Wood today and saw a Currant Clearwing and a Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth.
- Toby Ludlow: "Trapped in the garden last night; nothing unusual - 28 macros included my first Elephant Hawkmoth of the year. Also, my first Cabbage Moth and first Turnip Moth of the year."
27th May: A successful Lincs. Branch Field Trip to the Wyre Forest NNR in Worcestershire.
- Thirteen stalwarts set out from Grimsby, Lincoln, Scunthorpe and Cambridge to meet at 9.30 a.m. in the main Wyre Forest visitors' car park. Walking northwards, along the rides, for a couple of miles to Dowles Brook we saw around 20 Speckled Wood, several Speckled Yellow moths and some micros. Grassy meadows mingle with open woodland around Dowles Brook. In one of the meadows, we successfully saw both Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, two of the Target Species for the day! In another we saw what must have been hundreds of Chimney Sweeper moths. Later in the afternoon, we took the short journey to Pound Green hopefully to see the third of our Target Species: the Wood White. The day by now, had become much cooler and cloudy. Nothing much was in flight. however, sharp eyes (Josh's & Andrew's) eventually spotted just two Wood Whites: both, only two or three inches from the ground, clinging to grassy stems. Cameras again were clicking, and by now a very muddy-fronted, but happy, group of enthusiasts, made for the quaintly named Ye Olde New Inn pub for a drink and our cars home. Many thanks to Dave Wright for arranging a successful and very enjoyable day.
- Colin Smith had: " ... over 60 moths in the garden over the last three nights. The highlight for me was Delphanqueia dilutella, a new life record. Also had lots of Buccilatrix nigricommella which I have only had as singles previously. I enjoy tipping out the dregs of the trap and picking out all the little things like Coleophoras and Phyllonorycters and last night 2 Ectodemia decentella."
- Brian Hedley attended an: "LNU Field Meeting at Corringham Scroggs near Gainsborough. We had 5 lights running up to about half past midnight. Not sure about totals from others, but I had about 45 species including many Map-winged Swifts, Maiden's Blush, Green Silver-lines, Sallow Kitten, Tawny-barred Angle, Scorched Wing, Orange Footman, Alder Moth and the micros Luquetia lobella and Triaxomera fulvimetrella."
25th May: Temperatures nudging 30 degC today!
- Jo Crinks and Ross Gigner from Sleaford were at Chambers Farm Wood to see the Marsh Fritillaries. They had many sightings and took some very good photos. Jo says they were "very happy :)"!
- Andy Sims had: " ... some nice moths last night with Scorched Wing, Scalloped Hook-tip & Buff-tip all being new for this year."
24th May: Temperatures soaring to 25 degC!
- Colin Smith: " ... arrived early at Chambers Farm Wood, on what was a beautiful day with the area, damp with dew, quickly warming up. A Comma seen near the info board at the meadow but nothing else seen in the Butterfly Garden nor on the way to the meadow. 5 Marsh Fritillaries seen on the extension meadow adjacent to Little Stubbs Meadow which I thought was amazing. Paths had been newly cut around the meadow so I kept to these and counted. Crossed into the old meadow at the end farthest from the entrance and the info board and stood amazed. I stood in one place and could see 5 Marsh Fritillaries nectaring on Buttercups. On my walk to the info board my tally rose to 42! One chap I was talking to stated there must be a hundred at least. Another chap who was photographing near the tree clump in the middle of Stubbs Meadow stated he had seen 30 or 40 in that area alone. That area was not part of my count, in fact I stuck to the mown paths. My estimate would be well over 100 - more like 200. Good news on the butterfly front at last."
- Phil Bowler: " ... was passing Chambers Farm Wood late afternoon so decided to have a quick look at the Marsh Fritillaries, but more importantly to see whether the dirge of common species at home was repeated here. It was. From the car park to the meadow, in full sun, I didn't see one butterfly, not even a White. I am finding Speckled Wood very scarce this spring, and indeed saw none in the woods. Yet conversely, even late in the afternoon, there were 46 Marsh Fritillaries happily flying around in the meadow. And here, the only other species seen were two Dingy Skippers and two Silver Y moths. What a strange dichotomy!"
- Lawrie Poole was at Donna Nook and saw 1 Small White, 4 Common Blues, 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Peacock, 6 Wall Brown, 3 Small Heath and 1 Mother Shipton moth. Slightly disappointing on the Green Hairstreak front - was hoping for more in view of recent high counts. Called in to Chambers Farm Wood on the way home. Dave Thompson already there. A huge number of Marsh Fritillaries - didn't count them this time. Very different behaviour from last Saturday (18th May). Today the Marsh Fritillaries were obviously in mating mood and were often in twos and threes across the field. One feature seemed to be that they were definitely 'nuzzling' their heads together as a sort of fore-play! Saw 1 Orange Tip, 2 Peacock, also in mating mood and several Silver Y moths. No other butterflies.
23rd May: A very warm, dry day.
- Brian Hicks: "Visited Little Scrubbs Meadow at Chambers Farm Wood today. Came up from Norfolk, this is my first visit. There must have been well over 100 Marsh Fritillaries on the wing - also several mating pairs. Fantastic!
- Peter Burnett: " ... managed a visit to Twyford this afternoon. A dozen sitings of Grizzled Skipper, about the same for Dingy Skippers, several Burnet Companions, a day flying moth; plus singles of Speckled Wood, Brimstone & Orange Tip and half a dozen Common Blue."
- Dave Thompson writes: "Marilyn and I had a quick trip to Chambers Farm Wood today. The temptation of the Marsh Fritillaries was a strong draw, and it was well worth it. I have never seen so many down there before. Naturally, we stopped off in the Butterfly Garden and were rewarded by seeing both a male and female Broad Bodied Chaser."
- Pete Burnett says: " ... the first decent night of garden trapping so far this year at Fiskerton: 38 moths of 19 species including single Silver Y and a couple of new garden records: Grey Birch and the micro Opostega salaciella."
- Andy Sims writes from Swanpool: "Caught an Alder Moth in my trap last night: a new moth for the garden. Also, new for this year, last night were Pebble Hook-tip, Scalloped Hazel, Brimstone Moth & Foxglove Pug."
- Phil Lee e-mailed: " ... best night of the year over here in Misterton with 41 Macros of 20 species and 9 Micros of 6 species. Temp dipped to 11 degC. New Macros for the year included Freyer's, Mottled, Grey and Common Pugs, Common Marbled, Garden and Silver-ground Carpets, Clouded Silver, Muslin Moth, White Ermine, Small Square-spot and Poplar Hawkmoth."
22nd May: Great Prominent moth sighting.
- Chris Dobson e-mailed: "A disappointing morning for me was saved somewhat by a superb Great Prominent. I don't get these in the garden very often."
- Andy Sims from Swanpool: "29 moths this morning, including 1 Spectacle, 1 White Ermine and 2 Common Marbled Carpet - all new for this year."
21st May: A Pair of Pairs!
- Pete Burnett made " ... another visit to Little Scrubbs Meadow this afternoon. Marsh Fritillaries were plentiful, (counted about 30). Saw a pair mating, and another pair just sitting together - the female being the larger of the two. Also saw a couple of Dingy Skippers."
- Vic, Judy and Rachael Theaker " ... had a good week end in Lincs! Today, we spent at Rimac - not too bad when the sun was out, but chilly when in. We did manage 5 Green Hairstreaks, 8 Common Blues, good numbers of Wall Brown and Small Heath, plus 1 Peacock, 4 Orange Tips and a few flighty Whites. Yesterday, we had a very good morning at Little Scrubbs Meadow: Marsh Fritillaries were everywhere! There were also, around 10 Dingy Skippers, 2 Whites and 1 Speckled Wood but nothing more. The weather changed around 12 oclock. The showers came ... and we left."
- Zoe and Steve Shreeve were at Donna Nook. They saw 3 Green Hairstreaks.
- Richard Smith: " ... had a look further up the railway line from Barkston at Wilsford Cutting near the road crossing. Nothing - and the habitat looked unsuitable for Grizzled Skippers. Further towards Sleaford, the railway runs next to the Wildlife Trust's Rauceby Warren site. No Skippers seen here either, but I did see 11 Common Blues, 2 Brown Argus, 3 Small Heath, 4 Orange Tip, and 1 Small Copper."
19th May: Trapping for the Marsh Moth.
- Colin Smith wrote in: "I have arranged to light trap for Marsh Moth at Saltfleetby/Rimac on 2nd June and Gibraltar Point 4th June. If anyone would like to join me you would be very welcome. There are some other areas at the Saltfleetby end that I would like to try so if there are not enough lights on the second I will also go on 6th June. This is all subject to the weather so if you would like to come along please let me know."
- Andrew Chick says: "I found a mini invasion of Orchard Ermine larvae going on in Lincoln yesterday - 1,000’s of them!"
- Jill Hall was at Chambers Farm Wood: “Saw Dingy Skippers and Marsh Fritillaries. Lots about; spoilt for choice. Singletons and mating pairs. Just a delight to see them all.”
18th May: A County First!
- Martin Gray has confirmed that the pretty little micro Commophila aeneana which Toby Ludlow found near South Witham (see the first entry for 12th May) was a first for the County! Nice one Toby - well spotted!
- Lawrie Poole was at Chambers Farm Wood in the afternoon specifically to see Marsh Fritillaries. He found 2 Green-veined Whites, 4 Peacocks, 1 Brimstone around the visitors' car park, and counted 65 Marsh Fritillaries in Little Scubbs Meadow! Toby Ludlow was also there and he had 35 in the Extension Field making 100 Marsh Fritillaries in total. It was an amazing afternoon. When the sun came out they were often seen in twos and threes dicing with each other in the warmth (18.5 degC in the shade). There was considerable variation in the wing markings particularly shown up from the many photos taken. This might mean a good gene pool?
- Toby Ludlow had his first Small Heath and first Brown Argus of 2017 at Moor Farm Nature Reserve (LWT).
17th May: A new garden record.
Andy Sims from Swanpool had 23 moths with 11 species including a garden first with a Seraphim and 2 new for this year: Chocolate Tip and Shears. A good night's work, Andy!
16th May: First Marsh Fritillaries.
- Pete Burnett " ... managed a trip to Chambers Farm Wood today between the showers. Found a couple of Marsh Fritillaries on the meadow. Garden mothing has been terrible so far this year, either too cold, too windy, too wet or a combination of all three!"
- Andy Sims at Swanpool had 18 moths with 7 species including Brown Silver Lines being a first for this year.
16th May: Green Hairstreaks at North Somercotes.
A 'phone call to Bryan & Liz Libel today revealed their disappointment at the low numbers of Green Hairstreak butterflies they have counted so far this year on their North Somercotes farm. They did however, have their first Common Blue on 13th May - beating Twyford Woods by one day! The table below gives the date and the number seen. This morning they saw just a single Orange Tip.
|11th April: 1||22nd April: 1||4th May: 5|
|17th April: 4||23rd April: 1||5th May: 1|
|19th April: 3||29th April: 2||10th May: 3|
|20th April: 1||1st May: 1||13th May: 1|
15th May: A good, first Lincs BC Field Trip to Anderby Creek, plus two more 'first of the year' Butterflies at Twyford Woods.
- Richard Davidson sent in the following regarding the Field Trip to Anderby Creek "We had a successful first field trip of the year yesterday, Sunday the 14th May, and saw a total of 25 Green Hairstreak butterflies, our main target species. The rain we woke up to had cleared and the weather noticeably brightened and warmed up as we assembled in the car park at Anderby Creek. We saw our first two Green Hairstreaks on bushes at the back of the car park before we'd actually left it! They were dancing around each other in the sunshine in front of us, as were quite a number of Adela reaumurella longhorn moths. A good start. We saw more Green Hairstreaks along a track at the back of the dunes which led us northwards towards Moggs Eye car park. They seemed to be mainly around Elder bushes and not the many flowering Hawthorns, which is what we found last year. Further north between Moggs Eye and Huttoft Car Terrace there are mainly just Sea Buckthorn bushes, and perhaps that's why we found no Hairstreaks in that area. Other butterflies seen included Brimstone, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and 2 Red Admirals. We encountered quite a variety of bird life including Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel and Cuckoo (one heard, two seen). A couple of seals were observed just off shore. Between Anderby Creek and Moggs Eye there's quite a bit of Elm at the back of the dunes, which was a nice find and worth checking out for White Letter Hairstreaks in a few weeks time. In the afternoon we headed south towards Wolla Bank. Another 20 Green Hairstreaks were recorded alongside the path at the back of the dunes and a similar variety of other butterflies to those observed in the morning plus two Silver Y moths, the first I've seen this year. Unfortunately we didn't manage to find any Wall Browns there as we did last year along that same section of path or any Holly Blues around some Ivy covered bushes at Anderby Creek but a Small Copper was seen on the way back to the car park. While we were in the area we also walked round the nearby Wolla Bank Pit nature reserve where a number of Sandy Carpet moths were seen and a Cetti's Warbler was singing in the bushes there. In summary, a useful and enjoyable field trip with some good company."
- Dennis Tyler and Graeme Baker took advantage of the weather on Sunday (14th May) and visited Twyford Woods. They were rewarded with eight different species including 30 plus Grizzled Skippers, and their season's first Common Blue and Small Heath.
14th May: Large numbers of Green Hairstreak, and a new confirmed site for Grizzled Skippers.
- Toby Ludlow admits to " ... being a bit remiss this year due to other circumstances and only put my moth trap out for the first time last night for 2017. The result: 13 moths, 8 species and nothing extraordinary, but did get a Poplar Hawkmoth. It’s the first time I’ve caught a Hawkmoth on my first trapping session of the year!"
- Andrew Chick was at Belton house today and saw his " ... first Silver Y moth of the year - I always thought these were a migrant moth?"
- Andy Sims at Swanpool, had 8 moths with 6 species, including a Figure of Eighty moth being a first for this year.
- Dave Wright wrote in: "I was unable to attend the field trip this morning, but managed to visit Donna Nook NNR this afternoon to do a survey between Stonebridge car park and Pye's Hall. Assisted by Mark Johnson we counted the following: 63 Green Hairstreak, 21 Wall, 1 Small Copper, 4 Red Admiral, 8 Peacock, 1 Large White & 1 Orange Tip. In addition we also found 5 Garden Tiger Moth larvae. I was amazed at the number of Green Hairstreaks and today's total was my highest count at this particular site."
- Martin Gray took: " ... a jaunt in and around the verges near Morkery Wood today which resulted in: Grapholita jungiella, Burnet Companion, Latticed Heath, Epiblema cirsiana & a Cochylimorpha straminea."
- Richard Smith: " ... had a look at the Barkston site (Grid ref: SK 915424) near Grantham for Grizzled Skippers as the sun was out. Saw 6 Grizzled Skippers flying and sitting on stones in the same small area. One retuned twice to a Buttercup flower. Also saw Brimstone, Peacock and 4 Orange Tips." Richard added: "Just checked where I saw a Grizzled Skipper roosting on seed heads last year at Barkston on the way out. Saw 2 more Grizzled Skippers sunning on the seed heads in the late sun at 6.15 p.m."
13th May: First Wall Browns of the Year?
Dave Wright was: " ... today at RSPB Tetney Marshes, and found 3 Wall, two of which were on the outer sand dunes. 3 Red Admiral, 3 Orange Tip and 2 Green-veined White were the other butterflies noted."
12th May: Another warm day.
- Toby Ludlow was in the South of the County near South Witham: "went for a stroll yesterday and disturbed an exquisite little micro-moth Commophila aeneana, resplendent in its orange livery. Its distribution is described as very local and it is the first time I’ve come across one. Fortunately, it even hung around to have its picture taken!"
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had: "18 moths of 7 species last night: 1 Waved Umber nfy, 2 Garden Carpet, 2 Green Carpet, 1 Muslin Moth, 1 Pale Tussock, 1 Flame Shoulder & 10 Shuttle-shaped Dart."
- Chris Dobson at Langworth: " .. did a bit better myself last night, a pristine Chocolate-tip was the star but Spectacle, Treble Lines, Green Carpet, White Ermine and Yellow-barred Brindle were also new for the year."
11th May: Warm day - some sunshine.
- Richard Smith e-mailed the following: "Following up the Grizzled Skipper sighting at Great Gonerby near the A1 road from last year, I had a look today, warm and sunny. Saw 3 Orange Tips and a Green Hairstreak near the roadside hedge. Near the railway, saw another Green Hairstreak and a Grizzled Skipper. Possibly saw another, or could be the same one, as it was not far from the area where I saw the first. Had a good look round the area but saw no more - and no Dingy Skippers."
- Phil Bowler spent a " ... full afternoon at Twyford Wood but the sun went in very shortly after my late morning arrival and hardly came out again, so numbers were very sparse: 1 Common Purple and Gold, 10 Dingy Skipper, 7 Grizzled Skipper, 3 Brimstone (2m 1f), 2 Green-veined White, 5 Orange Tip (all male), 1 Green Hairstreak, 3 Peacock, 1 Comma & 3 Speckled Wood. Had a Small Copper in my garden (Amberhill nr. Boston) yesterday, the first of the year."
- Martin Gray in Skellingthorpe Woods had: " ... just a one hour jaunt today, lots of insects about the best by far being the micro moth Micropterix mansuetella. Very few Lincolnshire records and a first for me."
- Pete Burnett wrote in: "Managed just 3 moths here in Fiskerton: White Ermine, Flame Shoulder and Pebble Prominent."
- Andy Sims at Swanpool had: " 9 moths of 6 species including 1 Pale Tussock, 1 Heart & Dart & 2 Grey Pine Carpet - all new for this year."
10th May: Warm, sunny day brings the Skippers out!
Phil Lee reports: "It seemed like everyone was at Twyford Wood this morning where, in glorious sunshine, we saw 11 Grizzled Skippers and 6 Dingy Skippers in an hour."
9th May: Interesting Micro-moth.
Richard Davidson wrote in: "I was talking to a friend on their allotment in Lincoln when I noticed a small micro moth flitting around. Had to catch it to see what it was, of course, and it turned out to be Plutella porrectella. It's similar to the Diamond-back moths we were inundated with last year being a member of the same Plutellidae family. It's larval food plant is Dames Violet, otherwise known as Sweet Rocket, of which my friend has several clumps, growing on the allotment."
8th May: Mean Temperature Anomalies.
Checking the Met Office's chart for the Mean Temperature Anomalies which compares the monthly mean temperatures for 2017 with the averages for 1961-1990 shows some very interesting comparisons. January to April was clearly much warmer than average. And, it did bring the butterflies out; as many observed, many species seemed to show earlier than usual. It'll be interesting to see what May brings - it certainly feels cool for this beginning part of the month!
7th May: Still cool winds blowing.
- Alan Dale from Low Hameringham " .. has had a pretty lean year so far - apart from White-shouldered House Moths (!) but I've just had three White Ermines emerge from pupation in the frost free garage."
- Vic & Rachael Theaker: " ... had a nice day at Twyford with sun, clouds and a cool breeze, but we were lucky with at least 6 Grizzled Skippers, around the same number of Dingy Skippers, a Small Copper, a Speckled Wood and 2 Whites. It was hard work with the clouds covering the sun and the cool breeze, but when the sun came out it was ok. However, no Green Hairstreaks!"
- Andy Sims " ... had 14 moths of 8 species last night including 2 Green Carpet, 1 Red Twin-spot Carpet & 1 Maiden’s Blush all new for this year."
5th May: Various insects on the wing at Crowle.
Martin Gray: "Spent a couple of hours at Crowle Moors this afternoon; still quite cold in the open, but in the sheltered spots it got surprisingly warm. Large Red-damselflies were everywhere with a few butterflies on the wing including several Small Coppers. I guess the Hoverfly Sericomyia lappona is quite scarce in Lincolnshire but managed to see one on a Birch leaf along with the leaf rolling weevil Deporaus betulae. Three species of Eriocrania were found on the Birch leafs and I also netted a Tortrix Moth which has got me stumped & will need further investigating."
4th May: A second Longhorn moth species. Still sunny but cool. (around 12 degC)
- Martin Gray spent: "A pleasant couple of hours in Skellingthorpe Wood - quite warm out of the cold Easterly wind. Nice to see a few butterflies on the wing with a mating pair of Commas the best sighting. The Longhorn moth Nematopogon schwarziellus was out in numbers along with the small micro Micropterix cathella. Heard my first Cuckoo of the year." Martin also found a caterpillar on some Beech, which turned out to be the 2nd or 3rd instar of the Pale Brindled Beauty.
- Not many butterflies around in his garden but Lawrie Poole, from Thorpe on the Hill, reports almost daily sighings of a male Orange Tip. It has a good explore of the garden, presumably for a female, rarely settles, and is off again!
2nd May: A sunny day but quite low temperatures still.
- Richard Davidson: " ... saw a number of Adela reamurella Longhorn moths today while walking around Chambers Farm Wood; both males and females. Another small micro moth was Incurvaria masculella, a male with comb like antennae. All of these were around Hawthorn bushes, which are coming into flower."
- Ian McGlynn was at Castle Bytham quarry today and saw both Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper.
- Jim Ashton e-mailed: " ... yesterday my brother Joel, and I found a Dingy Skipper on one of the local meadows we have created for butterflies at Carlby, South Lincs." You might like to watch the short video about the site on the link: https://youtu.be/sK3PCZerwbM
- Martin Gray says: "Only one moth in the trap this morning however a garden first with the Blackthorn feeder Pseudoswammerdamia combinella. Looks like better trapping conditions are on the way."
- Jill Hall took a trip to Donna Nook today and found several Green Hairstreaks "in the usual places".
29th April: "First of the Year" Sighting of Dingy Skipper?
- Toby Ludow reported: "Took a trip down to the south-west of the county yesterday, and was rewarded with several sightings of Dingy Skippers. Along with a few Grizzled Skippers, they were my first sightings of these species this year."
- Richard Davidson e-mailed: "I arrived home this evening to see a small moth on the front brickwork of my bungalow, fluttering its wings and illuminated by my car headlights. It turned out to be a male Bee Moth, Aphomia sociiella, not one I've encountered before. I believe the larvae feed on the comb within bee and wasp nests and interestingly there is such a nest within two yards of the moth. I have Tree Bees, Bombus hypnorum, nesting within the cavity wall of the bungalow again. They were in there for the first time last year and are getting in and out through a small hole in the brickwork where the support for a drain pipe used to be located. So it might be a coincidence but I thought the Bee Moth could well have originated from within that nest. Another small micro moth I encountered yesterday (28th April) along the edge of Neville's Wood near Potterhanworth was Monopis weaverella."
Andy Sims at Swanpool had his first Angle Shades for this year: "on the wall, by my outside light, despite frosty night."
24th April: Many "New for this Year" Moths at Chambers Farm Wood.
- Mark Wainwright wrote in with details of the moths he and his son Ben trapped on Friday 21st April at Chambers Farm Wood. They had 27 species with a total of 212 moths! New for this year were: Pale Prominent, Pebble Prominent 6, Chocolate Tip 2, Flame Shoulder, Pebble Hook Tip, Spruce Carpet, Red Twin Spot Carpet, Small Phoenix & Ancylis badiana - all singletons unless otherwise stated.
- The photo is Mark's image of the Small Copper he saw at Kirkby Moor. (see entry for 17th April)
- Andy Sims at Swanpool e-mailed: "Last nights catch was 1 Streamer nfy, 2 Brindled Beauty, 1 Muslin Moth, 1 Powdered Quaker nfy, 6 Shuttle-shaped Dart & 5 Hebrew Character."
23rd April: 'First of the year' Green Hairstreak and Grizzled Skipper!
- Martin Kew reported: "I was pleased to record my first Grizzled Skipper of the season today on Transect one at the Sanctuary reserve. It was quite cool in between sunny spells and not much else on the wing: 1 Orange Tip, 1 Green-veined White and a couple of Peacocks. Hopefully more to come very soon!"
- A 'phone call with Liz Libel revealed that at their farm in North Somercotes, the Libels saw their first Green Hairstreak on 12th April. This is one of their earliest sightings! They have seen the odd one each day since then with the most so far being 3. They have also had upto 4 Holly Blues.
- Stephen Thompson e-mailed to say that he had seen a Holly Blue in his Horncastle garden.
- Ian McGlynn also had a Holly Blue in his Bourne garden today.
22nd April: Several new season's moths.
Andy Sims last night at his Swanpool home had the following moths: 1 Lunar Marbled Brown nfy, 1 Brindled Beauty nfy, 1 Pebble Prominent nfy, 3 Shuttle-shaped Dart nfy, 3 Hebrew Character & 1 Common Quaker. (nfy = new for this year)
21st April: A redeemed tale of woe!
George Rutter e-mailed: "The weather forecast a good night, so I decided to get the traps out for the first time. I went to the shed only to find that the roof had leaked, filling both traps up with water! I soldiered on and got set up, switched the power on and fortunately everything lit up. A somewhat disappointing catch this morning was livened up by a Pale Prominent, and sidekicks of Early Grey and Shoulder Stripe.
20th April: Are Emperor Moths having a good year?
Richard Davidson wrote in with: "I was at Goslings Corner Wood (Chambers Farm Wood area) yesterday and saw a white butterfly quite close to some Cuckoo Flower / Ladys Smock. I thought it was going to be a female Orange Tip. But when I got closer it was actually a Green Veined White, my first of the year. As I watched it was obviously more interested in nectaring on the nearby Dandelions than the Ladys Smock! In the evening I went to a talk at Whisby Nature Park and on leaving checked the walls of the Warden's office where the security lights often attract moths. Just one this time but quite a beauty, an Emperor Moth, the first I've ever seen - although I've found their caterpillars on vegetation alongside the railway line in past years.
17th April: Another 'New for this year' Butterfly sighting, and an interesting observation re: Brown Hairstreak eggs.
- Phil Lee wrote: "Just letting you know that we saw our first 'Lincs' Red Admiral of the year this afternoon during a saunter around Haxey Turbary LWT NR. It was sunning itself on last year's dead Bracken and was being harassed by Speckled Woods and a Comma. Totals seen were 1 Red Admiral, 5 Speckled Wood, 3 Orange Tip ( 1 female ), 3 Green-veined White and a Comma. Also a few micro moths about with several Nettle-tap and a couple of Pammene gigantna."
- Mark Wainwright e-mailed: "Went to Kirkby Moor to see if I could attract a male Emperor Moth with the lure again. Whilst I did attract several male Emperors I was surprised and pleased to see a Small Copper, who did pose for a picture, unlike the Emperors. I know they had a poor year last year so I hope this early specimen can find a friend."
- Richard Davidson sent in an interesting observation: "The photo of a Brown Hairstreak egg a few days ago at Chambers Farm Wood (see second entry for 8th April, below) reminded me of another that I found there recently which was unusual because it was on the 'wrong' plant. Normally they are laid on Blackthorn of course or occasionally on the much rarer Wild Plum. In the past though I've also found one on a Dog Rose and another on a Hawthorn sapling, both growing adjacent to Blackthorns. This time it was laid at a junction on the stem of a Dock plant that was growing up through young Blackthorns not far from Little Scrubbs Meadow. Obviously by a short sighted Brown Hairstreak that should have gone to Specsavers! Other opticians are also available. I found a total of 55 eggs at that particular location, several of which had already hatched out."
16th April: Emperor Moths & Lures.
Mark & Sally Johnson had a trip to Scotton Common on the 15th April: "We managed to see five male Emperor Moths with the help of Alan and Linda Woodward and their pheromone lure!"
Pete Smith e-mailed the following: ' ... what a good spring so far! Can't remember seeing Orange Tip females egg laying as early as 8th April before up in this part of the world, and I have had good numbers of Speckled Wood in my back garden for the past couple of weeks -again, very early and encouraging. My personal highlight of the year so far was Emperor Moth at Kirkby Moor on 9th April - they were very active, but fortunately my wife has sharper eyesight than me, and spotted a male 'going down'. Marsh Fritillary larvae were showing well on 3rd March in Little Scrubbs Meadow.
14th April: Beautiful photography.
Peter Eeles, the well-known butterfly photographer, has posted the accompanying image of the egg of a Comma butterfly on his Twitter account. The egg has been laid on the very tip of a Nettle leaf. It shows the beauty and fragility of this amazing piece of nature. Nothing to do with Lincolnshire alas, but here it is to enjoy! By the way, mentioning Twitter, our Lincs BC account has 750 "followers" as from today! Amazing eh? The 750th was Cambs. and Essex BC!
Mark Wainwright took: " ... a trip to Kirkby Moor with my Emperor Moth lure. I saw a least four male Emperor Moths but none would settle for a photo, so that was a little disappointing. I was still happy though, as when I was walking to the moor through the adjacent Ostlers Wood, I was pleased to see an Orange Underwing come to ground. It was a little battered but it makes a change from them fluttering around the tops of Birch trees."
11th April: Er ... hum!
Phil Lee sent in the following (and I quote his note verbatim!): " ... we had a saunter through Treswell Wood (Notts) this afternoon to see the
Early Purple Orchids which were putting on a fine display when the wife spotted a pair of Orange Tips doing what male and female Orange Tips do. I gave her a warm smile and a wink and said 'they think that spring has arrived'. She winked back and said 'don't be getting ideas, it hasn't arrived at our house yet'!"
10th April: Volume Butterflies!
Dave Thompson e-mailed the following: "With all this good weather, Marilyn and I have done a few walks. Last Saturday afternoon (8th April) we walked around our local patch passing by Neville Wood, Burnt Wood, and Potterhanworth Wood. We counted 94 butterflies, and saw eight species (Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Brimstone, Small White, Large White, Green Veined White, Orange Tip and Comma). And yesterday, we went around the White and Red Routes at Chambers Farm Wood. Despite the sunshine being relatively disappointing for sightings, we still saw 28 butterflies."
9th April: Another very warm, sunny, 20+ degC day!
- Phil Bowler wrote "In view of the Bracebridge Heath Painted Lady sighting, I feel confident to report that one flew through my garden (Amberhill nr. Boston) the same day too. Up until then I wasn't sure with it being so early. 5 Brimstones (3m 2f), 2 Comma, and 1 Holly Blue, in addition to Small Tortoiseshell (3), Peacock (4), Small White (2), Green-veined White (3). No Orange Tip or Speckled Wood here yet."
- Tim Bagworth e-mailed: "Good numbers of butterflies about yesterday: Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve Orange Tip (NFY), Peacock & Small Tortoiseshell; New York - Green-veined White (NFY); Chambers Farm Wood - Peacock, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Large White (NFY), Brimstone & Small Tortoiseshell."
- Freddy Johnson reported: "2 'new' butterflies appeared in my Bracebridgeheath garden in the sunshine today: Orange Tip (male) & Holly Blue (male), making 9 species so far this Spring."
- Martin Gray from Broadholme e-mailed: "Surprising number of moths over 100 in and around the trap this morning: Small Quaker, Common Quaker, Powdered Quaker, Brindled Pug, Double-striped Pug, Pale Prominent, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Pale Mottled Willow, Red-green Carpet, Yellow-barred Brindle, Early Thorn, Early Grey & Semioscopis steinkellneriana."
- Peter Burnett from Fiskerton reported: " ... it was a sense of deja vu last night when I checked the garden trap - another Emperor moth but in much better condition. In the same position as the previous one, on the sheet at the base of the trap.The trap itself produced Early Grey, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, a couple of Clouded Drab and a Willow Beauty."
- Tim Bagworth and Mark Wainwright set up 3 traps at Chambers Farm Wood last night " ... which resulted in 160 moths of 24 species being caught in about 5 hours. In all not a bad haul despite the temperatures dropping to about 6 C and a clear sky with a very bright moon. The catch consisted of 22 Brindled Pug, 12 Lunar Marbled Brown (NFY), 4 Satellite, 21 Purple Thorn, 20 Small Quaker, 7 Engrailed, 1 Water Carpet (NFY), 3 Streamer, 6 Hebrew Character, 20 Common Quaker, 6 Early Tooth-striped (NFY), 9 Frosted Green (NFY), 1 Lesser Swallow Prominent (NFY), 4 Early Thorn, 1 Red Chestnut, 7 Clouded Drab, 1 Red-green Carpet (NFY), 3 Oak Beauty, 1 Twin-spotted Quaker, 1 Great Prominent (NFY), 1 Chestnut, 7 Diurnea flagella and Dyseriocrania subpurpurella. (Another micro was too worn to be identified).”
- Phil Lee e-mailed the following: "Not so many moths over here in my Misterton garden last night: only 10 Macros of 6 species but 3 new ones for my garden, Shoulder Stripe, Brindled Beauty and Tawny Pinion. Also Emperor Moth and Double-striped Pug seen at Scotton Common yesterday afternoon."
8th April: Wall to wall sunshine, and temperatures over 20 deg C, brings Lincolnshire's eleventh & twelfth butterfly species this year. (Painted Lady & Large White)
- Freddy Johnson wrote in: "On this sunny day - and it's still only just past noon - I've already seen in my Bracebridge Heath garden: Painted Lady - on Iberis ... a real surprise at this 'early' appearance (excellent close views). Also, both male and female Brimstone."
Freddy added: "After my earlier sightings today, I also had: Speckled Wood, Comma, Peacock, Small White and 2 male Brimstones together."
- Mark & Sally Johnson e-mailed: "Whilst at the Spring Indoor Meeting last weekend (see entry for 1st April below), we were told of some Brown Hairstreak eggs in the Chambers Farm Wood Butterfly Garden. We attempted to photograph them but without success. So we returned yesterday evening with our new macro lens in hand to try again! An image of one egg showed a hole in it, whilst another egg lower down the same Blackthorn bush appeared intact."
- Dave Wright says: "A late morning visit to Town's Holt in Grimsby produced 4 Speckled Wood, male and female Brimstone, 5 Small White (including a pair mating), 2 Comma, 5 Green-veined White, 4 Small Tortoiseshell and 3 Peacock. The highlight of an afternoon visit to Buck Beck in Cleethorpes was my first Large White of the year."
Peter Burnett e-mailed: "Minutes after reading Toby's e-mail last night regarding Emperor moths at Kirkby I checked the garden trap before going to bed (as you do)! Saitting on the white sheet and at the outside corner of the trap was an Emperor moth! Not in the greatest condition, very tattered at wing edges. No sign of any egg laying. In the trap were 4 Hebrew Character and singles of Powdered Quaker and Early Grey."
6th April: A cool sunny day brings the butterflies out.
- Phil Bowler: "Did my first proper 2017 visit to Chambers Farm Wood today, and saw the following: 5 Brimstone (4m 1f), 2 Orange-tip (both male), 5 Peacock and 5 Comma."
- Martin Gray saw " ... 2 Orange-tips today along the Fossdyke at Odder, also Peacock, Green-veined White & Brimstone; Orange Underwings also flying above the Birches." Martin also had his moth trap out last night in his Broadholme garden, with the following results: Powdered Quaker (NFY), Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Early Grey, Early Thorn, Clouded Drab & Lunar Marbled Brown.
- Tim Bagworth from Spalding had: "Another big catch last night! i.e. 1 Common Plume & 1 Double-striped Pug."
- Hugh Middleton had just three moths at his Navenby home: Hebrew Character, Small Quaker and Herald.
- Toby Ludlow In a brief trip to Kirkby Moor Nature Reserve today, had 3 male Emperor moths "whizzing around like demons possessed!"
Andy Sims at Swanpool had: " ... a fine Oak Beauty in my trap this morning. Also: 2 Double-striped Pug, 1 Clouded Drab, 1 Common Quaker, 7 Hebrew Character & 2 Early Grey."
3rd April: Holly Blues in evidence, and the first Speckled Wood butterflies?
- Richard Davidson wrote in: "I saw my first Holly Blue of the year this afternoon in my Mum's garden in North Hykeham. It flew past me heading for the big hedge full of Ivy along one side of it. Hopefully this spell of warm sunny weather will bring out many more!"
- Toby Ludlow: "Had a triple helping of freshly-emerged Speckled Woods in a brief outing to Kirkby Moor Nature Reserve (LWT) today."
- Peter Cawdell had a: " ... fresh male Holly Blue in Glebe Park, Lincoln garden this morning."
- Martin Gray from Broadholme had "A pristine Lunar Marbled Brown moth in the trap this morning."
1st April: Excellent SIM at Chambers Farm Wood Visitors' Centre.
We had an excellent Lincolnshire Branch of BC Spring Indoor Meeting today with talks from our good North Yorks friend: Allan Rodda and also from Patrick Barkham the Guardian columnist and well known author. Allan's "Off the Cuff" talk covered the sometimes peculiar behaviour we adopt when chasing butterflies as well as various aspects of conservation and trapping moths. Patrick covered the "Wonder of Butterflies", and included stories from his 2009 year when he set out, successfully, to see all the British butterflies. He too, included certain conservation aspects referring a number of times to Allan's talk. Thanks to Dave Wright for setting up what was an absorbing and often humourous afternoon. (The photo is the last "slide" from Partrick's talk showing the covers of the three books he has written. Look out for his fourth, to be published, we understand, this coming Autumn.)
31st March: A warmer night - out come the moths!
- Andy Sims from Swanpool had: " ... 40 moths of 13 species last night. NFY were Early Thorn, Pine Beauty and Water Carpet."
- Alan Dale from Lower Hameringham commented: "Can't match Andy's haul but a Herald on the garage door prompted me to try the MV trap. That attracted Early Thorn, Hebrew Character, Common Quaker and Diurnea flagella. A grand total of 16 moths - best so far!"
- Chris Dobson from Langworth had: "13 moths, but only three species. Checking my records back through the years I find late March and the first couple of weeks of April generally seem to be very quiet for me."
- Phil Lee added: "11 macros of 7 species over here in Misterton, but Powdered Quaker was my first ever March record for this moth. Also 2 Caloptilia sp micros and a Common Plume."
- Brian Hedley e-mailed: " ... here at Marton, the garden trap (15w actinic) produced 22 moths of 7 species: Early Grey 10, Hebrew Character 3, Common Quaker 5, Small Quaker 1, Streamer 1, Clouded Drab 1 & Red Chestnut 1"
30th March: Two "First of Year" butterfly sightings today.
- Brian Hedley " ... found a male Orange-tip today just south of Greetwell Hollow in Lincoln. Partly hidden in vegetation and presumably just emerged. There seem to be many early appearances for various species so far this year (birds, butterflies, damselflies, etc)".
- Harry Turner from Louth saw a Holly Blue in his garden today. Temperature was 17.4 degC with a SW wind at some 12 mph. Harry feels this is an early sighting compared to previous years.
- Freddy Johnson saw a male Brimstone butterfly and a Peacock in his Bracebridge garden today.
- Lawrie Poole from Thorpe on the Hill had a male Brimstone butterfly making a number of passes over his garden during the afternoon.
27th March: Moths Galore!
Tim Bagworth met up with Mark Wainwright at Chambers Farm Woods again last night: " ... and we ran 2 traps for about 5 hours. The catch was 345 moths of 20 species: 5 Tortricodes alternella, 57 Diurnea fagella, 4 Satellite, 26 Brindled Pug (NFY), 1 Oak-tree Pug (NFY), 12 Early Thorn, 9 Twin-spotted Quaker, 52 Common Quaker, 5 Hebrew Character, 104 Small Quaker, 7 March Moth, 2 Dotted Border, 4 Engrailed, 1 Brindled Beauty (NFY), 17 Oak Beauty, 34 Clouded Drab, 2 Early Grey, 1 Pine Beauty (NFY), 1 Red Chestnut and 1 Chestnut." (NFY: New for this year).
26th March: Pause for Commas!
- Dave & Marilyn Thompson went for: " ... a beautiful spring day walk round the Red Route at Chambers Farm Wood. We saw twelve Commas, ten of which were in the top loop between Fiveways circling round to Minting Triangle and back to Fiveways. On three occasions we saw pairs of Commas spiralling up into the sky - possibly males fighting for territory?"
- Lawrie Poole had a Brimstone repeatedly flying across his Thorpe on the Hill garden - a lovely sight!
25th March: Butterflies & Imps!
- Harry Turner from Louth 'phoned to say he'd seen a Green-veined White in his garden, together with 2 Small Tortoiseshells. The temperature was 15.4 degC, and the wind was from the NE at 8 mph.
- Peter Cawdell reported: "A lovely afternoon at sun drenched Sincil Bank today saw a male Brimstone briefly join the Imps attack 5 mins from the end of the match. Another male Brimstone was spotted on Lindum Hill, Lincoln."
Peter Cawdell saw: a Small Tortoiseshell flying in Cross Street Lincoln; a Small Tortoiseshell flying across his garden in Glebe Park, Lincoln; a Comma flying out from the side of Stainfield Wood nr. Bardney, and a Peacock butterfly flying nr. Snakeholme Pit BC Reserve.
Terry & Judy Wood wrote in: "Today we had a very pleasant visit to Burghley House (mainly to see the South gardens and the daffodil display) and we were surprised to see a Small Tortoiseshell in flight as it was pretty windy and cool with it! "
18th March: An excellent Moth Catch!
Mark Wainwright and his son Ben had "Not too shabby a catch. A five hour session at Chambers Farm Wood using a single 125w Robinson trap yielded 324 moths of 26 species. The temperature was 12-13 degC with a slight breeze and occasional very light rain. The yield was: Common Quaker 124, Small Quaker 36, Oak Beauty 39, Engrailed 34, Clouded Drab 13, Dotted Border 10, Pine Beauty 16, Small Brindled Beauty 11, Tortricodes alternella 6, Chestnut 6, Satellite 4, Shoulder Stripe 3, Acleris cristana 2, Hebrew Character 2, March Moth 3, Brown House Moth 1, Spring Usher 1, Early Thorn 4 , Diurnea fagella 5 (NFY), Oak Nycteoline 1 (NFY), Twin Spotted Quaker 1 (NFY), Mottled Grey 1 (NFY) , Ypsolopha ustella 1 (NFY), Red Chestnut 1 (NFY) and 2 Lead Coloured Drab(NFY)." (NFY = new for this year)
- Andy Sims from Swanpool writes: "Best catch so far this year! 1 Oak Beauty, 1 Twin-spotted Quaker, 2 Clouded Drab, 2 Dotted Border, 1 Yellow Horned, 4 Hebrew Character & 1 Common Quaker."
- Hugh Middleton had: "4 Brimstone butterflies and singles of Peacock and Comma in my Navenby garden today."
- Beryl Straughton wrote in with: "I was walking down a path that goes from Partney Road, Spilsby onto Woodlands Avenue, when a large butterfly flew along the hedgerow towards me.Then another appeared. I don't know a lot about butterflies, so wanted to know what they were. Just by checking photos online, I am sure they were Brimstone butterflies."
- Ian McGlynn e-mailed: " ... on my way to Robert's field today saw one Comma."
- Pete Burnett from Fiskerton e-mailed the following: "Trapped the garden last night, getting singles of Early Grey, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and a micro which looks like Agonopterix heracliana?"
13th March: No doubt! The sun brings them out!
- Hugh Dorrington wrote in: "2 Brimstone butterflies flying in Dunsby today."
- Martin Francis e-mailed: "Just to let you know there was a cracking Comma butterfly in my garden in Healing, near Grimsby, today. No doubt, it was encouraged by the warm sunny weather."
- John Petyt from Scunthorpe: "A warm sunny Monday morning produced two Small Tortoiseshell and one Comma feeding on my winter flowering heathers. Later, at 10pm, one Early Grey moth appeared on my kitchen window!"
- Dave Wright was: "Up and running, at last, with 19 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock and 1 Comma along the field margin bordering the Wybers Wood Estate in Grimsby. Nearby, a further 5 Small Tortoiseshell and a single Comma in Town's Holt."
- Ian McGlynn saw "7 Brimstone butterflies at Temple Wood, Aslackby today and 1 Small Tortoiseshell in the garden." (in Bourne).
- Phil Lee: " ... had a Lead-coloured Drab in my garden trap over here in Misterton on Sat night. It's classed as 'nationally local' in distribution and is one of those that is seen now and again but not often. The 'feathered' antennae of the male are a useful guide to i.d." (i.d. confirmed by Martin Gray and also by Karen & Sarah Hand.)
- Brian Hedley from Marton says: "Pristine Angle Shades moth found on the house wall this morning."
- Andrew Chick had the following catch this morning: 6 Hebrew Character, 2 Clouded Drab, 2 Common Quaker, a Dotted Border & an Oak Beauty."
Brian Hedley had his: " ... Actinic light over Skinner trap set overnight in garden here at Marton (south of Gainsborough) produced 9 moths of 7 species: Satellite 1, March Moth 1, Hebrew Character 1, Early Grey 1, Common Plume 1, Brown House Moth 1 & Agonopterix heracliana 3."
10th March: Moth of the Month?
Andy Sims from Swanpool, had 9 Hebrew Characters in his moth trap this morning.
9th March: A Beautiful Early Spring Day!
- Phil Lee e-mailed the following: "An afternoon walk, out of the wind, at Tuetoes Plantation in Laughton Forest brought 2 Brimstone, 1 Comma, a Roe Deer, Queen Wasp and several Buff-tailed Bumblebees but no Adders yet. I had 2 Hebrew Character and a Common Quaker in my garden trap this morning. Had the trap out in the NW of the county last night for an hour and had 37 Macros of 8 species, including: Clouded Drab, Engrailed and Yellow-horned - all new for the year."
- Richard Davidson says: "I'm sure it wasn't another national record, earliest sighting for the year, but it was my first butterfly sighting of the year, namely a male Brimstone in my mum's garden in North Hykeham this morning."
- Tim Bagworth contributes: "With nothing in the moth trap again this morning, I decided to have a walk along the river in Spalding after work and was rewarded with 4 Small Tortoiseshells & a Peacock, both new for the year."
- Hugh Middleton had just a single Hebrew Character is his Navenby garden.
- Lawrie Poole had a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in his Thorpe on the Hill garden this morning.
7th March: A First of the year National Record!
- See Toby Ludlow's entry for 4th March re: his sighting of a Small White (male) in a neighbour's Coningsby garden. It has now been confirmed by Richard Fox at HQ that this is the first sighting nationally for this particular species! (Lincolnshire doesn't get many records like this. Nice one Toby! )
- Harry Turner from Louth 'phoned to say that he had seen in his garden today: 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Peacock butterfly and 1 Brimstone butterfly. The temperature was 10.2 deg C; the wind direction was from the South-west at 8 m.p.h.
- Phil Lee e-mailed: " ... a Comma graced our Misterton garden this morning for an hour. It actually landed on a metal 'butterfly' that hangs on the wall, put up for the grandkids years ago. My earliest garden record for Comma!"
5th March: A brilliant catch of moths at Chambers Farm Wood.
Mark Wainwright and Tim Bagworth set up 2 MV traps, at Chambers Farm Wood, and had a brilliant catch of 146 moths with 20 species, several of which were new for the year: 1 Agonopterix heracliana, 35 Tortricodes alternella, 1 Acleris cristana, 1 Brown House Moth, 1 Hebrew Character, 17 Yellow Horned, 1 Shoulder Stripe, 9 Engrailed, 14 Dotted Border, 7 Satellite, 6 Common Quaker, 10 March Moth, 3 Pale Brindled Beauty, 10 Small Brindled Beauty, 14 Oak Beauty, 1 Clouded Drab, 9 Chestnut, 4 Spring Usher, 1 Early Grey & 1 Small Quaker.
4th March: A National first-of-the-year sighting???
Toby Ludlow e-mailed: "Saw my first butterfly of 2017 today (Saturday 4th March 2017) in Coningsby. However, it was not one of the usual suspects; it was a freshly emerged male Small White. " (Toby has e-mailed this to Richard Fox as it may well be a national first for the year. Lincolnshire has the odd one of these just now and again!)
- Tim Bagworth writes: "Mark Wainwright and I trapped at Chambers Farm Wood again last night for about 4 hours and despite the wind we managed to get 55 moths of 6 species: 14 Satellite, 8 Chestnut, 26 Tortricodes alternella, 2 Pale Brindled Beauty, 4 Dotted Border & 1 March Moth."
- Last night, Brian Hedley had his: " ... 15w actinic lamp over a Skinner trap in the garden at Marton which produced just two moths, both Common Quakers."
Andy Sims trapped just 1 Hebrew Character last night at his Swanpool home.
- Colin Smith e-mailed in with: "Had the actinic trap out in local woods (Market Rasen area). It resulted in: 4 March Moth, 5 Pale Brindled Beauty, 3 Chestnut, 3 Dotted Border, 1 Acleris notana/ferrugana, 1 Red-green Carpet, 2 Yellow Horned, 1 Engrailed & 1 Spring Usher. Not bad for February!"
- Tim Bagworth says: "The trap was empty again this morning, but I did see my first Red Admiral of the year in the centre of Spalding this morning."
- Chris Dobson wrote: "Had my trap out again last night but drew a complete blank!"
- Phil Lee comments: "Only had Pale Brindled Beauty so far in the garden here in north Notts, but lots of Chestnut, Dark Chestnut, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Satellite, Spring Usher, Pale Brindled Beauty and March Moths in the local woods."
- Hugh Middleton from Navenby had nothing in his garden trap!
- Chris Dobson from Langworth comments: "All I have to show for two nights trapping in near perfect conditions for the time of year, are one Chestnut and one Hebrew Character."
- Martin Gray from Broadholme wrote: "Just checked my moth light and a Small Quaker was on the wall, the earliest record by a long chalk."
- Tim Bagworth e-mailed: "I joined Mark Wainwright last night for a trapping session at Chambers Farm Wood. We caught 11species in about five hours with two traps: Tortricodes alternella 26, Acleris schalleriana 1 (new for me), Pale Brindled Beauty 14, Satellite 5, 11 Dotted Border, Spring Usher 12, Chestnut 8, Dark Chestnut 1, Small Brindled Beauty 4 (new for both of us), Oak Beauty 2 (new for Mark) and an Early Moth (new for Mark). I have still not caught any moths in the garden here in Spalding yet this year. I am putting it down to the new extra-bright LED street lights the council have put up. I wish they would turn them off after midnight."
- Pete Burnett e-mailed: "Had my trap in the garden last night - no moths yet here in Fiskerton."
- Andy Sims says: "A few moths are appearing, 2 Chestnuts yesterday & a Spring Usher and a Chestnut today."
Richard Davidson writes: "More moths on walls next to security lights at Whisby Nature Park yesterday evening, when I was there for a meeting. Two Pale Brindled Beauties were on the wall next to the Warden's office and a brownish Dotted Border near the Education Building door. All winged males."
Alan Dale had a Pale Brindled Beauty: "... not a regular visitor to our Low Hameringham lighted windows but a very welcome one. Common it may be, but, the first I've seen since 2014. The cold wind had dropped, it was comparatively mild and it was out and about at 7.00 p.m."
- Colin Smith from Market Rasen e-mailed: "When I had to scrape the ice off the car this morning to go and fetch my actinic from my local nature reserve I was not too optimistic. There were however a Pale Brindled Beauty and a Spring Usher sitting on the trunk of a tree near the trap which cheered me up! Inside the trap was a Chestnut and Tortricoides alternella. Four species is not too bad for early February, well worth the effort."
- Phil Lee wrote: " I had a Spring Usher in Langholme Wood LWT NR yesterday morning. Just shows how good its camouflage is against the bark of a Silver Birch. If I hadn't needed to spend a penny we wouldn't have met! (Er ... thanks for that, Phil! Too much information???)
- At the Lincs BC Committee Meeting on Friday, 3rd February, we heard that Reg Rice had seen a Brimstone butterfly on 20th January in Spalding Cemetry " ... in a sunny corner."
- Lawrie Poole saw a Peacock butterfly on the Viking Way between Navenby & Boothby Graffoe.
Phil Lee says: "I had a couple of hours this afternoon at Misson Carr NWT NR ( the reserve spans the Notts/Lincs border) breaking open old Silver Birch trunks looking for Beetles and was rewarded by finding a Goat Moth larva. I covered it back over in the hope of catching it as an adult later in the year, or next, as they can spend several winters as a larva."
- Phil Lee e-mailed the following: " .. the first butterfly of the year, which was a Peacock in the garden, over here at Misterton, obviously taking advantage of the warm afternoon sunshine, briefly settling on the Winter Jasmine before flying up and over the roof. It really lifted the spirits, especially after the grey, dull, damp, dank days (aliteration at my age!) we have had lately."
- Paul Daubney also saw a Peacock butterfly in his Welton garden.
Phil Lee writes: "finally got the mothing year underway last night with a couple of hours in Langholme Wood LWT NR between 5 and 7pm with a temp of 7C. A steady flow of moths included,17 Pale-brindled Beauty ( 2 of the form monacharia ), 8 Spring Usher, 5 Winter Moth, 4 Chestnut, 1 Acleris ferrugana / notana. Also were: 1 Hawthorn Shieldbug and the constant calling of Tawny Owls ... bliss!"
Colin Smith has our first entry for the New Year with the following: "Braved the weather last night and put out an actinic in Walesby Woods and was rewarded with 4 Early Moths. Last Sunday night (1st January) I had the light out behind Linwood Warren and caught 3 Mottled Umber, 1 Spring Usher, 1 Winter and 1 Chestnut. It's surprising what is about even at this time of year."
You might be interested to see the Mean Temperature Anomaly chart for the whole of 2016, along with the corresponding Mean Rainfall Anomaly chart. The monthly average temperatures and rainfalls are compared to the average of those values from 1961 - 1990 and are shown as + or - coloured bars for the UK countries. They might explain some of the butterfly/moth sightings this past year!