Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Argiope bruennichi

This spider is found across most of Europe and the south of England. It builds a vertical orb web with vertical zig-zag band of silk in which it catches insects such as grasshoppers.

Bilbao Beauties

A few Bilbao Butterflies - Tree Grayling, Adonis Blue and Speckled Wood. Also seen Long-tailed Blue, Small White and Wall Brown.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Flounced Rustic

Another new species for me recorded at work.

Moth Update - Work

The species count for work is now at 89 which I find amazing because they have all been found on the walls of our building and the one next door.

The photograph below of the Red Underwing is distant, but shows the overall size of this moth in comparison to the brick work. Those big wings hide a beautiful red colour on the underwing.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Gold Spot

Found at work this morning.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Moth News 14th August 2010

I had an amazing Moth Night in my garden with 32 species of 184 individuals.

I spent a few hours watching the moths flying into the garden attracted by the light. Just like birds, you can 'roughly' guess the species by the flight pattern. In the case of the Large Yellow Underwing's it is how many times they bang into things on the way to the light. Saturday night was no different, although I did spend a few minutes watching a Canary-shouldered Thorn fly around the garden flowers occasionally stopping for nectar. As I sat watching, a small moth appeared and a guessed it might be a Silver Y, but as it approached the light I could see a golden sheen. I assumed it was a Gold-spot because in August 2009 I had my first Gold-spot for the garden. Having already noted 15 species in the trap, I headed off to bed ready to wake up at dawn.

Half asleep, I wandered to the trap and peered in to see a large number of Large Yellow Underwing's scattered all over the egg boxes. I started to count the individuals noting down the species as I went through each egg box. Then I came to the box with the 'presumed' Gold-spot, but as I looked closely something didn't seem right, so I popped the moth into a jar and put it to one side. About half-way through the egg boxes I found another moth of similar shape to the first, so rather than disturb it I put a jar over the top, so the Large Yellow Underwing's wouldn't knock into it as they were getting quite active.

After all the moths were counted, then I started to with ones I had put to one side for identification. I picked up the Golden Y-type moth and it was not a Gold-spot, so I opened my copy of the Field Guides to Moths of Great Britain & Ireland at page 334. My unusual moth was there in the second row labelled Golden Twin-spot, but no surely it can't be - can it - no! I again put the moth to oneside and id'd a couple more, but I still couldn't believe my eyes that I had a Golden Twin-spot in a pot next to me! I went back to my trapped and collected the other moth which to my amazement was exactly the same as the first. What two in one night!

I checked my other books and the internet but my conclusions were still the same, so I bit the bullet and posted my GMS records on the North East Moths forum. Our recorder Tom, sent an email to query my record because this moth is a rare migrant to the North East. I posted by pictures and waited with crossed fingers that I had correctly identified the moth. A loud 'Ping' from the computer and his replied was there waiting for me to click. A brave move of the mouse, followed by a click and there it was confirmation that I had two Golden Twin-spot moths in my garden - WOW!

I had won the Moth Lottery - a 1st record for Durham (VC66) and yes like buses two came at once!

Butterfly Day - 15th August 2010

Six species of Butterfly recorded in the garden today.
Comma 2, Red Admiral 2, Peacock 3, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Large White 10 and a Holly Blue.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Moth News 4/8/10

Another two new moths this morning at work.

More Moth News 31/7/10

Two more new moths for the garden. I had two good moth nights this weekend.

Garden Moth List = 164
Life Moth List = 183

Midnight Caller - 31/7/10

On the stroke of midnight a White Satin Moth arrived in the garden. I couldn't resist a few photographs.

Moth News 30/7/10

New moths for the garden, including a "one-eyed" Spectacle.

Moth News 30/7/10

More new moths at work this morning!

Moth News 29/7/10

Three new moths at work this morning.