Wednesday, 10 August 2022

A bit of moth migration

Currently experiencing another 'heatwave' with day temperatures above 30 C, although seems like we haven't got out of the last one yet with no rain and sustained 'summer' conditions (high 20s during day often)  for the last two or three weeks. The all time Old Vic moth list is now on an unratified 575 species (the target this year was to reach 500 so smashed that). Year list is 430 so slowly creeping up for 500 in a year  so looks like the all time 500 target was a bit under ambitious. Members of the county moth recording scheme get up to 700 species a year in their gardens so really could do with pushing it a bit (although are only trapping three or four nights a week maximum due to work commitments ). 

Another summer holiday week and another zoo visit with the kids- this time Whipsnade- had a family party of Spotted Flycatchers there and the usual Lapwings were in the Asia area feeding amongst the Bactrian Camels and Asian Elephants. 

Willow Warbler singing this morning, the odd Blackcap about. the odd Yellow Wagtail going over and that's about it on the bird front.

Vestal (above) and Hummingbird Hawkmoth (below)- any half decent migrant is gold round here. Been getting up to 8 Rush Veneer a night, the odd Diamond-back, the odd Turnip and a couple of White-points today. 

According to certain sources on social media this square cut dark leading edge to the upperwing underside is a key feature of Langmaid's Yellow Underwing. A couple of other shots below (below the comparison shot). As far as I know Langmaid's has not been recorded in Bucks in the past and from various discussions sounds like a full suite of features is required to achieve the 'currently recognised criteria' for what sounds like a controversial split. The full suite of features include the broad hind wing border with small orange spot and a particular jizz too. I've sent the specimen off to the CMR who says he will set it and check it and if need be get the genitals examined too. Will be interesting to hear back.  
A typical Lesser for comparison


I went for Yellow-tipped Dwarf, Elachista bisulcella on this. The yellow border to the hind edge of the white bar is supposed to diagnostic although not too sure whether it's that obvious. Update 160822- probably needs a more detailed photo to confirm 
I wasn't sure if this was your standard but a bit worn White-triangle Slender, C.stigmatella or semifascia.
The closest I can get to this is Hemp-agrimony Plume, Adaina microdactyla. Update 160822- might just be a Common Plume 
Sharp-winged Drill, Dichrorampha acuminatana ?
Italian Tubic again
This looks like White-headed Ermel, Paraswammerdamia albicaptella- seems to have white head and thorax, hint of grey dorsal cross band and black spots running along wing fold 
The vanguard - my first Square-spot Rustic at the Old Vic. They are coming. 
Spotted Fly at Whipsnade- about three or four of these , presumably a family party
The usual Lapwings at Whipsnade- about 100 or so in the Asia area 
Scarlet Macawas- really need to get back to South America to see these in the wild - stunning creatures and so mind blowing in flight 
The 2022 UK drought- view from the Chalk at Whipsnade 

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