Tuesday 27 June 2023

Geese week

It's been an enjoyable week here looking after the goslings before we take them to the Little Oak Farmstead tomorrow. Going to miss them. Shame we don't know whether we are staying or going round here or else we could have kept them here with us.

We missed a night of mothing last night due to a long power cut in the village, which also laid rest to any hopes we had that more of the remaining geese eggs would hatch. 

Other new for year moths since the last update below. Moth year list now on 303. 

Varied Coronet
Lobster moth 
Waved Black
Grapholita janthinana (I presume)
Mottled Beauty
Leopard Moth 
I messed up the sexing of our Ghost Mantis- the male is on the right and the female on the left 

Sunday 25 June 2023

Waterstock Mill away night

I set the MV up at Waterstock Mill last night. 273 moths of 84 species. A few highlights below: 

Clouded-bordered Brindle (lifer) 260623 update- nope a Clouded Brindle again (see comments) 
Maybe just a Dingy Shears?
Dark Umber
Beautiful China Mark 
Dingy Shell (also a lifer) 

Saturday 24 June 2023

Geese arrival

The first two geese eggs hatched last night (3 days earlier than expected) so I was up until midnight and up again around 5am to sort them out. As it was unexpected it meant improvising until we could get into the shed loft and for when the farm shop was open this morning but all good now. 

The warm weather continues and the moth year list is now on 293 (611 all time garden list). 

Powdered Knot-horn, Delplanqueia dilutella is the closest I can get to this (awaiting verification). 250623 update- yes most likely according to CMR team but ideally a first record would need confirmation by gen dent. 
White-triangle Slender
Cypress Tip Moth
Meanwhile in the mini-zoo turns out the other Ghost Mantis is also a female - it did this amazing transformation yesterday. They don't live long (only a year or so) so I've asked our Exotics supplier if we can get a mature adult male so we can try breeding them. 

Friday 23 June 2023

Summer Solstice

The planet had it's north pole at maximum tilt to the sun on Wednesday and thanks to high pressure conditions over the garden/UK we had a really nice longest day of the year. Strange to think the slow march to winter has now begun already. 

We spent Wednesday with a Little Oak team at the Old Vic doing some tree work and getting the garden tidy. The Old Vic goes on the market next week (for £1.5 million). Not great being under pressure by the government to sell to get their death tax and what with inflation stuck on 8.7% and the BOE interest base rate up to 5% (up again yesterday) this is probably about the most high risk time since 2008 for any big financial decisions. Will see what the interest is from buyers and then go from there. 

With the continuing good weather the moth year list is now on 285.  A few new for year pics below. 

Have had the VES lure out this week and getting up to 8 Orange-tailed Clearwings. No sign of any of the target Yellow-legged though. 

Summer Solstice (source: Star Walk
White Satin
Peach Blossom
Obscure Wainscot (above) and Shoulder-striped Wainscot (below) - I think its a Shoulder-striped below but since this one been getting really strongly marked ones, so not so sure now

Gorse Crest
Elachista rufocinerea is the closest I can get . 250623 update- no Buff Mompha (thanks Dave)
Not sure what this is- probably an Elachista but would need better photos (CMR team)
The Old Vic- got the front tidied up (James just needs to finish that painting on the right) 
The drive before (above) and after (below) some tree work to open it up a bit and let more light into the woodland border 

The Chard is being mined by Beet Leaf miner (a fly)
All our brassicas have been eaten by Woodpigeons this year
The mini-farm June 2023
Osiris, me and Tom. Wednesday's work team. 

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Heat wave moth run continues

I see Tony Juniper was ranting on twitter recently saying that heatwaves were nothing to celebrate (and he was scorning the BBC for reporting it as good news)  and were a symptom of global warming that was catastrophic for nature. Well if these are the end of times might as well enjoy the moths associated with these heatwaves. Dieter Helm reckons that even during Covid, carbon in the global atmosphere went up by it's usual 2ppm per year and even if we in the UK and Europe go into a carbon totalitarian state and stay locked in within 15 minute cities eating insects, the rest of the world are going to race towards increasing carbon consumption in order to reach western standards of living while population growth will add increased pressure. Dieter Helm reckons that to stop global warming we need a global carbon price and border adjustments (to tax carbon to death) and it seems unlikely in the near future that the UN, G20 or WEF are going to push that through so it looks like global warming is here to stay and we will almost certainly crash through the 1.5 C barrier, burn the Paris Agreement and go way beyond. 

So there's not much that can be done to stop it at the moment so it could be good advice to Tony to chill out and get a moth trap because the moth trapping in these heatwaves is great. 270 moth species for the garden year list now. Also dragonflies are doing well in this country and there are plenty of invertebrates that can react quite well to global warming. I know it's small compensation for the devastation in the tropics and for biodiversity that it not rapidly adaptative but might as well take the silver lining and enjoy it especially when we are lock-downed eating blinking grasshoppers. Some of those moths might even taste better than the totalitarian rations? 

I've been having fun recently getting Artificial Intelligence to rewrite my blog posts- see this one re-written in the comment section by ChatGPT.
Lappet- even looks a bit like the global grim reaper! 
Plain Conch- if I've identified this correctly then its a lifer. 250623 update- yep confirmed by CMR team (thanks Dave). 

Knapweed Conch
Bulrush Cosmet
Grey Poplar Bell, Epinotia nisella is the best I can do on this. 250623 update- not this species as too early for a start and probably Epinotia abbreviana (thanks Dave). 
Footmans are now appearing- here's a Scarce, also Common and Rosy and Orange have been around for a while 
Another photo of this stunning creature 

Monday 19 June 2023

One hundred a night

Had the first night last night (17th June) at the Old Vic with 100 species of moth (about the same number of species I had between January and May). 207 individual moths with the most numerous species being Scarlet Tiger (9), Dark Arches (9), Garden Grass Veneer (10), Heart and Dart and Heart and Club (8 each), so lots of diversity but with relative low abundance. 

Irecord is registering that we've had 600 moth species here for the site now but that is probably due to having some entries at the genus level only. Moth year list is 245 species.

Pretty quiet on the bird front- no sign of any tit flocks yet and there are very few Great Tits about- as I suggested before I suspect bird flu might be taking a hidden toll. Kestrel has been pretty regular recently. 

Also been a few developments in the mini-zoo (see below) including getting a bit of shock when what appeared to be a new species suddenly appeared in the invertebrate tank. 

The geese eggs which are incubating go into the final week and incubator lockdown tomorrow. 

Male Kestrel
Not sure on this either a Dark Brocade or a dark Clouded Brindle . Yes it's a Clouded Brindle (thanks Dave!) 

Blue-bordered Carpet- NFY
Cyclamen Tortrix- NFY
Currant Clearwing- up to 7 attracted to lure
I think this is Ermine Knot-horn, Phycitodes binaevella rather than the smaller martima/saxicola
Ash bud moth - NFY
I had three of these all in the same state of wear- not sure what they are, the closest I can think is worn Small Clouded Brindles
Maybe a worn Clancy's Rustic or as suggested by Dave, just a Pale Mottled Willow 
A Bucculatrix sp ? with a Yellow Oak Button 
Closest I can get to this is the rather rare Elegia similella
Triangle Plume I believe
Burdoch Neb
Small Dotted Buff
The Knot-horns are beginning to appear more frequently now- not sure on this one, maybe consociella or oblitella
The Ghost Mantis in the invertebrate tank have completed their final moults and the male is looking completely different (above) which gave me a bit of shock this morning. Female below- the two looked almost identical a couple of days ago.

One of our Spiky Stick Insects
The Malaysian Forest Scorpion must be totally nocturnal as I've never seen it out during the day and always hides under the cork in the invertebrate tank 
Tiger Cranefly, Nephrotoma flavescens- common at the moment in the garden   
Some of the Clove corals are beginning to self propagate in the reef tank