Friday, June 26, 2015

garden moth trap (20150621)

 The garden produced a few more moths this morning. Totals: Korscheltellus lupulinus (1), Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (3), Hepialus humuli (1), Smerinthus ocellata (1), Xanthorhoe fluctuata (1), Odontopera bidentata (1), Hypomecis punctinalis (1), Ptilodon capucina (1), Phalera bucephala (1), Autographa gamma (1), Cucullia umbratica (1), Charanyca trigrammica (5), Agrotis exclamationis (14), Ochropleura plecta (2), Noctua pronuba (1), Ethmia bipunctella (1), Aphomia sociella (3), Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (1) and Hedya nubiferana (1).

that's more like it (20150620)

The highlight for me this morning was my first Pseudoips prasinanus - a stunning little moth.

Rosentorp produced a bumper haul this morning (by this season's standards anyway) that actually took some time to process. Totals: Korscheltellus lupulinus (1), Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (14),  Hepialus humuli (1), Drepana falcataria (2), Timandra comae (1),  Xanthorhoe montanata (2),  Xanthorhoe fluctuata (1),  Cosmorhoe ocellata (2), Ecliptopera silaceata (1), Colostygia pectinataria (2),  Dysstroma truncata (1), Hydriomena impluviata (2), Opisthograptis luteolata (1), Hypomecis punctinalis (7), Biston betularia (2), Siona lineata (7), Deltote pygarga (2), Charanyca trigrammica (1), Apamea crenata (2), Diarsia rubi (1),  Pseudoips prasinanus (1), Calliteara pudibunda (11), Spilosoma lubricipedum (2), Spilosoma luteum (1) and Eurrhypara hortulata (1).

My first Pyrochroa coccinea actually landed on Number 1 as she was walking along, she had the presence of mind to quickly pot it and run it to me. Getting them trained up nicely!

Number 2 had a poor session today but typically produced the goods with this smart staphylinid (Platydracus fulvipes). Only 8 records for Skåne for this species on Artportalen at the moment, so she got the prize for best find of the day.

In the afternoon we all went out searching out invertebrates. Just before we got to Frestensfälla we bumped into a huge female moose with a tiny youngster as they crossed the road. Big! Frestensfälla was great if a little cool and windy and we found some great stuff. Number 1 did well today finding a nice cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea), only to be trumped by Number 2's Platydracus fulvipes - a smart little staphylinid that has only been recorded in Skåne eight times! There were also a pleasing number of new micromoths during this session...

garden mothing (20150619)

Male ghost moth (Hepialus humuli) a welcome addition to my list and flying around my garden at night apparently...

The garden trap produced some nice moths this morning, but again in small numbers/diversity. Totals: Hepialus humuli (1), Pterostoma palpinum (1), Charanyca trigrammica (2), Apamea crenata (1),  Agrotis ipsilon (1 - are spring individuals migrants?), Agrotis exclamationis (8),  Agrotis segetum (3) and Aphomia sociella (1).

wood-stacking (20150618)

Spent the day trucking scrap wood down from the nearby workshop for the winter fuel supply. As I sweated away birds occasionally appeared including a nice hobby and a flyby crossbill.

rosentorp trap contents (20150617)

Rosentorp produced my first Apamea remissa this morning.

Moth totals for Rosentorp this morning: Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (3), Smerinthus ocellata (1), Drepana falcataria (1),  Xanthorhoe montanata (2), Colostygia pectinataria (1), Odontopera bidentata (1), Plagodis pulveraria (1), Opisthograptis luteolata (2), Hypomecis punctinalis (2), Siona lineata (3), Pheosia gnoma (1),  Peridea anceps (1), Apamea remissa (1), Diarsia mendica (1), Calliteara pudibunda (3) and Hedya ochroleucana (1).

mothing with the kids (20150616)

The highlight of a sparse haul from the garden trap this morning was my first Sphinx ligustri!

Dragged the kids out for a cool and rather windy moth session at Lya ljunghed and nearby Älemossen this morning now they have finished school. The net at Lya produced my first Xanthorhoe spadicearia at last. It was busier along the trail to Älemossen and Number 2 distinguished herself by finding a huge number of cryptic or just plain tiny species and earning numerous ice creams as a result. Perhaps her best observation came when she pointed out a roosting Clostera curtula dangling from the tip of a spruce branch above the trail! A nightjar perching and flying about in daylight was a fine sight and then it was time to take the cubs back for a rather late lunch.

moths trapped (20150615)

Snapshot from the traps at Rosentorp this morning! The following species/numbers were trapped: Korscheltellus fusconebulosus (6), Xanthorhoe designata (1), Xanthorhoe montanata (1), Ecliptopera silaceata (1), Hydriomena impluviata (2), Eupithecia exiguata (1),  Eupithecia tantillaria ( 1), Hypomecis punctinalis (1), Phlogophora meticulosa (1), Agrotis segetum (1), Ochropleura plecta (1), Diarsia mendica (1) and Diarsia rubi (2). So diversity and numbers still low thanks to the appalling cold weather we are experiencing.

sunday morning (20150614)

Got out in the morning and checked Ripagården (a late long-tailed duck was the easy highlight of a quiet session) and then the woodland at Haga. Caught quite a few new micromoths at both sites but the backlog of unidentified species is starting to get daunting! Haga also produced two new macromoths in the shape of Drepana falcataria and Scopula floslactata.

Later on in the day I set the traps at Rosentorp and bumped into the lesser spotted woodpecker again.

new moth (20150513)

The garden trap produced another new moth this morning, the commonplace buff ermine (Spilosoma luteum).

more mothing (20150612)

Emptying the moth traps at Rosentorp was livened up by the presence of a lesser spotted woodpecker in the oaks above. My first of the year and a species that is starting to get hard to find in BK?

My first Thyatira batis! What a beast.

In the evening just as it got dark I nipped up to the junction above Killeröd and dashed about with a lamp and a net. Quickly bagged nine species of moth many of them new to me! The best was a splendid fresh Thyatira batis - a much-wanted species. Overhead two nightjars and two woodcock, magic stuff.

checking Segelstorpsstrand (20150611)

Number 2 and I checked the coastal vegetation at Segelstorpsstrand for invertebrates in the afternoon, mostly common day-flying macro- and micro-moths but the one below still eludes identification.

Unidentified micromoth from Segelstorpsstrand

Monday, June 15, 2015

epic invert day (20150610)

Crambus lathoniellus proved to be common in the long grass at both sites visited today.

With the car in the shop being sorted out ahead of our summer holidays I was released into the neighbourhood on a glorious sunny day. With my net in hand and a few hours to spare I did not waste any time in getting to nearby Petersberg. The micromoths here were fascinating and included my first Crambus lathoniellus, Cochylis dubitana and the stunning Nemophora degeerella. Birds here included a few singing reed and marsh warblers and a single grey wagtail.

Crossing the road I checked out the Makadamfabriken, an old quarry that I thought might have potential for Lepidoptera. I was not wrong and over the next few hours the moths and butterflies just kept on coming. It was nice to see some fresh painted ladies here but the big shock came when I discovered a tiny colony of small blues clinging to the grassland at the top of the quarry. Also here more new moths in the shape of cinnabar black-veined moth, yellow shell and the micromoth Crambus pratella. Birds here included a five long-tailed tits, a pair of little ringed plovers and perhaps 25 active sand martin burrows. An epic session.

Nemophora degeerella - just stunning.

Cochylis dubitana was new for me too today at Petersberg.

The quarry was amazing for invertebrates. First up was the first BK cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae), one of three or four during the session here.

Another new moth - the yellow shell (Camptogramma bilineata). New for BK too.

The grassland at the top of the quarry was home to a small colony of black-veined moth (Siona lineata). New for BK...

The biggest surprise in the quarry though was the discovery of BK's first colony of small blues (Cupido minimus).

more mothing (20150607)

18 species of moth greeted me in the trap at Rosentorp this morning, probably my most diverse catch to date and including four lifers. A quick look at Klarningen later produced very little of note.

 This morning's catch included my first flame shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)

and my first white ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda).

Friday, June 12, 2015

looking for bugs at Killeröd (20150605)

Took the kids out after school for a run out at Slottet and Killeröd. The highlight was bagging a new longhorn (Asemum striatum) in amongst the many new invertebrates. Nearby at the junction pond we had the three adult whooper swans that seem to be over-summering in BK. Next stop was the orchid glade at Slottet which produced another Mother Shipton moth and a few new micromoths for my list. Icterines warblers are singing in big numbers in BK this year and Slottet was dominated by the crazy song of this late migrant.

Asemum striatum - a common longhorn that I have probably overlooked until now...

marsh warbler (20150604)

Managed to get to Klarningen today for a sniff around. A hobby and Martin Ekenberg greeted me on site but otherwise the short session was notable for me finally getting marsh warbler on my year list. Afterwards Number 2 and I headed to Eskilstorpsdammar for a look around. We were hoping for a diurnal snatch of grasshopper warbler song but had to make do with more marsh and reed warblers. The highlight for me though was my first Mother Shipton (Euclidia mi)!

rising to prominence

Birding has definitely been on the back-burner this spring, with mothing fitting in better around my domestic and office schedule. My first season has been dominated by a very cool spring and early summer that has certainly impacted on the numbers of moths caught. Species diversity though has been wondrous, it has been impossible to predict what might turn up and this of course generates a huge amount of excitement as you approach the trap just after dawn.

Pictured below are some of the the real-lookers of the moth world - the Notodontids or prominents. I will try and post hightlights more frequently in future...

 Coxcomb prominent (Ptilodon capucina)

Pebble prominent (Notodonta ziczac)

 Swallow prominent (Pheosia tremula)

Pale prominent (Pterostoma palpina)

Buff-tip (Phalera bucephala)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

avocet twitch (20150531)

Nipped out briefly to Klarningen when Mats discovered a pair of avocet on site.  Only my second record at Klarningen, the first bird did not stick around presumably due to a lack of prey. But these birds (like the godwits earlier in spring) were obviously finding stuff to guzzle.

starting to click (20150528)

Hovs Hallar was chilly and breezy, hardly good conditions for searching out invertebrates but we found a few nice things like this click beetle (Athous subfuscus).

Took the team out for a breath of fresh air. Terrible weather continues to dominate our month, set to become the coldest Swedish May since 1962! It has doubtless affected my search for invertebrates, for example I have yet to identify an Odonate in BK this year and I can only imagine what a normal moth trapping May would be like!

Today we worked Klarningen for birds, picking up a Temminck's stint and two ruff. Then moved on to Hovs Hallar for a picnic and a look in the bushes for invertebrates. It was appalling weatherwise and we found very little but of course I still managed to add two click-beetles (Athous subfuscus and haemorrhoidalis) and a new soldier-beetle (Cantharis nigricans) to my BK list (which hit 600 this week).

Checked Påarps Mal on the way home but it was quiet.

postcard from Corfu

 Misumena vatia

Finally got round to posting a few photographs from my Corfu trip last month!

 Southern festoon (Zerynthia polyxena) larvae were everywhere on Aristolochia, must have missed the adults?

 Number 2 found this assassin bug (Rhynocoris iracundus) on a walk along the coast.

Fireflies were everywhere at night around our riverside accommodation.

Orchids were reasonably abundant but confusing...

Calopteryx virgo

Seeing blue chaser (Libellulla fulva) is always a highlight.

The primary reason we went to Corfu was to track down some critically endangered Greek red damsels (Pyrrhosoma elisabethae), which we managed to do. Only one site seems to remain on Corfu sadly.

I was very pleased to finally catch up with Grecian copper (Lycaena ottomana) at the damsel site.

Birds were spotted during the week, invariably common migrants like this great reed warbler.

We only recorded ten species of Odonates, with most being recorded away from water like this immature Crocothemis.

Egyptian grasshoppers (Anacridium aegyptium) were egg-laying on all the sandy tracks we walked.

 The kids enjoyed finding tortoises on the trip, all were the expected Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) until we found this big marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) on the walk up Mt Pantokrator. Perhaps a released pet? This species does occur on the nearby mainland though.

Another surprise on Corfu is the presence (again on Pantokrator) of chukar. Not present according to BWP but presumably must have been introduced for hunting?