Sunday, 30 June 2013

Green with envy

A few records from the last couple of nights including a smart green silver lines trapped with my spare light at R&R's in Colwyn Bay. Never caught one at home! Also a rare record for this side of Denbighshire. Back home had my first shears and double square spot.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Moody Blues - 29th July 2013

Today I visited North Anglesey fens with the intention of looking at some quality Odonata. Anglesey is superb for Damselflies with some pretty rare species such as Southern Damselfly which are present nowhere else nearby. In addition Small Red Damselfly was a large target for the day as again, these aren't very regular except in the south of the UK.
Male Blue-tailed Damselfly - The much more common blue-tailed damselfly species. Present throughout a vast proportion of the UK
Male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly - As the name suggests, this is more less common species that the above Blue-tailed. Anglesey is a great place for the species.
In terms of distinguishing between the two species, you have to look at their name sake blue 'tail'. The Abdomen is segmented and in most species, the key segment is segment 2 (or the segment at the base of the abdomen near the thorax). Segment 8 and 9 are the most important in the blue-tailed species. Clicking to enlarge the images, you will see that on Blue-tailed damselfly, segment 8 is completely blue and segment 9 is black. Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly has it's blue tail closer to the tip and segment 8 is shown with half black and half blue with an additional half blue segment 9.
Male Variable Damselfly - These were surprisingly regular at the site with about 20 seen. 
Defining features are the two '!' exclamation marks on the thorax, which are very variable and can sometimes be joined up, as well as being almost completely absent from the thorax leaving it all black. In addition, segment 2 is similar to the open box shape seen in Azure Damselfly, but is said to look like a wine glass. That can just about be seen on this photo.
above and below - blue female Variable Damselfly

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary - I was a tad disappointed as I always get back into insects during the summer at the end of June or later, so yet again I have, as far as I could tell today, missed Marsh Fritillary (and Duke of Burgandy back home in Lancs).

Friday, 28 June 2013

I would like to teach the World to Moth in perfect hormony :-)

I have done quite a few talks on birds to birdgroups over the years but yesterday was the first time I have ever given a talk to children. It was my youngest son's cylch/playgroup, in other-words a bunch of 3 - 4 year olds. I have always thought about teaching. Would I go for primary or secondary? I always thought secondary would be hard work and primary a doddle. After yesterday I realised it is a totally different ball-game! You start talking, then there's a question, and another, and another, then a totally random question!  I tried to answer them all. I show them something, they all run forward. You ease them back to their seats, they run forward again! Some are keen. Some are not. You try to spread yourself out evenly, and not over-hog the keen ones. Let me just say in a 50 minute presentation, which I think went well, it was totally full-on. I have changed my mind on primary school education. It is hard work and I totally take my hat off to the teachers. It was very rewarding though as you get to show these little guys stuff they have never seen before and it was great to see the looks of amazement when you open a moth-trap full of moths, with Elephant, Eyed and Polplar Hawk Moths, Ghosts, Brimstones, Spectacles, Pebble Prominents, the dead twig-like Buff-tip, the luminescent metalic Burnished Brass and Grey Dagger with it's highwayman's mask. There was lots of laughing, excitement and the Wow factor! It was a great experience and hopefully it may have sown a few seeds with the little-uns! 
Here's a few shots of my son Sion as we released the catch at Roger's place (many thanks). He loves moths, but as you will see he's not too happy when they start creeping up towards his neck! There must be an equation regarding the relationship between your child's contentment with a large moth on his/her chest and the anxiety caused by the closer the moth gets to their neck? I'm sure there's a Masters project for someone there somewhere?

Mixed bugs and ID

Ok honest I'm not being lazy but some of these have me stumped.

 Not a clue above
Mottled Pug below

 Cork Moth above
Beetle-not sure?

 One of the Crambidae but doesnt seem to match any?
Bee Moth giving me evils

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Mystery Moth 27/6/13

I had a good catch of moths on Mynydd Bodafon, Anglesey last night. 150 moths of 46 species was a good total. In the trap was this individual, which I'm really not sure about...maybe some kind of Brocade or 'Arches sp.? Pretty well marked but I cant find anything which fits. A dark form of Clouded-bordered Brindle?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Few more

A couple from the last 2 days, lunar thorn, poplar hawkmoth and flame shoulder.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Eye eye

Only one new moth last night with a spectacle eyeing up R&R's in Colwyn Bay. White and buff ermines there also.

Friday, 21 June 2013

And 2 more

A white ermine was new in at R&R in Colwyn Bay while at home what I'm pretty sure is a Freyer's pug was caught last night.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Couple more

Couple of NFY last night with marbled coronet and buff ermine while over at Colwyn Bay at R&R's had common grey micro Scoparia ambigualis which was a new record for us.
Remarkable night, Tuesday.

Trap full; probably will exceed 55species. Took me all day to identify those I could and there are still a number which are still just photos. Couple of showy ones below.

Catch included 5 Elephant Hawk, Small Elephant Hawk, Poplar Hawk and Eyed Hawk.  Hope to show more soon but off to Skokholm today.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

good mix last night

Above: Silky Wainscot
Below: Buff Tip

Above: White Ermine
Below: Glyphipterix thrasonella at new site