DIARY

For returning visitors this page gives recent additions (reverse chronological order) as a brief month-by-month log of excursions for photography

2021

October

Moths   New pics of Merveille du Jour and Blair's Shoulder-knot to illustrate daytime camouflage (see Showcase, Moths). In Lyme Park we trapped a slightly beat-up Figure of Eight, a new species for me. It opens up a new sub-family (Dilobinae) in Noctuidae (see Moths).

September

Covid and the fuel shortage kept us in Disley for September.

Moths   In Disley I had several firsts for the garden trap - Orange Sallow, the almost featureless flavescens form of The Sallow, Frosted Orange, Brown-spot Pinion (all four Noctuidae, Xyleninae), Green-brindled Crescent (Noctuidae, Psaphidinae) and The Vapourer (Erebidae). I see Vapourers regularly in the garden flying in daytime - they are males (the female is flightless) in non-stop pursuit of pheromone sources. I also got some nice photos of Rosy Rustic and Black Rustic, showing how their camouflage works against the right background (see Showcase, Moths). In Lyme Park we trapped several August Thorns (Geometridae, Ennominae).

August

There was little activity during the first week of the month, but we wnt down to Chichester on the 9th and things, and especially the weather picked up.

Butterflies   Visits to Kithurst Hill, Medley Bottom and Cissbury Ring (West Sussex) brought the usual species at Kithurst. We found second brood Adonis Blues at Medley Bottom and Silver-spotted Skippers at Cissbury Ring, but no new images have been added. We did get a nice underside shot of a Small Copper at Cissbury Ring (Butterflies, Lycaenidae, Hairstreaks & Coppers).

Moths   In Chichester, I trapped two new species - False Mocha and Maiden's Blush (Geometridae, Sterrhinae); the latter was the worse for wear, but I was able to idenity it with help from the Norfolk Moths website. I also got nice new images of Yellow-bordered Brindle and Yellow Shell (Geometridae, Larentiinae) and Nut-tree Tussock (Noctuidae, Pantheiinae). Towards the end of the month in Disley I got new images of Centre-barred Sallow (Noctuidae, Xyleninae), Blood Vein (Geometridae, Sterrhinae) and Barred Chestnut (Noctuidae, Noctuinae); and I photographed August Thorn (Geometridae, Ennominae) for the first time. I also added three new Geometrids to the Moth Showcase page - Canary-shouldered Thorn, Orange Moth and Swallow-tailed Moth.

Dragonflies   In Amberley Water Meadows (West Sussex) we photographed Common and Ruddy Darter and, at Kithurst Hill, an immature Migrant Hawker (Showcase, Dragons & Damsels).

July

Butterflies   Visits to Kithurst Hill and Fairmile Bottom (West Sussex) in the first half of the month turned up the usual suspects, with no significant photography. We visited a new site just over the border in Hampshire - Havant Thicket, which is a misnomer for a fairly sizeable mixed wood - plenty of Oak and Sallow. There were lots of Silver-washed Fritllaries, giving some nice new photos (Nymphalidae, Fritillaries). We also had a few White Admirals, but no good pics, and a superb aerobatic display from a male Purple Emperor, but he didn't pose for the camera either. An added bonus was a female Purple Hairstreak settled on the path (Showcase, Butterflies). This is an excellent location and we had 17 species of butterfly over two visits.

Moths   Trapping in various places brought improved catches as the weather picked up. In Disley unusual moths were Map-winged Swifts and Muslin Footman. A session in Lyme Park brought Silky Wainscot (Noctuidae, Xyleninae), a new species for me, and Latticed Heath (Geometridae, Ennominae). In Chichester, I trapped Olive (Noctuidae, Xyleninae), Little Emerald (Geometridae, Geometrinae) and Dwarf Cream Wave (Geometridae, Sterrhinae), three new species, plus Tree-lichen Beauty (Noctuidae, Bryophilinae), Cloaked Minor (Noctuidae, Xyleninae), Yellow Shell (Geometridae, Larentiinae) and a beautiful Green Silver-lines (Nolidae).

Dragonflies   In Amberley Water Meadows (West Sussex) we photographed an nice specimen of Brown Hawker (Showcase, Dragons & Damsels).

June

Moths   Longstone Edge (Derbyshire) - new images of Cistus Forester (Zygaenidae). The garden trap attracted few moths early in the month, but things picked up in the second part of June; notable additions were a hibernated and very faded Red-green Carpet (Geometrididae, Larentiinae), a female Ghost Moth (Hepialidae), a beautiful specimen and a first for the garden, a nice dark Snout (Erebidae) and a Shoulder-stripe Wainscot (Noctuidae, Hadeninae), again a first for the garden. Trapping in Lyme Park resumed after Covid and my first session there turned up a Bordered White (Geometridae, Ennominae), which was a new moth for me.

May

Butterflies   Visits to Kithurst Hill (West Sussex) and Longstone Edge (Derbyshire) generated new images of Duke of Burgundy (Butterflies Showcase), Dingy Skipper (Butterflies - Hesperidae) and Common Blue (Butterflies - Lycaenidae).

Moths   The quiet start continued with little evidence of catch-up; the moth trap attracted a fraction of the numbers and species seen in May in previous years.   The only image added to the site was of a nice Alder Kitten (Moths, Notodontidae.

April

Moths   A quiet start because of lousy weather and lockdown.   I trapped once in March (nothing of note) and a couple of times in April (again, nothing of note).   Fortunately my friends Nigel Earp and Sheila Coverdale had better moths and invited me to see and photograph the unusual ones.   Nigel had a Pale Pinion (Noctuidae, Xyleninae) and Sheila had two Streamers (Geometridae, Larentiinae).