Friday, 3 April 2020

Lee Mount - 3rd April

Early Grey x 1 last night was the only moth. It had gone this morning and just a single Common Quaker in the trap. That was it !

Thursday, 2 April 2020


Found a very small common footman catterpillar on the wall behind our climbing rose yesterday.

Test your identification skills!

For a bit of light relief.
I wonder what species these were and would thousands of people turn up if they occurred today!

"In the month of June 1881, quite a sensation was created in the district by the extraordinary spread of caterpillars on Pendle Hill and Nick of Pendle. Swarms were also at the village of Chipping a few miles away and hens gorged themselves to such an extent that they died of repletion.

Thousands of people visited the neighbourhood to inspect these swarms.

The caterpillars had a soft cylindrical body and varied in length from three quarters of an inch to an inch and a half. They had three pairs of short, horny, thorn-like legs in the front and four pairs of false feet, or "clingers". Their colour was a dark, shiny olive, relieved with two or three thin well defined, yellow stripes along the whole length of the upper part of the body. The under portion was of a uniform lighter shade of colour. 

Naturalists differed in their designation. One was of the opinion that it was the Silver Y Moth (Plusia gamma); another contended that it was the larvae of the Antler or Grass Moth (Charoeas graminis). 

The keeper of the moor said the caterpillars were making such a fearful havoc with the herbage that the farmers were contemplating making a trench along the bottom of the moor to prevent them getting into the lowlands.

A youth gathered some in a box and exhibited them at the market in Burnley, charging a penny for the sight of them. He did fairly well until a gang of reckless young fellows burst into the penny show and scattered the insects far and wide."

A few from the archives

                                                                Northern  Eggar (f .olivacea)
                                                                Latticed Heath (f.alboguttata)
                                                                   Mottled Grey ( f.nubilata)

                                                   Peppered Moth dark and pale form

Id help photo ..

ETS should be out any day now

Rishworth - Two productive nights.

Moth Trapping Session 31st March

List of Species
Clouded Drab x1
Common Quaker x5
Chestnut x1

Moth Trapping Session 1st April

List of Species
Common Quaker x8
Twin Spotted Quaker x2
Small Quaker x1

Since I've had a few how many individuals of Twin Spotted Quaker are on a regular year, on Yorkshire Moths it says 'never as common as the other Orthosias' is this the same in Calderdale as they seem to be doing well here in Rishworth?

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Lee Mount - 1st April

In the trap this morning. Didn't really expect anything given the conditions last night so anything is welcome !
Mottled Grey x 1
Hebrew Character x 3
Small Quaker x 1
Mottled Grey

1st April 2020 Only house Wood Northowram

Only thing flying about last night was this monster......WOW.........yes its the 1st April (added after 12..)

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Ghost Town

For my daily exercise I had a walk on to Cromwell Bottom yesterday and had the whole reserve to myself. Sad to see really but peaceful none the less. It gave me plenty of time to search for the mines of Triple-spotted Dwarfs (Elachista maculicerusella) in the clumps of Reed Canary-grass on Tag Loop and to stage a couple of selfies. I thought as we all will be seeing a lot less of each other for the next few months it might be a good idea to post the odd photo of us going about our mothing activities as a nice way to keep in touch. 
Three tenanted Elachista mines were found and taken to rear through. Now I no longer have access to the library PCs I can't post high res pictures, so you'll have to make do with these screen grabs using my iPhone. 

Rishworth - The night of the Orthosias!

A good night last night providing the temperature with some nice smart Twin Spotted Quakers.

Moth Trapping Session 30th March 2020
Trap brought in at 22;00

List of Species
Common Quaker x4
Small Quaker x3
Twin-Spot Quaker x2
Hebrew Character x1

                                                          Hebrew Character above
                                                           Twin Spot Above and Below

Monday, 30 March 2020

More March Dagger...

This top one is one of the very pale males and in the local wood they are pretty scarce.most are the melanic form...I also caught a female last night and she laid some eggs , reckon they should hatch out about the 20th April ( below pic)....

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Saturday, 28 March 2020

March Dagger / Diurnia fagella

Another couple of photos of female March Dagger from last nights tree search, only 7 males and 1 female but it was bitterly cold........Looks like its a very good year for Oak Beauty with more reports from the last few days 3 on 2 different nights at Luddenden and a total of 11 so far this spring......and 1 over the hill at Thornton

Friday, 27 March 2020


I have my first moth of the season. I'm fairly sure it's a Grey Shoulder Knot. (It's actually an Early Grey, thanks Andy) .I looked at my past shots of Early Greys, it's didn't quite look like any of them. It's about 3/4 of an inch nose to tail. I'm quite happy to be corrected.

Anne and I also saw one Small Tortoiseshell, whist we were out walking, it was the only butterfly we saw, I'd have expected more. It's still a little on the cold side however.

Early Grey.

Orange Tip

First male Orange Tip reported today from Hebden Bridge on Old lees road..thanks Nigel..5 Small Tortoiseshell together  in display flight along Hedge Top lane Northowram.....

Rishworth - 2 Catch Reports - Beautifully Drab (get the pun once you read it) Also Clouded Drabs needing Confirmation

As it has been another busy week with my camera being repaired this is the first chance I have had this week to get these catch reports up with pictures.

Moth Trapping Session Wednesday 25th March 2020
A nice surprise with a busy (ish)  trap for the temperature

List of Species
Common Quaker x4
Small Quaker x3
Oak Beauty x2

Moth trapping Session 26th March 2020
Suspected Clouded Drabs needing confirmation x2
Common Quaker x1
Small Quaker x1

Oak Beauty, Rishworth, 25th March

Possible Clouded Drab FW c17mm, Rishworth, 26th March

Possible Clouded Drab FW c16mm, Rishworth, 26th March

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Craggs 13th March 2020


Cool , Light Breezey V Occ. drizzle


MV 120

Other Entomology

Birch SB
Cream Spotted Ladybird
White Legged Millipede



Two Spring favorites

 1930 Oak Beauty Biston strataria ABH 70.251 





1659 Yellow Horned Achlya flavicornis ABH 65.016 




2187 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi  ABH 73.244 


Quick Quiz...........

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

March 25th 2020

A real day today for butterflys with reports of Comma , Peacock  and Small Tortoiseshell from all over Calderdale and in good numbers..At least 10 Small Torts and 4 Peacocks at Northowram mid afternoon..,,,

Ogden Water lock down

Had to lock down Ogden Water this morning, there was a distinct lack of people but a few who could not read the signs or did not think social distancing applied to them.

However I did manage 3 species of butterfly
Comma and Small Tortoiseshell on dam
Peacock on Withens Road

Lee Mount - 24th March

Best night so far this year. Both traps on till midnight then just the Synergetic overnight.

Oak Beauty x 1
Brindled Pug x 3
March Moth x 1
Hebrew Character x 5
Small Quaker x 3
Chestnut x 2
Common Quaker x 9
Agonopterix heracliana x 1

 Brindled Pug (1 of 3) (double check please)

Oak Beauty

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Rishworth - A moth extravaganza!

Moth Trapping Session Tuesday 24th March 2020
An extremely busy trap for this time of year.

List of Species
4 Small Quaker
1 Oak Beauty
2 Brindled Pug
9 Common Quaker
1 Chestnut
1 Hebrew Character

I am rather pleased with this catch and I hope for more. Any thoughts welcome.


Saw four bees as I was out walking, all were Red-tailed Bumblebees. It was nice to see them.

It was also nice to go in the the fields without lots of dog walkers etc. Little old misanthrope me eh?


One Peacock butterfly flew passed me to day in Stainland on my once a day walk.

I'm just waiting for the community cop to come and manacle me to the wall, until tomorrow now,

Northowram today

Brindled Pug 
At least 5/6 Small tortoiseshell and 1 Comma at Northowram today...A walk in the woods this evening produced----
4 Male and 4 female Diurnea fagella
1 Common Quaker
1 very smart Brindled Pug on an Oak tree.

Diurnea fagella x 14 (1 female)

Rishworth - Butterflies

There was a Small tortoiseshell and 2 bees in the garden today


Beautiful Peacock in the garden this morning

Monday, 23 March 2020

Rishworth - A productive trap!

Moth Trapping Session Monday 23rd March 2020
A productive trapping session with one new for the garden .

List of Species
Yellow Horned x1
Small Quaker x2
Common Quaker x1

I believe  that Yellow Horned is not the commonest species in Calderdale .?

Busy Day

Started off with a quick look round Cromwell Bottom and could only find 1 Orange Underwing flitting around the tops of the Silver Birch next to lagoon 1. Lots of reports today of Comma , Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock , but the star today was the first Brimstone of the year at Brookfoot thanks Mike and Kath. 5 male Diurnea fagella (March Dagger) and 1 female tonight in the woods and a Common Plume flying by the outside light...It feels a lot warmer tonight and good for moth trappers.....

Female Diurnea Fagella

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Rishworth - The Anomaly!

Larval Search Sunday 22nd March 2020
More of them!

List of Species
5 Anomalous - All Brown form
1 Square Spot Rustic

22nd March 2020

The National trust  have closed Hardcastle Craggs etc as from today,,so sadly no trapping at the Craggs until they decide otherwise......Brian reports the first Orange Underwing (4 +) flying today near Stoodley Glen..Small Tortoiseshell in Hebden ,,,,keep you posted on next trapping location .....

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Rishworth - 3 catch reports! Mottled Grey, Anomalous', Square Spot Rustics.

Been a busy week of mothing so this post has a lot of things in, I hope you find it interesting. I shall start with tonight's larval search list, And then the 3 Moth trapping sessions this week.

Larval Search Saturday  21st March 2020
6 Anomalous - 4 Brown form
                        2 Green form.
5 Square-Spot Rustic
5 Mottled Grey - All adults obviously.

Moth Trapping Sessions

Moth Trapping Session Tuesday 17th March 2020
2 Chestnut
1 Common Quaker

Moth Trapping Session Friday 20th March 2020

Moth Trapping Session Saturday 21st March 2020
1 Common Quaker

Broad-bodied Chaser.

I'm posting these images due to me not have seen a single moth yet. Most of them don't come to our house until the flowers are out. Plus, it's a fairly quite time for moths just now.

I took these photos in 2011, at Lothertom Hall, in Leeds. I'd bought my first Panasonic Lumix a few weeks before. I was overjoyed at the results.

I'd spotted this one landing on some plants, by the edge of the pond. As dragonflies tend to have a regular patch they patrol, along with a resting piace. I just stood still and waited for it coming back again. These are the results.

 Broad-bodied Chaser.


Found one  Diurnea Fagella last night...was'nt too bad out of the wind in the woods......and Small Tortoiseshell flying in the sign of Orange Underwing at Cromwell this afternoon , but the wind is still very cold...

D.Fagella x 3 tonight the 21st , should see a increase over the next 10 days...

Friday, 20 March 2020

Lee Mount - 20th March

A little better this morning from overnight being a bit milder but it's colder again tonight, and windy so it will be a struggle !
Common Quaker x 3
Small Quaker x 2
Hebrew Character x 1
Clouded Drab x 1

Sorry had to cancel tonight last Crags..

Rishworth - CF update

I emailed CF some pictures of the larvae and he thinks the highest likely of what they are is Anomalous. Good news though. I believe this is the first Rishworth  Anomalous..

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Butterfly sighting

1 peacock butterfly in field above Sun Wood, Coley/Shelf this morning in the sunshine.

Crags friday night

Usual spot tomorrow 7 on-wards......
Small Tortoiseshell in garden today at Northowram and a Peacock reported from Cold Edge Dams..(thanks Pete S)...and 7 Heralds in Bare Head tunnel....

Lee Mount - 18th March

Decent conditions in the evening, still cool but not a lot of activity despite the cloud cover and not a breath of wind late on.
Clouded Drab x 2 (both new ones)
Small Quaker x 1
Tortricodes alternella x 1

Small Quaker

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Rishworth - The field Opposite the house.

I went back out into the field again and took a look for caterpillars and ended up with 6 of them, a mottled grey and a square spot/six striped rustic.....
                                                There were 7 of the above, they are up for ID
                                                 again looking like Anomalous, there were 6
                                                  brown form, 1 green form.
                                                       This looks like a Square spot/six striped rustic

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Lee Mount - 17th continured

2 so far tonight but the wind is blowing hard so might have to shut down soon.
Agonopterix heracliana x 1
Tortricodes alternella x 1 (revised from incorrect i d Diurnea fagella)
 Agonopterix heracliana including view of curved back palps (below) - not noticed these before !

Revised - see comments to Tortricodes alternella with not a lot to go on other than folded wings and some faint markings and dark spots