Tuesday, 30 September 2008

September Moths

All recorded in back garden in September :-
Large Yellow Underwing 131
Common Marbled Carpet 86
Light Brown apple Moth 74
Garden Garden Tortrix 42
Lesser Yellow Underwing 38
Garden Carpet 36
Rosy Rustic 24
Silver Y 16
Angle Shades 15
Blairs Shoulder knot 15
Black Rustic 15
Acleris lat/com 11
Lunar Underwing 9
Spruce Carpet 5
Red Green carpet 5
Feathered ranunculus 4
Frosted orange 4
Willow beauty 3
Vapourer 3
Straw Dot 3
Acleris sparserana 3
Flounced rustic 2
Square spot Rustic 2
Small Square Spot 2
White Sh House moth 2
Mouse Moth 2
Barred Sallow 2
Nettle tap 2
Autumn Green Carpet 2
Dark arches 1
Small phoneix 1
Mottled beauty 1
Autumunal rustic 1
Sectaceaus Hebrew character 1
Pink Barred sallow 1
Burnished Brass 1
November moth 1

Monday, 29 September 2008

Photo Gallery

I have set up a photo gallery which was discussed earlier.On the right hand side press Photo Gallery this should open a public gallery and you should see a few old pics from this site,I intend to add all the great photo's that have been on the blogg so far and a few from field trips etc.Thanks to NigelK for his help

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Lunar Underwing?

Found in the Actinic yesterday morning, is this a Lunar Underwing?

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Ringstone Saturday

2 red admiral
1 Common darter
1 Brown Hawker
1 Vapourer
1 Peacock
Brian Leesey reports a Black Darter at Langfield Common yesterday

Friday, 26 September 2008

Midgely Moffer

Nick Carter reports a very quiet week at Midgley with this Brown spot Pinion and Autumunal Rustic the highlights.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Last nights moths

Feathered Ranunculus and Frosted Orange from last night

Monday, 22 September 2008

Topical Tip

I spotted that large areas of Ivy are now in flower here in Edern as I walked down the track to the coast for a spot of fishing this afternoon (a nice Pollack now filleted and awaiting cooking for my tea). The ivy flowers were covered in butterflies, silver y moths, hoverflies and bees, all feeding away on the flowers. Searching Ivy by both day and night is supposed to be as good as "sallowing" in spring. To be at its best you need a decent sized patch and it not to be too tall as its hard to spot moths much above head height. I know of one excellent patch in Calderdale (I'm sure there must be hundreds more), its on the wall between the canal and river just past Red Beck on the canal. Park at Avocet and walk down to just past the bend near the Red Beck and there is a superb patch of Ivy which flowers profusely each year is never above head height, perfect for some night shots or netting and is always covered in insects as long as the weather is fine (its been a scorcher here again this afternoon)

AES Bulletins & Bug Club Mags

I have a few copies of the Amateur Entomological Society Bulletin going free to a good home, all this years issues so far. I also have some copies of the Bug Club magazine, these are aimed at younger members of the AES but are still a good read for adults or kids. Anyone want any or all of these let me know and I will pop them in the post free of charge.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Charming little critter.

My first post here. Would love to know what this is. Andy C posted this up earlier.
I found it today near Queensbury.
I'm a birdwatcher with an increasing interest in wildlife generally and very out of my depth when it comes to moths, butterflies and wriggly plant eaters to name a few. Would really appreciate your id input please. Probably nothing rare but it's attractive and it's exciting finding all sorts of critters locally.

Weekends moths

Frosted orange 1
Barred Sallow 1
Pink Barred Sallow 1
Lunar Underwing 2
Black Rustic 4
Feathered Ranunculus 1
Willow Beauty 1
Rosy Rustic 3
Garden Carpet 2
Common Marbled Carpet 6
Large YU 10
Lesser YU 1
Angle Shades 1
Light Brown Apple moth 12
Garden Rose Tortrix 9
Small Sq Spot 1
Acleris sp 4

ID help

Hi all ,any one id this ,could be a Broom Moth but not 100%.

Last nights activity

Tried the honey on the sedum, during the day had lots of bumble bees, wasps and hoverfly. Also a brief visit from a small tortoiseshell.

Set up the trap and looked at the sedum about 9pm. 1 Silver Y making use of the honey.

Trap run over night with only 2 moths, pictured, if any one can help me ID them I would be grateful.

I have found a slight problem with the honey on the sedum that brought itself to light this morning. Normally our garden is visited over night by large mammals(I'm not going to say which were the offending characters but there are 3 types), some of them had a great feast on the honey flowers and they are now in tatters on the pathway. I now have few sedum to attract anymore moths and one very annoyed girldfriend who quite like the sedum display. So be warned.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Eastwood and Ibbot Royd

Just a few butterflies yesterday
2 red admirals
2 peacocks
number of speckled woods

I tried the moth trap the other night and ended up with some very puzzled neighbours but no moths. So I'm going to try the honey technique tonight. Is it just runny honey onto the flower heads, or is there a secret formula, and would my trap be better in the open on the grass, under the willow tree or near to the sedum? Any help gratefully received.

Garden Tiger...........

Hi all following on from Martyns find of a dead Garden Tiger at his work place in Hebden(may have been an import or maybe not)Brian leesey found two larvae today in Todmorden.This is great news as they have not been seen and presumed lost for ever as a breeding species in our area many years ago.
1 Feathered Ranunculus last night and a totall of 9 Balck Rustics so far this season.I have to agree with Paul and Martyn a real beaut (not rare justa beautiful moth)

Not rare but I'm impressed!

OK so I don't think these are especially rare moths but I was very impressed with both of them in the trap today, spectacular beasts! Of course when I checked in the book there appear to be several very similar Thorn species but I think this is a Canary Shouldered? and the other an Angleshades.

Sweet Tip Udate

Hi all

Just had a quick look on the sedums with honey at 8.30pm and spotted several moths feeding. Looks like the tip works.

Sweet Tip

I was reading some old lepidoptera articles last night and one suggested that sugaring grass heads and the like was as useful as sugaring trunks & posts in attracting moths. As I do not have a sugar solution ready mixed I decided to try out "runny" honey on some just about gone over heads of Sedum spectablis (butterfly plant) to test the theory during daylight hours. As you can see from the photo it was immediately successful in attracting Silver Y Moths. So far this morning I have had Bumblebees, various hoverflies sp, Silver Y Moths and Red Admiral feeding away happily. I think its safe to say Lidl Forest Honey (shown) at £1.69 a bottle is going to get some use in my moth expeditions in future ! Yesterday was scorching here and today is also starting to get very hot. Yesterday the sedum were being ignored in the main as its starting to seed,today they have been full of feeding insects all day. Another benifit of this attractant is that once the insects are feeding they rarely fly away so you can get up real close for some photos. Someone like Charly or Martyn should be able to get some cracking shots

Not Calderdale but

I had my first ever Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra) last night. I only wish Charly or Martyn were here to take some decent photos for me ! I have it sitting in fridge so that I can hopefully get a natural looking shot later but for now this is all I have. The photo does not do justice to the moth which is jet black in colour with brown flecks and has pearly underwings, its really is quite spectacular to look at. I have only ever seen pinned museum specimens in Yorkshire so was thrilled to trap this last night.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Twice on the Trot

Apologies for posting from nearly 3 miles out of area but this is a topical shot, being yet another species I have not seen before. Taken at Chellow Dene, Allerton, this lunchtime. I'm not even going to hazard any guesses, I'll leave it up to you experts.

Butterflies and a couple of Dragons

There seems to have been a massive influx of Red Admirals over the last couple of days ,with at least 30 + seen at differnt sites(ringstone, soil hill,Ogden,Barkisland and Northowram).There were 300 in off at Spurn on Monday.Also a lot of Speckle woods and Peacocks.
2 very large Brown Hawkers at Ringstone yeasterday and 4/5 Common Darters(i think?) at soil Hill this morning.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Soil Hill Fritillary

Does it make sense that I saw a Dark Green Fritillary on Soil Hill this lunchtime? It was flying in an area of mixed heather, rough grass and rushes and when settled did so with open wings. The only chance I got to take a photograph timewise, was offset by the dangerous terrain (if you overbalance here, you stand a good chance of being maimed). I've had a look at the other contenders and the habitat appears suitable only for this species. This stood out because the only others around were Red Admirals.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Withens Clough Car park

Hawoth's Minor
Not a bad night with 2 of the target species(pic above) recorded and a very late Clouded Bordered Brindle.(latest record on Yorkshire database is 18th August come on Paul Im sure you must have had a later one)Full list
Haworth's Minor 2
Common marbled Carpet 4
Garden Carpet 3
Lesser YU 3
Large YU 2
Angle Shades 2
Mouse Moth 4
Pink Barred sallow 1
Grey Pine Carpet 1
Clouded Borederd Brindle 1

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Cromwell Bottom LNR

Went out mammal trapping (or should that be releasing) this morning.
Lots of speckled wood
1 red admiral

I was speaking to a guy who was walking round and he had taken a few photos, amongst which was a red underwing on the Bailey bridge. I tried to find it but it had flown off.

Brown hawker
Common blue damselfly

Have finally got the bulbs for my moth trap so will be trying out in the gardenover the next few days.

Withens Clough Car park

Monday night(weather looks ok?) 8 -11 if any one is interested.Trying for Haworth's Minor.?

Friday, 12 September 2008

Proposed Photo Gallery

Re the posting dated 05/09/08 on proposals of a photo gallery to this blog. AC mentions the existing gallery on Birdbrain http://queensburybirder.blogspot.com/ which is a link to a Windows Skydrive account giving 5GB of drive space. In order to create the gallery, the blog owner and other users have to first create Windows Live accounts, normally by using their existing Email addresses and passwords. The owner then gives levels of permissions to users enabling them to only read, or edit and delete the pictures posted on the gallery.

Once the messy bit above is sorted out, it works well in my opinion, but I have to say the fall off of posting by other users on Birdbrain has been dramatic. This means I tend to post pictures myself - not a problem because I have oodles of time. I think it raises the question though of is it worth the effort and time Andy, as you are the blog editor. Of course, I am willing to give all the help I can, but rather than flood this blog with postings, I suggest you Email me on my usual address.

Last night

I had a decent night last yesterday with a good variety of Moths, the numbers may be down now but the quality is great

Straw Dot

Black Rustic

Red-green Carpet


Garden Carpet 11
Common Marbled Carpet 6
Svensonn's Copper Underwing 4
Large Yellow Underwing 6
Lesser Yellow Underwing 3
Pink Barred Sallow
Silver Y
Garden Dart

Thursday, 11 September 2008

New MV

With aplogies to Charly :-)) Just set up my new MV trap from ALS this evening and already had my first moth, a third brood Brimstone. They are minute being around the size of a carpet such as Silver Ground Carpet ! I will try and get a photo with measurements up on the blog tomorrow.

Nice one Charly, Jon tells me your Microscope is on its way to you. I emailed you myself yesterday, did you get this ?

Beechwood Park

6 Speckled Wood
1 Red Admiral
! Large White
2 Small Copper

Last nights moths

Common Marbled carpet 7
red Green Carpet 1
Garden carpet 1
Silver Y 1
Autumunal Rustic 1
Rosy rustic 2
Lunar Underwing 1
Sq Sp Rustic 1
Small sq Spot 1
Large Y underwing 6
Lesser Yellow Undwg 10
Light Brown apple Moth 4
white shouldered House Moth 1
Acleris laterna/comariana 2
Acleris sparasana 1
Blastobasis decolorella 1
Garden Rorse Tortix 1
First time this year ive had more Lessers than large Yellow Underwings and a migrant Silver Y.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Its blowing an absolute gale here on the Llyn coast today, gusts of 40/50 miles an hour and forecast to get worse as the remains of Hurricane Hanna hit the west coast of Britain tonight. Not many butterflies around this afternoon but there are hundreds of Silver Y all along the coast I walked this afternoon and a few dozen in my garden on Lavender when I got back at 6pm. Might be well worth running those garden traps for a few nights now just to see if any migrants turn up on the front of the gale. Assuming I and the van are still in one piece in the morning and its not peeing down I will check the coastal fringe to see if any goodies have come in and report back.

A few recent sightings

Ogden Water (early am)
Red Admiral

Sunny Vale, Southowram, Dark Lane
Lots of speckled wood
Meadow browns

I know it's not in Calderdale but I went to St Anthony's Primary School in Clayton (Monday), a short visit to their new wildlife area
Small Copper
Large White
Red Admiral
Meadow Brown
Speckled Wood

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ringed China Mark

Hi all,has anyone ever recorded Ringed China Mark in Calderdale,Brian Leesey caught one in todmorden on the 17.08.08 At the time I was sure I had recorded it last year at light but looking at my records is was out of our area.?



It's been very quite up here this last week with few Moths, and these are the pick of the bunch

Pink Barred Sallow

Autumnal Rustic

plus five Angle Shades on the Budleia last night, one of my favourite Moths

Books for sale

I have several used copies of some old but very useful lepidoptera books for sale cheap to Calderdale moffers.

Larval Foodplants A Vade Mecum for the Field Lepidopterist by PBM Allan... £12 a copy including postage. I have TWO copies only spare.

The Caterpillars of the British Moths by Stokoe. Part of the Wayside & Woodland Series... these normally go for between £25 and £65 for ONE volume depending on condition. I have TWO sets at £45 a set including P&P.

I will happily hang on for payday if someone is financially embarrassed at the moment. I will be donating any cash raised to The Halifax Bird Club after my P&P expenses have been deducted in my annual donation to the club in January. Hopefully these volumes will go to keen local moffers and not be bought for re-sale on eBay....I will be watching :-))

Monday, 8 September 2008

Speckled Wood

Reading through Richard Lewingtons " Pocket guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain & Ireland" I noticed this about Speckled Wood males. " it has been found that these more sedentary males have tend to have four hindwing spots whereas the males that actively patrol in search of females only have three hindwing spots. Might be worth check back through your photos and seeing if this holds good in Calderdale. The only images I have all show three spots only so are obviously the more randy form :-))

I also found this excellant link,which no doubt I am the last to find, but just incase http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/index.php

Sunday, 7 September 2008

A couple from the Outer Hebrides

Just had a week on the Outer Hebrides, no mothing as such as we intended to camp and can't run the Actinic from the car. These two were found in a house bathroom, I think the bottom one is one of the Rustics (Flounced?) and the top one I'm even less sure about, one of the Ears?

For Charly

Charly...can you email me on paul.talbot54@googlemail.com

I have another contact for you for dissection group but do not want his email address on the blog

Saturday, 6 September 2008

More Garden dart stuff from Yorkshire Recorder.

These are the records since 2000 for all of yorkshire (all of single moths) in all five VCs:

Year Totals
2000 10
2001 4
2002 2
2004 3
2006 3
2007 2
... and some of these are from inexperienced or unreliable observers so the real totals may be less. In the Harrogate area we have 33 records, but only one since 1998. Most recent ones are from VC63 but it does turn up in other places. Forgive my scepticism with this species, but several ones I've chased up have been Square-spot Rustics.

Anyway, it's great that you have a hot spot in your area, so I shall be much less sceptical about records from the Halifax district!!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Nice Website

Worth a quick look for the insect images alone, Pugs might be of interest. Trevor is a nice guy who is very kindly ID'ing some beetles found here on the Llyn for me. His site is at


Hi all
I don't suppose anyone could set up a Yahoo Group for this blog ? The idea behind this is that we could then have a free 100 MB files area for photos and a photo album section. The site does not really need to be used as a "chat" group as most are but would be very useful for building up an ID help via photos for lepidoptera (and other insects in Calderdale). Seems a shame to waste all the excellent photos posted by Charly, Darrell, Brian, etc, which can be difficult to find once off the front page. Just an idea from an expat :-))

A couple more from Brian Leesey

Green Arches a beautiful woodland species recorded at hallwood todmorden(26.07.08.Bl)

Scarce silver y,a moorland species rarely recorded but undoubtedly a resident of our moorland.(22.08.08,todmorden BL)

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ypsolopha sylvella

Another one that might of interest to determine distribution in Calderdale is Ypsolopha sylvella. I started to record this species in my garden MV at Park Rd in the early years of trapping. Ian Kimber very kindly used to confirm (or to be honest named for me !) various species of micro that I trapped. On sending these records to Harry Beaumont the YNU micro recorder he was somewhat sceptical of the ID, saying he throught they were more likely the closely related Y. alpella. Neither Ian nor I was happy about this so I sent some specimens of sylvella to Harry and he was delighted to confirm our original ID. The reason he had been sceptical was that there had been something like 6 or 7 confirmed records from Yorkshire in the last hundred years and I was trapping something like 10-15 a week !

Ian has the flight period down as August to September but my records are mainly from September to late October. It occurs in Oak Woods (larval foodplant is Oak) and should be around now in Calderdale. It would be interesting to see if it occurs more widely through Calderdale and in the numbers I recorded it in. The image is of an adult from my back garden MV taken by Ian.
Send me your CUK for Mapmate and I will sync my records that I have so far on MM. Please remember though I have around 3 years yet to put on MM from Calderdale. I will set Sync to just VC63 records, but some of these will be outside Calderdale. You can then add these to any lists you guys pass around.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Colin has posted a few areas where Hornbeaem can be found - -
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Mixenden Dams SE064282
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Milner Royd Sowerby Bridge SE0723
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Beechwood Park Illingworth SE078263
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Lister Lane Cemetary SE085253
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Shibden Hall Estate SE1025
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Clifton Lanes SE166234
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Milner Royd Sowerby Bridge SE0723
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Scar Wood-Hx SE083234
428 Carpinus betulus Hornbeam Moselden Car park SE046168
So take your pick....
thanks to Colin and the HxSS

Garden Dart - Confirmed

After sending a specimen of Garden Dart to Charlie Fletcher we have now had it confirmed that they are what we thought - this is quite remarkable as there are very few recent records for the whole of Yorkshire, and all of those have been in the extreme south. Over the last 3 years I have had 51 here at Pellon and Brian has had a few last year at Walsden so the challenge is now on to find some more...........

Photos from recent field trips by b.Leesey

Blue bordered carpet Gorpley Clough 25,07.08 (AC,BL)

Scalloped hook tip and latticed heath Withens Clough 28.08.08(AC,BL,MH and nice to see NICK Carter'on his first field trip)

Digital SLR

Hi all
We have a Minolta 400 ( I think its the 400) film SLR with loads of lenses to go with it. I am wanting to buy a Digital SLR but want one I could attach by some method the existing lenses we have for the Minolta. Anyone know of such a camera ?

Phyllonorycter tenerella challenge

One to find now is the leaf mine of Phyllonorycter tenerella on Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) A mine between veins from midrib to leaf-edge, narrow, tubular, with one crease in lower epidermis. Ian Kimber and I found this on Hornbeam in Wellholm Park in Brighouse in 2001. We found 4 mines in total in a few hours searching over a couple of days. It was a first for Yorkshire (by around two weeks !) at that time and found originally simply by accident when I looked over a magnificent looking tree found a mine and then asked Ian Kimber what it was ! We looked it up in Emmet to see what occured on Hornbeam and settled in tenerella. It wasnt until I got home and did some more checking that we realised it might be a county first...which is why we spent a few hours looking for more :-))

Challange is to find it in Calderdale on Hornbeam which is a planted species not a naturally occuring species in the area. I will accept records from any Hornbeam in Calderdale including the original site. Prizes are copies of a leaf mining guide which is Warwickshire based BUT it covers every species both lepidopterous and none lepidopterous you are likely to find in Calderdale. One book per person who finds the mines but no need to be first

Monday, 1 September 2008

ogden and ogden moor

sothern hawker by the res this afternoon

also small copper in bradshaw-there is a resident population there
and a small heath on ogden moor

elland gp am

a short visit this am


brown hawker 6
common damselfly 16
common darter 8


comma 1
speckled wood 6
painted lady 1

common darter

Garden Tiger

Today at work (in Hebden Bridge) I picked up a dead, squashed Garden Tiger - I don't think this species occurs in our area, could it have had an "assisted" passage before it's demise?