Friday, 30 April 2010

Colden Clough

Took a walk through Colden Clough today, before the rain started. A few Green Veined Whites around Lumb Bank and about 12 orange tip males fighting it out around Hebble Hole.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Heath rustic

This is a pic of heath rustic just before it pupated..

Monday, 26 April 2010

Powdered Quaker

the highlight of last weeks GMS

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Knott Wood sat night(the ups and downs)

A brilliant night mothing at Knott wood with Oak Nycteoline the pick of the bunch and an early Lesser swallow prominent.The down side was brian had his genny nicked and my bulb broke as we were setting up so only one trap was run(shame)we are now having a whip round to buy bri a new genny(there only £70quid now)
6 Eriocrania subpurpurella 20
663 Diurnea fagella 6
697 Agonopterix arenella 2
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 1
1760 Chloroclysta siterata Red-green Carpet 1
1761 Chloroclysta miata Autumn Green Carpet 1
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 42
1853 Eupithecia dodoneata Oak-tree Pug 3
1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug 1
1881 Trichopteryx carpinata Early Tooth-striped 19
1883 Acasis viretata Yellow-barred Brindle 1
1917 Selenia dentaria Early Thorn 1
1919 Selenia tetralunaria Purple Thorn 2
2006 Pheosia gnoma Lesser Swallow Prominent 1
2139 Cerastis rubricosa Red Chestnut 8
2182 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 5
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 184
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 4
2189 Orthosia munda Twin-spotted Quaker 16
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 16
2243 Xylocampa areola Early Grey 4
2256 Eupsilia transversa Satellite 3
2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 39
2423 Nycteola revayana Oak Nycteoline 1
+ a worn flame carpet(?) and 418 Apple Fruit Moth Argyresthia conjugella.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Knott Wood sat night

I am meeting with Bri in Knott wood on Sat night about 8.15,we are going to run two traps ,all welcome

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

British Cave Research Association

Summer Cave Biology Field Meeting

Wednesday 8th September 2010

Scoska Cave, Littondale, Yorkshire

Below are details of the field trip to the cave where they hav been studying the moths, he would like to invite all Calderdale "moth-ers",

The British Cave Research Association is pleased to invite you to its Summer 2010 cave biology field meeting that will be held from 10.00am on Wednesday 8th September 2010. The meeting will be led by David Hodgson of the Craven Pothole Club, who has studied the biology of Scoska Cave for many years. The Village Hall, Arncliffe, (SD93187195, for full details including local accommodation) will be used as the base venue. The aim of the meeting is to present information on the biology of British caves with Scoska Cave as a prime example. Topics covered in talks will include cave flora, Herald and Tissue moths, David’s work at Scoska, and the Hazelton database of British subterranean biology. These talks will be followed by a visit to Scoska Cave where David will describe his work and point out interesting aspects of the ecology of the cave. The day will end back at the Hall with a summary of the days events and will conclude at 1530-1600.

This event should appeal to those interested in subterranean biology, especially those who want a brief but diverse introduction to the subject. A collection of books and other literature will be available for consultation.

Intending participants should register their interest by Friday 6 August 2010 by email to the meeting secretary, Graham Proudlove: or, for initial queries, by telephone at: +44 (0)1706 839752. Final communications about the programme will be sent by email to those who have registered. There will be a small charge, to include morning and afternoon refreshments, of £6, or £5 for BCRA members, or £4 for students. Parking will be available close by in Arncliffe Village. We are most grateful to Mrs. B. McKenzie for permission to visit Scoska Cave and to the people of Arncliffe for the use if their Hall.

Equipment required: We will not be travelling very far into Scoska Cave so full caving gear is not required. Wellingtons are highly recommended as greater than boot-depth water may be encountered. Warm clothing and a waterproof jacket are necessary in case of rain. A helmet and light are certainly required. If you cannot supply your own helmet and light we can do so provided you let us know in advance. A small charge will be made for this. You should also provide your own lunch as there is little provision in the village

Two Recent Butterflies

Two recent sightings of butterflies during a week spent with my daughter... The Peacock nectaring on sallow on Barlow Common Nature Reserve near Selby on Fri 16th and the comma the next day near Luddenden foot.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Historical records from 1945

1945 was said to be a 'Plusia' year in the Hebden valley, taken at ' Light'were Gold Spot,Burnished Brass,Golden Plusia Lesser Yellow underwing ,Clouded Magpie and Snout.It may be noted that 'Light' consisted of an open kitchen window with a 150 watt bulb on a white kitcen table,The Naturalist 1945 p154.Gibson,Mills and Sunderland

Knott Wood sat night

What a night,clear skies and cold,but there were plenty of moths about from dusk.-
Common Quaker 152
Powdered Quaker 1
Small Quaker 6
Twin st quaker 38
Hebrew Character 26
Clouded drab 37
Red Chestnut 24
Early Tooth Striped 17
Chestnut 7
Early Thorn 1
Early Grey 2
Brindled Pug 6
Red Sword Grass 1
Satellite 4
D.Fagella 3
Eriocrania subpurpurella 10

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Historical records from 1924/5

Recived a load of old records via winston the other day and have just had time to have a look at them.Realy great stuff about sugaring in the Tod /Hebden area 85 years ago, and were still at it.??? There is refernce to sugaring stones on the moor tops and a few sightings of Wood Tiger.Here is the list below of sugaring in hardcastle craggs near the stepping stones on a cloudy 28th june evening in 1924.
Galium carpet x 2
Bordered White (many males and 12 females)
Clouded B Brindle
Welsh wave - many
Broken barred Carpet - several
Small Rivulet x 1
Shears x 1
Flame Carpet x 1
Map winged Swift x 1
Common Swift x many

Friday, 16 April 2010

Midgley GMS

Hebrew Character 11
Clouded Drab 2
Common Quaker 1
Early Grey 2
Chestnut 1

Red Sword-grass

Had a visit from 2241 Red Sword-grass Xylena vetusta on wednesday night. They really are something different arn't they. Was trying to gently persuade it to open its wings for a pic but it prefered to skuttle (And was very good at it too)

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Knott Wood last night

Another good session at Knot wood last night with and expert catcher on our side,Maisey Moffer was a dab hand and put us all to shame.
Common Quaker 30
Small Quaker 4
Twin spot Quaker 11
Engrailed 4
Early Thorn 1
Early Tooth Striped 10
Red Chestnut 11
Brindled Pug 3
Clouded Drab 11
D.Fagella 1
Hebrew Character 8
We will be there on Saturday night if any one would like to join us.

Latest Birdguides moth article

Can be found at

Some great photos.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Strange goings on............?

I hav'nt had the trap on for a couple of nights because its been so cold,but it felt a little warmer.So I went to tidy out the trap and set the egg boxes in place.I found this cat curled up in one of the egg boxes.....any ideas.??

News from Todmorden

Bri is having laptop problems at the moment but is well chuffed with two leaf mine emergences this week 363 Phyllonorycter platanoidella and 316 Phyllonorycter roboris.Pics to follow.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Last Night in Knott Wood

Brian and I met in Knott Wood last night. As usual for this week any cloud cleared and the stars all apeared. Also it felt colder than of late to me. Despite this the catch was still a good one. Brian has the official list and is off line at the moment but we had well over 100 moths of 11 species which included 10 Early Tooth-striped, all well marked and one of the target species Brian earmarked for this location. Yellow Horned and Orange Underwing already ticked off.

Clouded Drab x 13
Early Tooth-striped x 8
Diurnea fagella x 3
Red Chestnut x 17
Chestnut x 6
Common Quaker x 41
Twin-spot Quaker x 5
Engrailed x 3
Hebrew Character x 19
Brindled Pug x 2
Early thorn x 1
Small quaker x 2

(numbers from Bri by text)


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Mystery moth

a friensd of mine on the Orkneys caught this on Friday night any ideas,>?????

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Orthosia gothica

A massive 43 Hebrew Characters last night in the trap.By far my favourite spring species.,Double Striped Pug,E.Monodactayla and a large collection of common Orthosia sp also.

Last Nght in Hebden Bridge

Engrailed 1
Early grey 1
Early tooth-striped 1
Chestnut 1
Common Quaker 7
Hebrew Character 3
Total 14

Orange Underwing Action

Yesterday (Fri) I bumped into Brian in Knott Wood. Sitting above the tops of the birch trees 4 Orange Underwings came close to us. but not close enough for my net. There were also at least 3 peacocks flying strongly. Winston

Friday, 9 April 2010

GMS Northowram

A good night for the GMS for a change produced an excellent catch in the garden trap.
Common Quaker x 20
Hebrew Character x 23
Clouded Drab x 6
695.Agonopterix alstromeriana x 1(new for garden, the food plant is hemlock ?)
Diurnea fagella x 1
Chestnut x 1
Small Quaker 1
Early Grey x 5
Mottled Grey x 1
twin spot quaker x1
Brindled Pug x 1
satellite x 1
12 species 62 moths

Trapping in Knott Wood

Hi all,

do we have a date for going trapping in Knott Wood next week?

I am free all days appart from tuesday.

I also now finally have a net!


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Last Night in Hebden Bridge

All these came to a rather soggy skinner trap during the night

Common Quaker 16
Hebrew Character 1
Clouded Drab 1
Agonopterix heracliana/ciliella 1
Diurnea fagella 2
Chestnut 6
Small Quaker 1

total 29

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Monday Night in Hebden

Hi all. A good night on the Rochdale Canal last night.

I am pretty sure this is A. acanthadactyla (A new species for me) as it's a more red-brown colour and less speckled than its close relative A. punctidactyla which also seems to have a more southern distribution. (Charlie, what do you think as I recal you having this one once). I have also included pictures of possibly the lightest Clouded Drab I have seen and a very nicely marked Twin-spotted Quaker.

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1
Twin-spotted Quaker 1

Diurnea fagella 1

Chestnut 9
Clouded Drab 2

Common Quaker 14

Total - 28 moths

Monday, 5 April 2010


371 Lunar Hornet Moth Sesia bembeciformis (Hübner, 1806) 1
Collinson wrote .’This species is well established in the trunks of mature sallows throughout the district 1965’.No recent records.

381 Large Red-belted Clearwing Synanthedon culiciformis (Linnaeus, 1758) 1
Collinson wrote ‘Larve and empty pupa cases are easily found 1965’.No recent records.It may well be worth a look for these species in appropriate habitat .

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Knott Wood Sunday night

Clear skies and cool temps produced:-
Eriocrania semipurpurella x 1
diurnea fagella x 4
Acleris hyemena 1
Common Quaker x 36
Small quaker x 3
Clouded Drab x 3
Hebrew Character x 3
Brindled Pug x 1
Mottled Grey x 1
March Moth x 1
Red Chestnut x 1
Chestnut x 3

Mottled Grey?

The top photo is what we identified as a Mottled Grey a couple of days ago and the bottom is what we identified as a Mottled Grey from March of 2009, any comments? (click on photo for a larger image)

Mottled Grey and Early Tooth- striped

There has been much discussion recently about these two similar species,I think so far they have all been Mottled Greys,this article on the Lansweb site is excellent.

Midgley last night

Clouded Drab 3
Hebrew Character 2
Mottled Grey 1
Chestnut 1

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Orange Underwing,03 04 10

Hi all,6 or so Orange Underwings,at Knott wood,but the 1st ive seen land,they are cracking moths ! regards Bri

Midgley GMS

Hebrew Character 1
Clouded Drab 1
Chestnut 1
Mottled Grey 1

Friday, 2 April 2010

Midgley last night

Hebrew Character 2
Clouded Drab 1
Early Grey 1

Thursday, 1 April 2010

April Tips on Sallow

If you have a garage or outside shed, etc, now is the time to start collecting Sallow catkins which have fallen on to the ground from the Sallow trees. Many of these fallen catkins will often contain various Tortricidae, Geometridae and Pug larvae. The way to check the catkins for larvae is very easy. Simply spread them out on white kitchen roll in some seed trays or similar, no need for any sort of lid at this stage. If you keep checking the catkins you will see signs of frass appearing on the white kitchen roll under the occupied catkins. Once you find these move them to a lidded container and keep an eye on the situation. The larvae may need fresh catkins adding and then as soon as the sallow leaves are out pop some leaves in the tub with the occupied catkins. Some catkins will have only one species and some will have more than one species on/in them. Most of these are fine kept together until they are large enough to ID. The only exception to this are Pug larvae which I find are mostly cannibalistic even when enough food is present, if you want more than one survivor its pays to house pug larvae in solitary confinement ! Its great fun with catkins at this time of the year as you never know what you might find and rear through.

We are now getting close to the one of the best times of the year to find moths on natural food sources. Any night now when its cloudy and reasonably mild its the time to go "Sallowing". This is one of the great classic tecniques used before the advent of MV lights to collect large numbers of moths in one place. Cromwell Bottom is an ideal place to try this out but any area with large numbers of Sallow in bloom is fine. You simply stick a few pots in your pocket, pack a decent torch and a butterfly net. In practice one simply walks around shining the torch on Sallow catkins until you pick out a moth feeding, they can usually be spotted by the light reflecting off their eyes. One a good night there can be hundreds of moths on each Sallow bush, but often around here one is lucky to get a few dozen per bush. If its moth sp you wish to confirm or look through a hand lens its usually dead easy to simply pop the net over them and tap them off the catkins. They are mainly Orthosia spp, but also Chestnut, Satellite, perhaps some Thorns and Pugs. The only other time of year when one can get the same effect with natural sources is in autumn when you search Ivy Blossom in the same manner.

This was originally posted by Paul Talbot in April 2008

Knott Wood Sunday night

We are having a session on sunday night if anyone fancies it,,if we meet at Saville Bowling Club at the small car park bout 1945 ish, its 10 min walk,although it will be muddy in parts.Oak Beauty is target.