Monday, 23 December 2013

Mystery Visitor

This, last night at the bedroom light. A mystery visitor. Any ideas. Poor pics im afraid. about 5mm WL max

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Luddenden Dean

This Peacock butterfly was a real surprise this morning flying around and sunning itself on the rocks on the rough hillside above 'The Lowe' - it is December !!!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Winter Moths

With the temps dropping and a cold wind the numbers had dropped tonight to about a 1000, still plenty females could be found a couple on fence posts and one on a wall...

Monday, 9 December 2013

More Winter Moths

Well with the cold temps and rain over the last few days I was wondering how many Winter Moths would be left, it has been 6 nights since I was last in the woods. Entering the wood I was amazed to see plenty of moths about and the first wall had about 20 males and a female .As I continued it seemed as though nothing had changed. Winter moths on every tree numbers still in the thousands......................................
                                                      Dead males on the ground
                                                 Female dragging male

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Glyphipterix haworthana.

I had a wander up Stoodley Glen and over the tops to Broadhead Clough on Monday (2nd). Whilst crossing Erringden moor I found lots of Cotton Grass seed heads that were still intact, presumably spun together by G.haworthana. I'll try and rear them through so hopefully next April I'll see my first adults.

Is anybody else searching for early stages or leaf mines at the moment as now is a really good time to have a go? 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Winter Moths

Out again at 4.30 - 5.15..and still very large numbers of Winter moths despite the temp dropping dramatically. Many males were seen pumping there wings into shape so still emerging in large numbers.4  males were observed trying to mate with a lone female ..she eventually chose one ,At one point I could see males crawling out of the leaf litter and flying to the nearest tree.
One female Mottled Umber  was seen but no males..Working for the next 5 nights and with the weather on the change that may  be it for this extraordinary occurance.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Winter Moth round Up

3 mild nights in a row with little wind have produced an amazing     abundance  of   winter Moths in the local Woods, I  had 3 / 4 winter moths round the house earlier last week so on my way out on Sat night  I  grabbed the head torch just in case..As I entered the woods a moth flew past me and then another soon after,, within 10 paces I had seen 11. .Every tree was covered in Winter Moths  most around the base and up to 6 feet but on some they went so far up I could not count them. I went round at least 150 trees a mix of  50% Beech, 40% Oak and 5 % Sycamore and 5% other(including Elm, Nettle, rosebay willowherb, Bramble, Elderberry ,Hawthorn and various grasses)   every single  tree/bushwinter moths on it , I estimated about  10,000 moths  .They were erupting from the ground as I walked through the leaf litter and seemed to be

Sunday, 1 December 2013


Back to the wood this evening at 4,45..Again Winter moths on every tree the first 34 trees I counted 1381 males and 34 Females,as I went through the wood every tree was crawling with males,at one point I was watching a female drag a male upwards  quite fast and the male took flight carrying the female up about 10 inc  and landing back on the trunk.(?).As I got to the wall that cuts through the wood there were Winter moths all over the wall and on barbed wire fences ,on the dead nettle stems ,50+ on one small elderberry tree,on the dead brambles and swarms flying around the wood. 10,000 seems a massive number but I think it was an underestimation......

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Winter Moth spectacular..............................

A mild night so decided to take the dog for a walk down the woods, I have had 3 / 4 winter moths round the house this week so on my way out I  grabbed the head torch just in case..As I entered the woods a moth flew past me and then another soon after,, within 10 paces I had seen 11.I stopped at the first Beech tree and started to look for females,I counted 46 males but could not locate a female .The next tree 23 males no females the third tree had 75 males and 6 by this time, as I walked between the trees the  night was full of Winter moths flying around. .Every tree was covered in Winter Moths  most around the base and up to 6 feet but on some they went so far up I could not count them. I went round at least 45 trees, a mix of  90% Beech, 5% Oak and 5 % Sycamore every single  tree had winter moths on it , I counted at least 2400 +.( I only had time to do a small bit of the wood there must have been over  10,000 if the rest of the woodif it  was the same on each tree .??) I have never seen anything like it before with the most being about 50 at the craggs....

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

RECORDS for 2013

If anyone has any records for this year, I would be very grateful if you could e-mail me with them
Thanks for all the input onto the blog this year,,,There have been some great records again  Magpie , Tissue , Large Wainscot ,Beautiful  Hook Tip,,and some excellent micros...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

More on Winter Moths

Carrying on from my last post. Now I can see them properly these appear to be Winter Moths and not November Moths etc. This pic is of the male in the bottom pic from the last post and darker than most. WL 13mm

Monday, 18 November 2013

Winter Moths

With some poor weather on the way I thought it was a good night to check for winter moths in some well established local woods full of mature beech and oak. It was a good foray with most trees bearing moths. Over 100 winter moths counted (not sure whether November or Winter) One large birch having about 30. Two females and a scarce umber also recorded.

Grey Shoulder-knot

Every November I spend a weekend north of Pickering in the North Yorks Moors. Last year it was the December Moths and this year only one visitor to the kitchen window, A very nice Grey Shoulder-knot Lithophane ornitopus. A new one to me and apparently not well represented in the North.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Red Sword-grass.

I saw one resting openly on a wall near the shops at Skircoat Green this morning.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Speckled Wood Caterpillar

There is a picture over on

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Spanish Cat for ID( Spurge Hawkmoth..thanks Tom)

Anyone help with this, found on Mallorca recently by a friend of mine.??:>

Thursday, 10 October 2013

8 th October Northowram

648 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 1
697 Agonopterix arenella 1
998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth2  
1048 Acleris variegana Garden Rose Tortrix1 1
1728 Xanthorhoe fluctuata Garden Carpet1 1
1760 Chloroclysta siterata Red-green Carpet3 3
1761 Chloroclysta miata Autumn Green Carpet1 1
1764 Chloroclysta truncata Common Marbled Carpet4 4
1769 Thera britannica Spruce Carpet1 1
1935 Erannis defoliaria Mottled Umber1 1
2232 Aporophyla nigra Black Rustic2 2
2240 Lithophane leautieri hesperica Blair's Shoulder-knot2 2
2389 Paradrina clavipalpis Pale Mottled Willow1 1
2441 Autographa gamma Silver Y4 4

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

October Wainscots in Luddenden

Two new species of Wainscot in the garden this October

Bulrush Wainscot on the 1st

Large Wainscot on the 8th

Angle Shades

Surely one of the most beautiful of all moths, especially when freshly emerged. Wish my camera could do this one more justice.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Migrants from Suffolk

David crawshaw an x Halifax resident and  all round excellent  naturalist ,sent us these from his patch in Suffolk.........Antigastra catalaunalis and Palpita vitealis..Thanks Dave and David

Larva for ID.

I found this blackish larva on Sunday feeding on Sorrel in the Bradshaw area. It was about an inch long - anyone any thoughts?

Monday, 7 October 2013

1153 Epinotia sordidana

1153 Epinotia sordidana Nationally Scarce B  ... a local first and only a few Yorkshire records..Many thanks H.beaumont for the ID.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Recent sightings

Found the caterpillar on Norland Moor on Sunday. If anyone can tell me which species it is I would be grateful. The Feathered Thorn was at Ogden Water this morning.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Micro id..??

Anyone out there like to have a guess at this micro caught on the 27th...Another Merv du jour ,Feathered Thorn, November Moth, Yellow Line Quaker and Teliopsis diffinis on Sat night.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Did anyone else run a trap last night?

Just wondering as had a really poor night with only 2 Large yellow underwings caught. Not sure if we are doing something wrong or if its the time of year/conditions.

Ran the trap from 8pm till 3am when I got up to cover it up with black cloth cover, trap was fairly tightly packed with egg boxes.

All advice/comments welcome

Thanks guys

frustrated novice

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Merveille du jour................

Merveille du jour , Barred Sallow and Yellow Barred Brindle ( pics) from Tuesday night also Canary shouldered Thorn , Fanfoot, Red line Quaker ,Brick , Blairs shoulder knot , Hawthorn Moth , Black and Rosy Rustic..Looks good for the next week at the moment..might even get some migrants,,?(couple of silver y's last night)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Svennsons Copper Underwing?

believe this to be one but just wanted confirmation

07/09/13 Littleborough

Over the weekend

 Green Brindled Cresent (dark Form)
 Acleris Hyemana
 Setaceous Hebrew Character
Small Dusty Wave

A few interesting moths over the weekend after last weeks clear skies and cold temps.The Green Brindled Cresent dark form is only found in GB and only a handful of local records. Acleris Hyemana is a month early,Setaceous Hebrew Character is a common moth in Yorkshire but here in Calderdale it is rarely recorded and I average 1 a year. I have been recording Small dusty Wave since 2006 in the garden and only yesterday did I realise it had not been recorded in Calderdale before.??

Monday, 16 September 2013

1109 Lobesia littoralis

1109 Lobesia littoralis is a rarely recorded species in Calderdale and to my knowledge it is only the second time it has been recorded.

Weekends Moths

 Autumn Green Carpet
A good night on Friday with the rest of the weekend being a bit of a wash out.A late flame shoulder , Shuttle shaped dart and snout will be the last of the summer species as Large Yellow Underwing numbers plummet with only one last night . Autumn species over the weekend included Lunar Underwing ,Sallow , Autumn Green / Red green Carpets and a cracking Svennson's copper Underwing.A really good year for Garden Rose Tortrix  with 60 + since the 1st September.