Friday, 25 April 2014


Walking across the moors early today I noticed a white blob on the heather (bottom pic).A closer look made me realise it was a Oak eggar cat covered in dew. I hastily had a look at nearby clumps of heather and in one hour I counted 167  in a 1km square ( must have missed 100's).if they hadn't been covered in dew I would easily have missed them. Also yesterday I found  Philedonides luana  to be locally common on Midgley and Warley Moor and my first 10 Common Heaths of the year . Nick Dawtry saw many Emperor moths at High Royd Well Moor and Steve L saw Green Hair Streaks  at Scammonden

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Great Peacock Moth

My friend Alex McCune found this impressive character sat on his door today in Sowerby Bridge.
Probably an escapee, maybe from the Jungle Experience at Manor Heath although it wasn't open
when we tried to contact them. Would be interesting if we could get confirmation from them or
of any other possible non migratory origins.  It's in spectacularly good nick if it's made it all the
way here from southern Europe.

Honeysuckle larva for ID

I came across this green and pink/purple larva this morning, it's c30mm long. Looks distinctive, anybody any ideas?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Bagworm update

The first of the bagworms from Pecket Well  emerged this morning. I'm assuming this is a female and that the appendage extending from her rear end is to "call" for mates. I couldn't tell if it was the breeze coming through my window that was making the tassel on the end waft around or whether she herself was waving it. Never seen anything quite like it before!

Friday, 18 April 2014


First Orange Tip and Speckled Wood of the year at Sunnybank, Todmorden today. Also plenty of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacocks on same  hillside have been around for a few weeks. Green Veined White seen a week ago.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Copley meadow.

These Grapholita jungiella were pretty common this lunchtime flying in the warm spring sunshine. You wouldn't have thought that the grass blade was blowing quite violently in the breeze.

This one on oak in Bankhouse wood the day before.

Monday, 14 April 2014

New Camera

I thought it was about time for an upgrade so I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ 200 with raynox lense. It can certainly produce some fine detail but the depth of field is minuscule even at F8. On the shot below the eye is nice and sharp but the nose is out of focus. If you consider these Eriocrania subpurpurellas are only 7mm in length I'll leave it up to you to work out the DoF.

It does take nice bird photos as well though!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Brindled Ochre

2229 Brindled Ochre Dasypolia templi (Thunberg, 1792)

 This once common resident was found in 1883 around the new gass lamps and 100 + at gas lamps in Halifax in 1897.Was said to still occour up until the early 1960’s but no records since this date. Collinsonn wrote in 1963 the following article..-

The Yorkshire list states that nowadays this species is rarely recorded except on the East coast. Fortunately it does still occur in our Parish, though rarely. I have recorded three in recent years. It was once a feature of the Halifax Parish and collectors came from far afield to obtain it. There is a rather amusing story told in this respect. The Brindled Ochre emerges from the pupa in autumn. After some flight it seeks out a suitable place for hibernation until the Sallows are in bloom the following spring, at which time it reappears to carry on the species. A very suitable place for hibernation, and perhaps a reason why it so favoured our area, was between the stones of our drystone walls. A party of Lancastrian naturalists, apparently aware of this fact, crossed the border and were busily engaged taking down a wall in search of hibernating Brindled Ochres when the irate farmer appeared. He was unmoved by their pleas of scientific research and in due course they received fines from the local magistrate. The case caused quite a stir in more than naturalist circles and at least one national newspaper carried the headlines "The Case of the Butterfly Hunters." Unfortunately since those days the species has greatly declined. It is probable that this is one of the few species which we can definitely say has been reduced in numbers by the coming of modern street lighting.

Our old records read as follows:-

1883 Abundant round the new gas lamps. 1897 Over 100 at the gas lamps in Halifax.

These entries tell a sad story. It was interesting in 1946, whilst Sallowing (searching the flowering sallows for Spring specimens) with Stanley Sunderland, to have one of these moths actually settle on me. It proved to be a female and laid some eggs. The resulting larvae became the subject of one of a series of articles.
 The Brindled Ochre has not been recorded since 1963/4 in our area and has become very rare in VC63.We have looked for this species for the last 10 years and believed that there must be a small population still surviving in Calderdale and this record proves that...well chuffed...Martyn ,Andy and Bri

Friday, 4 April 2014


663 Diurnea fagella 23
688 Agonopterix heracliana 4
701 Agonopterix ocellana 1
1760 Chloroclysta siterata Red-green Carpet 1
1775 Colostygia multistrigaria Mottled Grey 2
1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug 16
1881 Trichopteryx carpinata Early Tooth-striped 1
1930 Biston strataria Oak Beauty 3
2139 Cerastis rubricosa Red Chestnut 1
2182 Orthosia cruda Small Quaker 36
2187 Orthosia cerasi Common Quaker 85
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 9
2189 Orthosia munda Twin-spotted Quaker 48
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 3
2229Dasypolia templiBrindled Ochre1
2256 Eupsilia transversa Satellite 2
2258 Conistra vaccinii Chestnut 4

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Friday Craggs

Craggs usual spot Friday about 8ish...................

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Small Tortoiseshell

After last years massive increase in numbers it was interesting  to see 14 today in the afternoon sunshine in the field opposite the  house ,  a long warm summer will surely re-establish this species to its former status. 2 Peacocks in the garden and 1 Diurnea flagella on the house wall. Planning a trapping session this Friday any ideas,?? Will post details later....