Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Lee Mount

We have a small garden and over the last year or two we have planted a Buddliea and a few other insect loving plants such as Cotoneaster horizontalis, Sedum spectabile and Erysimum (Bowles Mauve) - the latter is the best plant we have found for attracting insects over a long period - in fact this last winter it flowered all winter and has never stopped all summer long.
In the last few weeks we have had an unprecedented selection of butterflies
Lots of Small Tortoiseshells
A good number of Meadow Browns
A similar number of Ringlets
2 Commas
1 Gatekeeper (a first)
Several Small Skippers
Speckled Woods most days
A few Peacocks - but not many Red Admirals
Large, Small and Green-veined Whites
Occasional Orange Tips (several weeks ago)


Sedum - coming into flower

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Painted Lady

Came across this Painted Lady whilst birding at Roils Had today.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Mile Cross Road

Been pleseantly surprised at the new home with some good moths in the last week or so,Lempkes Gold Spot, Dagger, Heart and Dart but not sure about the last one, any ideas????

Sunday, 20 July 2014

St Matthews Churchyard - Lightcliffe

An quick meeting at St Matthew's Churchyard, Lightcliffe this lunchtime met with 7 species of butterfly in 20 mins. Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Large White, Green-veined White, Comma & Ringlet. Wonder what the moth population is like?

The Manchester Moth

No, I haven't found one! But you may find this story interesting.

Abraham Stansfield, lived in Todmorden and then moved to Kersal Moor at Salford in 1858. He was a poet/naturalist. I was researching him when I found this fascinating reference to a now extinct moth. The Manchester Moth, Euclemsia woodiella.

Why was this moth confined to Kersal Moor and why has the Australian museum got a specimen?

The moral is--do not leave moth specimens with landladies!

Read the fascinating tale here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclemensia_woodiella

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Tachystola acroxantha.

After a message from Andy I had a wander round to Sean Johnston's place in the Heath area of Halifax to check out a potentially rare moth for Yorkshire. As suspected it was a rather fresh looking specimen of Tachystola acroxantha, a suspected Australian adventive. It was only added to the Yorkshire list in 2012 and as of yet it not listed on the Yorkshire Moths database (Terry, are you reading this? :-)

Sean's trap was still brimming with all manner of species so I helped myself to a couple of micros which turned out to be Dipleurina lacustrata and below, a rather worn Paraswammerdamia nebulella (I think), only the second one I've seen.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

KEEP AN EYE OUT for................

In the last few days a few Scarce Tortoiseshell Butterfly have turned up on the east coast of England. There has been a massive invasion of this species into the Netherlands which had no previous records. So it would be worth checking any "Small Tortoiseshells" as they might be something a great deal less common
  IN Northowram today on my local walk ,----
Small Tortoiseshell      134(checked all of them)
Meadow Brown             87
Ringlet                           35
Gatekeeper                      2
Purple Hairstreak            2
Comma                           1
Large White                   1
Small White                   2
large Skipper                  1
Small Skipper                2
Speckled Wood             1

Friday, 11 July 2014


Dave's observation of ringlets in Withins Clough echoes what I saw on Monday this week and I posted this on the Calderdale Wildlife blog:-

"This year seems a good one for Ringlets and there are reasonable numbers up Tod.
But I was in a wet sphagnum field in a woodland clearing up Crag Vale this morning, (upstream from the Hinchcliffe), and at a guess there must have been into the hundreds of ringlets; plus some Small Skippers and Meadow Browns. Wonderful to see."

Withens Clough, Cragg Vale

On Wednesday this week there were quite a number of Ringlet butterflies on the grass next to the car park just below the res'r though I couldn't get any decent photo's - they were very active along with a few Meadow Browns and Small Heaths.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bird-cherry Ermines - Cunnery wood.

Following up on Chris' find I soon located the webs - not easy to miss. With just one or two larvae visible I took one of the nests home to determine the species. 

On closer examination of the nest it soon became apparent there was a nucleus of many pupal cocoons. Opening one up revealed a healthy looking moth pupa - all bodes well.

Two days on and two moths had emerged - on day three their numbers had swelled to nearly 30 individuals, they were continuously emerging before my eyes. Time to leave them outside in the garden!

The finished article - as the tree was re-identified as a Bird Cherry it's safe to assume the moths are indeed Bird-cherry Ermines. Both the size and five rows of dots also indicate this species. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Ogden Water

Our WATCH group meeting today was on bumblebees, but when we headed out to look for them the butterflies took over! We hunted on the little bit of moorland to the top side of the house on the other side of the reservoir. Not a bad selection for 40 minutes of hunting. If anyone can identify the top photo then I would appreciate it.

Our list
1526 Small Skipper
1574 Common Blue (2nd photo) lots of them, including some mating
1614 Speckeld Wood
1626 Meadow Brown
1629 Ringlet
1638 Fox moth caterpillar - we think (3rd photo)
1738 Common Carpet

Also had a visit to Cunnery Wood with
1614 Speckled Wood
1742 Yellow Shell

Friday, 4 July 2014

2221 The Mullein Shargacucullia verbasci

A  Mullien Moth caterpillar has been found this week in Todmorden (*thanks Ross) and a Eyed Hawkmoth has been seen in The Tod area (thanks Portia).All the local butterfly species have been seen in good numbers this week . Small Tortoiseshell have emerged from some cats I found at Lightcliffe quarries today , loads and loads of cats on nettles at Northowram and Adults seen copulating yesterday will surely make for another great summer for this species.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Cunnery Wood caterpillar nests

Found these in Cunnery Wood on the willow trees. They are normally there this time of year, could anyone identify them for me? Thanks.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Skinner moth trap and 80W MV set up

Greetings from the east Coast :) We are considering upgrading to a Robinson trap with 125W MV, if we did this we would have a Skinner trap plus 80W MV set up (and spare bulb) to sell, anyone know about how much to charge?

Cat identification

Look at this group of synchronised cats feeding on rose, tails in the air in my daughter's neighbours garden down in Somerset. Any ideas before they strip the plants entirely?