Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Fly flatts Ragwort patch

Had a look at fly flatts ragwort patch today , still plenty of Antlers (30+) and 1 Haworths Minor it was very windy up there but well worth keeping an eye on this if your passing (at night or daytime).....

Monday, 30 July 2018

Manor Heath walled garden

A few hours at an event at Manor Heath in the called garden.

2 x small copper
1 x gatekeeper
10+ Small White
10+ Green veined white

lots of bumblebees

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Lee Mount 27/28th July

With the forecast for thunder and heavy rain during the night I was tempted to avoid leaving the trap on, but I resisted and chanced it and fortunately it didn't rain heavy here until around 7 am.

When I checked the trap I was pleased I had left it on with the 3rd record for here.
My first was 27th July 2016 then one again on 8th July 2017. I think Andy had a couple in 2017 as well ?
Varied Coronet
23 species in total this morning dominated by
Large Yellow Underwings x 26
Bird-cherry Ermine x 14
Blastobasis adustella x 13
Small Phoenix x 1
July Highflyer x 1
and a good selection of other species....including this very well marked Common Rustic agg

Friday, 27 July 2018

Coppers and Speeding

Please to report a very convenient recorders sighting of a Small Copper travelling at aproximately 30 mph. How do we know this ?

It was seated on the 503 out of Halifax yesterday . This leaves a recorders dilemma where did it get on ? Kirklees or Calderdale ? It landed on a ladies blouse who kindly allowed it to be removed  ( Lycaena phlaeas,that is ) and it was released along a tree line in Pellon

Fly Flatts

An interesting morning.
I arrived early and checked the 80m length of Ragwort at the northern end. Not much doing at that time though it was cloudy. When I returned there about 11:00 and the sun scorching, the flowerheads were alive with all manner of insects including Antler Moths. I counted 84 but there were more as I'm sure I missed a fair number.

If the flowers do not fade too quickly then hopefully there will be some Haworth's Minors in a few weeks time.
Also on the Ragwort were..
Peacock x 1
Common Carpet x 1

I also followed this female Common Hawker ? (I think) for some time till it caught something and landed. I managed to track it down as it discarded the wings of an Antler Moth.

Mouse-ear Groundling

This turned up at Cromwell Bottom at last Saturday's moth night: Harry's agreed with the ID of Caryocolum fraternella. I don't think we've recorded this before in Calderdale.


At midnight last night, I was locking the door. The stonework, door, and fanlight were strewn with Blastobasis sp. I counted 24. I was a little taken aback, I've never seen more than two or three at the same time before. I wasn't able to see if they were all the same species. The ones I could ID were Blastobasis adustella.  It was evidently party time for them.

Also, there was one Small Fan-foot Wave,  a very nice little Twenty plume and a moth I couldn't reach to ID. I don't think the neighbours would have enjoyed me clanking a pair of step ladders about at that time of night. A shame really.

Blastobasis adustella

Twenty plume.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Shroggs landfill

Perfect conditions there for loads of butterflies - but fewer than I expected probably due to the lack of flowering species after the last flush. Just a few small clumps of Willow Herb species in flower now and a few Ragwort then it was down to the grasses.
Large White x 10
Small White x 11
Green-veined White x 1
Meadow Brown x 1
Speckled Wood x 5
Small Skipper x 5
Small Copper x 3
Peacock x 1
Comma x 1
Udea lutealis x 4
Grasshoppers x 2

I don't think I did so badly after all !

Then the Fire Service turned up after billowing smoke emerged from the woodland area. The shrub/tree layer is so dense they had difficulty finding the source of the fire but they got it sorted.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Cunnery Wood (meadow)

Had 45 minutes there today , the Small Coppers were all feeding on purple thistle heads last week , these have now all  gone to seed and the Small Copper (34 of them) were feeding mainly on Ragwort.Great to see so many butterflys on the wing there were 30+ of Small  / Large Whites , Meadow Browns  and Speckled Woods. Small Skippers 10 ,  Peacocks 5  , Gatekeeper 5 ,  and the last of the Ringlets (looking very tatty now) 1 Small Tortoiseshell ,  1 Holy Blue and 1 Purple Hairstreak........o and 2 Small Heath....

Monday, 23 July 2018

Hawk Moth larvae 22 July

Lime Hawk Moth larvae found at Manor Heath

Elephant Hawk moth seen Albert Promenade vicinity 

Lee Mount -23rd July

Garden butterfly's - all on either the buddleia or Verbena bonariensis
Large White x 4...
Small White x 6
Green-veined White x 1
Peacock x 2
Meadow Brown x 1
Comma x 3 together
Speckled Wood x 1
Silver Y x 1

And to crown it all a Purple Hairstreak late afternoon on the buddleia but a dash for the camera was in vain as it headed off back to the oak canopy. There were still 2 of them flying around the oak at 20:55 - quite amazing how they love it later on in the day. Not a sign of them till mid afternoon !

Ringby Lane - 23rd July

This afternoon - all logged on the Big Butterfly Count - so easy to input data.
Meadow Brown x 4
Small White x 20
Large White x 8
Green-veined White x 1
Small Copper x 2
Gatekeeper x 1
Peacock x 4
Small Tortoiseshell x 3
Small Heath x 6
Holly Blue x 1

Shaded Broad-bar x 1
Silver Y x 1

Lee Mount - queries

2 almost identical were together in the trap this morning (23rd) I can only think they are Common Rustic agg though I can't recall this marked form before ??

Also below another puzzler - is this also a Common Rustic agg or am I completely off course ..?

This Plume is one I am also struggling with. Very small with a total wingspan of 15mm, white-ish legs and quite distinct abdomen marks if these are significant. The nearest I can get so far is Saxifrage Plume....any thoughts ?

VC63 Garden Moths Sun 22nd July 2018

Sun 22nd July 2018

Weather  Warm, Still. Humid Occ Light Breeze

Other Entomology  Forest Shieldbug Green Lacewing One Caddis , notable absnce due to hot dry prolonged UK weather


Method MV125 Robinson    

ABH  73.348 BF2111   Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe
ABH  73.171 BF2342   Rosy Minor Litoligia literosa
ABH  70.013 BF1702   Small Fan-footed Wave Idaea biselata
ABH  71.012 BF2000   Iron Prominent Notodonta dromedarius
ABH  72.002 BF2474   Straw Dot Rivula sericealis
ABH  73.342 BF2107   Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba
ABH  16.001 BF424     Bird-cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella
ABH  73.015 BF2441   Silver Y Autographa gamma
ABH  63.038 BF1405   Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis
ABH 73.368 BF2136    The Gothic Naenia typica
ABH 70.226 BF1906    Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata
ABH 20.012 BF411      Argyresthia goedartella
ABH 73.169 BF2343    Common Rustic Mesapamea secalis
ABH 73.254 BF2176    Antler Moth Cerapteryx graminis
ABH 73.216 BF2318    The Dun-bar Cosmia trapezina
ABH 74.007 BF2421    Scarce Silver-lines Bena bicolorana

ABH  73.348 BF2111   Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe




ABH 20.012 BF411      Argyresthia goedartella




ABH  73.171 BF2342   Rosy Minor Litoligia literosa





Albert promenade and Cunnery Wood

Had 10 minutes there today ,12.00 - 12.10
As always happens when you have not got a camera , they were very close .....!!
Purple Hairstreak x 5
Speckled Wood x 2
Gatekeeper x 2
Small White x 6
Large White x 1

Cunnery Wood 15.30 - 16 .15

White -Letter Hairstreak x 1/2
Purple Hairstreak x 6
Small Copper x 30 (1 yellow form which I have not seen before and one almost black form )
Small and Large Skipper 5 of each
Meadow brown 50 +
Comma x 1
Peacock x 2
Speckled Wood x 35
Ringlet x 15 including some very fresh looking ones
Gatekeeper x 4
Small and Large Whites 20 + of each
 Nice blue abberations on this one , not often seen .

Do not go in shorts and flip flopps.... the nettles and brambles will win !! as they did today.No sightings of the target species Dark green Fritillary......yet

These are the Cinnabar cats that I saved the other week at least 20 + . Think how many there would be if they left them alone...


1 x Brimstone moth.
1 x Blastobasis lacustrata.
5 x Marbled Beauties.

Sarurday's Moths at Cromwell Bottom

A brief summary:


One of five Scalloped Hook-tips

Southern Wainscot

Cochylis atricapitana

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Copley garden 21/22nd July

Trapped last night in the garden...

Shuttle Shaped Dart x6
Brimstone moth (yay finally one in the trap in the morning)
Large Yellow Underwing x12
Antler Moth
Bird Cheey Ermine x5
Mother of Pearl
Common Carpet
Common Rustic x3
Trachycera advenella
Marbled Beauty

and of couse a few more I am still trying to ID. Have we passed into the part of the season where the easy to ID moths have all gone and now I am faced with a plethora of brown/grey/similar moths?

Butterfly records for garden for today
Large White x8
Green Veined White x6
Small White x2
Comma x1
Gatekeeper x1
Holly Blue x1

Ogden ,

Walked round the reservoir today in the sun , 15 Comma , 4 Red Admiral , 5 Peacock , 26 Small Skipper (on one patch of thistles) , 50 each of Green veined , Large and Small Whites.  2 Speckled Wood , 40 + Ringlet and Meadow Brown , 4 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 unidentified Hairstreak sp .(too high in the canopy and not on oak or Elm either Purple or WL).

Scarce Silver Y

Martyn at Luddenden Village  reports Scarce Silver Y last week ,,,thanks Martyn

Big Butterfly count (BC)

I have just entered my first records this year on the BigBC and you can logon to a map with all records from nearby places. Brimstones and Marbled Whites seen near Wyke..???

Saturday, 21 July 2018


I've just discovered a Small Fan-Foot Wave on the door, somehow I missed it earlier. I could only photograph it at an oblique angle. As a result, it's not a fantastic photo.

Small Fan-Foot Wave.


1 x Blastobasis lacustrata.
1 x Riband Wave, non banded form.
3 x Marbled Beauties, (2 grey black, 1 orange/brown). The latter is noticeably larger than the grey form.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Stainland. Britain's declining butterflies.

I think most people are aware of our declining butterfly population - as well as the insect and birds.

There is an item online, this is the first paragraph:

"Britain’s butterflies could face the worst declines in 40 years, conservationists have warned, as the relentless heatwave withers plants just as gardeners are banned from using hosepipes."

You will need to register for free to read the full article, here:


Thursday, 19 July 2018

Purple hairstreaks

Purple Hairstreaks reported from Albert promenade , its a good spot here as you are above the Oaks and you can look down on to them ..Thanks Andrew Sladdin

Lee Mount - 18th July

Any thoughts on these two ?
Struggling with the Pug.....

Maybe Udea prunalis ?

Cunnery Wood

Shibden Hall Road - spent nearly 2 hrs this afternoon in Cunnery Wood with thanks to Chris for doing the 'grand tour' of the woodland and meadow land. I've not been on that site since a long time ago when it was the Council's tree and shrub nursery. Fantastic habitat.

Perfect afternoon conditions for butterflies and other insects. Impossible to count so guestimates below are more appropriate ! Anything I've missed Chris ?

Small Skipper 10+
Holly Blue x 1 gave us the run-around a while till it landed on brambles 15m or so away
Small Copper 10+
Gatekeeper 10+
Large and Small Whites plentiful with just one or two Green-veined Whites in among
Speckled Wood 10+
Comma 10+
Peacock 20+
Small Tortoiseshell x 2
Red Admiral x 1
Ringlet - just a few but now looking pretty worn

Finally we managed to locate a few Purple Hairstreaks fluttering around the lower branches of some mature oak trees in the sunshine and occasionally landing on the leaves to give some reasonable views
We missed out on White-letter Hairstreak though they could be there as there are a few elms on site.

Light Emerald x 1
Udea lutealis x 1
Silver Y x 4
? ermine caterpillars
Cinnabar caterpillars on Ragwort
One or two unidentified Grasshoppers
Unidentified micro in the tunnel was difficult to photograph and an egg case of a large spider (what was the spider Chris ?)
 unidentified - ermine moth caterpillars ?
 Unidentified Grashopper sp.
 Silver Y
 Udea lutialis
Cinnabar caterpillars

Moth Night this Saturday.

There will be a trapping session this Saturday 21st at Cromwell Bottom. Turn up from 8.30pm at the cabin/café area. Light on around 10.00pm.

Hopefully I'll be checking out a few patches of ragwort after dusk that I found today and of course there's the nearby buddleia.

A visit to Tag meadow produced this Sallow Kitten larva on Crack willow. It was right at the top of my target species list for a few years now - hopefully I'll be able to rear it through. The bottom two photos show how the tail appendages are constantly inflated and deflated, presumably it was annoyed at my presence.


A small selection today. I only photographed one, it seemed a lot of work to get the ladders and use them for moths that we see plenty of. The photographed one first. (It was on the door, easy to reach).

Blastobasis lacticolella. I only just discovered that it is sometimes called the London Dowd. According to the Norfolk Moths site:

"Accidentally introduced to Britain around 1946, now established and expanding its range. How it reached Britain (native in Madeira) a mystery!" 

I do know that it was highly unlikely to have been brought over in a bottle of that very fine wine, Madeira.

Blastobasis lacticolella.

Also today:
1 x Marbled Beauties, grey/black form.
1 x Riband Wave, non banded.
1 x Eudonia lacustrata.  - Fairly certain on this. It looked like the standard text book one. Light greyish, very few markings in the lower part of the wings. (Ignoring all the variations they show!).

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Roils Head Moor

Waiting for a group this morning at the Rye Lane entrance produced a number of butterflies.

Comma x2
Meadow Brown x10+
Small Skipper x3
Large white x25+
Small tortoiseshell x3
Peacock x1
Ringlet x30+

Silver Y x2
Wainscott spp x3

Also lots of bumblebees and hoverflies on the rosebay and bramble.

Loose Ends

A couple of worn specimens TBC to add to the previous list

ABH 70.265 BF1941 Mottled Beauty Alcis repandata x2

ABH 70.258 BF1937 Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria

ABH 70.141 BF1862 Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata

The first appears to be a worn Mottled Beauty aside the faint lines and band the size and well scalloped edge to the hind wing point to this variable species about 40 mm accross

ABH    70.265 BF1941   Mottled Beauty Alcis repandata x2



ABH    70.258 BF1937   Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria


ABH    70.141 BF1862   Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Jerusalem Farm 14/15th July & Ogden Water 18th July (WLH)

We had a our wildlife group annual family camp over at Jerusalem Farm, terrorising the local wildlife and hunting bugs, burgers and bats. Part of the session was a butterfly hunt, then a moth trap over night - results below

Meadow brown 10+
Comma 1
Large White 15+
Green Veined White 10+
Ringlet 25+
Small skipper 20+
Small tortoiseshell 1
Silver Y -

Moth trap
Small magpie x2
Light emerald x3
LYU x12
Antler moth x2
Northern Spinach x2
Bird cherry ermine x25+
Plain Golden Y x1
V-pug x2
Coxcombe prominent x1
Hebrew character x1
Clouded border x1
and a few more I am still working on.....

Ogden Water 18.7.18
Found a nice little spot for butterflies, just up from Skirden Clough green bridge on the left is a patch of thistles, grasses, rosebay, ragwort and brambles. Quite a lot of white and skipper activity, but closer to the green bridge found a White letter hairstreak on bramble, looked a bit ragged round the edge, but a nice find and one to add to the site list.

Ringby Lane

This afternoon. A little sunshine but mainly cloud cover whilst I was up there.

Painted Lady
Common Privet - Ligustrum ovalifolium - It isn't given much credence but when it's left to grow and flower it's a fantastic shrub for a wide variety of insects.

Also - all on the Privet with  a multitude of bees and other insects
Painted Lady x 1
Ringlet x 2
Meadow Brown x 8
Small Tortoiseshell x 3
Small White x 3
Silver Y x 1