Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Lee Mount - 21st August

I came across this very small 'Wave' tonight on the kitchen window. No more than 16mm from wing-tip to wing-tip. Think I have correct i d but not too familiar with this species so a check would be a help !
Small Dusty Wave ?

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Brussle Sprouts cats

Cabbage Moth
Large White
My wife said to me today , can you please get the caterpillars off my sprouts please..There were 70 + Large Whites , 20 Small Whites and 1 Cabbage moth...

Monday, 19 August 2019

Lee Mount

Still a good show of butterflies today despite the heavy showers at times. During spells of rain at least one Painted Lady and a Red Admiral stayed on the Buddleia and went underneath the flowers for shelter !!
Painted Lady x 4
Red Admiral x 1
Peacock x 2
Holly Blue x 1
Small Copper x 1 (a first for here, I think !)
Speckled Wood x 2 in spectacular flight together for ages
Small White x 6+
Large White x 2 +

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Luddenden Dean

10 species of butterfly in the upper dean as we walked up one side of the valley from Jerusalem Farm this afternoon then back down the other side. It was blustery at times, with sunshine, but there was plenty Ragwort, Thistles and some Buddleia in sheltered places.

Wall Brown x 1 - (same spot as I had one earlier in the year)
Painted Lady x 4
Peacock x 1
Red Admiral x 1
Small Tortoiseshell x 1
Meadow Brown x 6
Speckled Wood x 24
Gatekeeper x 1 - scarce up here !
Green-veined White x 4
Small White x 3

Small Copper

Second generation of Small Coppers were out in good force today with 15 + in the fields around Northowram . Painted Ladys , Green Veined Whites , Red Admiral , Meadow Brown ,  Peacock and Comma...

An interesting  Comma larvae photo sent in by Mrs Lomas and an Old Lady seen in the Imperial Crown Hotel ( all info via SB , many thanks Steve)

Common Rustic

Had a female nectaring on the garden Buddleia on Aug. 10th (bits checked).

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Lee Mount - 14th August

Pretty quiet from an overnight trap but interesting all the same.
Sallow x 1
Large Yellow Underwing x 2
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing  x 2
Lesser Yellow Underwing x 2
Square-spot Rustic x 1
Common Rustic agg x 2
Flounced Rustic x 1 ---different individula from the 12th - much greyer
White-shouldered house-moth x 1
Blastobasis lacticolella x 1
Acleris forsskaleana x 1
Cydia splendana x 3
Flounced Rustic


Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Out and about !

Ogden - a good show of Painted Lady butterflies turning up all around the site and on Ovenden Moor. probably 25+ or so.
Also several Small Skippers x 4, Small Coppers x 5, Peacock x 4, Red admiral x 1 and several 'whites'. We had a look at a traditional Common Blue site behind the reservoir cottage, but nothing doing.
We also found a very dark looking moth on Ragwort but identification seems unlikely. Some photo's to check later but getting them in focus with the grass in the way was tricky Not a Haworth's Minor, Ear Moth or Antler, slightly bigger and very dark but will probably have to let it go.

Lee Mount
Peacock, Holly Blue, and 5+ Painted Lady still on the Buddleia

HSS meeting tonight at the Imperial Crown Hotel in halifax. Someone found a large moth, caught it in a glass - surprise - it was an Old Lady. Photos very difficult through the glass !

Monday, 12 August 2019

Lee Mount - 12th August

After several nights without the trap-light on due to the heavy rain I finally gave it a go last night.

Not a lot this morning but enough of interest....
Dun-bar x 1
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x 6 (not had so many altogether before)
Large Yellow Underwing x 6 (58 last week on 5th August)
Agriphila tristella x 3
Dark Arches x 2
Common Rustic agg x 1
Brimstone Moth x 1

Also one just for  a double check - pretty sure it's a Flounced Rustic (?) (16mm) Only seen one before, on 10th August 2018 so it's a bit special.
Flounced Rustic

Common Rustic agg

Wall Brown

Watched 2 Wall Browns today in the car park at Walshaw dean ,in courtship display flight and copulation..Also in the area Small Skipper , Green veined White , Painted Lady , Peacock , Small Tortoiseshell , Meadow Brown and Small Heath....
One Wall Brown on Soil Hill this week as well (thanks DB)
And one at Northowram on the 13th..

Sunday, 11 August 2019


                                        Scalloped Hook Tip
                                            latticed Heath..

A couple of good local moths in Luddenden Village this week  and a very striking Holly Blue in the village...(thanks Martyn and Carol)

Friday, 9 August 2019

Withens Clough

Yesterday - a very good day for Butterflies in and around Rudd Lane and the top car park as well as around the reservoir!
 Think this is a Red Admiral larva - just 2 of these on nettles

Cinnabar - we found 14 of these but only ones and two's, not clusters, and all on Ragwort

Lots of great habitat - thistles, nettles etc and the sun shone a lot !
Peacock 84 + and counting
Small Copper x 2
Ringlet 21+
Meadow Brown 25+
Small White 50+
Green-veined White x 3
Small Skipper 15+
Large Skipper x 7
Small Heath 12+
Painted Lady 11+
Comma x 1
Small Tortoiseshell 50+

Antler Moth x 4 - all on Ragwort

Common Blue Damselfly 8+ on the small pond 150m past the res'r cottage and a Common Hawker.
Common Blue Damselfly 40+....numerous around the vegetation at the top end and the far side of the of the reservoir where it was in full sunshine and shelter from the breeze. Also 2+ Common Hawkers there.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Hoverfly for ID

No, it's not this one - this is a Campion found nectaring on the Buddleia last night, only my second one ever.
The hoverfly was also on the Buddleia (by day) - it was HUGE, reddish/brown I think, the most distinguishing field mark was a bright yellow stripe down the centre of it's head. Anyone any ideas (Colin)?

Lee Mount

Last night - a moth on the fence that baffled me for a while having a greyish green tinge and around 18mm - thinking Sycamore - but not sure. Still there, but in the trap this morning, very obliging. On looking closely at the photo's I'm now leaning towards Grey Chi seeing the dark central marks on each wing as one of the pointers.
 Grey Chi 

After all the time spent looking for Purple Hairstreaks, I went out this morning to fetch the recycling boxes in. Passing the wet car I came across this. What a surprise, just there on the car window !!! At an awkward angle with the brightness of the glass but after a few contortions I managed this one (orange tipped antennae) . Wondered, has it been there all night in the rain !
Purple Hairstreak

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Last few days

Still plenty Painted Lady butterflies about including my best count up to 60+ up Ringby Lane and on Ringby top last Saturday. Mostly on flowering privet bushes and thistles.
They are all over the place, even in town center areas.

Today I finally got to grips with a Purple Hairstreak on the oak at the back of the house. The trees are in Shroggs Park. I have had several possible sightings of up to three together in the tops but could not be 100%. Today I got a poor shot through the long lens as one landed on a leaf. It was good enough to be certain.
Also around the same tree, but lower down, 2 Holly Blue's and 2 Speckled Wood doing their 'twirling' around each other - fascinating.

Wall Brown's on Ringby Top on Saturday and another on Pepper Hill above Claremount yesterday but neither stayed still enough for a decent photo.

I did manage my first Gatekeepers at Cromwell Bottom on Saturday though they seem scarce or non -existent on higher ground. (?) Still a few Small Heaths about on Ovenden Moor and Swales Moor.

Monday, 5 August 2019


Numbers first, then some images.

6 x Blastobasis sp.
4 x Marbled Beauties.

I've just spent two and a half hours trying to ID some of the below. After a while most moths tend to look the same, brown. I have to come clean, I've been struggling with concentration for a little while. It's not very pleasant for Anne or myself. I hope it just a glitch.


Small Fan Foot Wave
& Marbled Beauty.

I think I have the correct ID for the next one, these things always trip me up.

Agriphila tristella.

I thought the next was an Udea lutealis, but now, I don't think it is.

ID Needed.

The last moth caused me the most trouble. It's a descent photo and the moth has to be easy to recognise, (for others). I've given up and am off to bed. 9 pm and I am worn out.
ID needed.

Shiny App from CEH

Thought this might interest some from the CEH

You need to put in your / a  Location

Click Settings bottom Left

it will give a date option just tick current

it will ask for a number start wiith 50 till you get the jist

when it compiles click the top right x to close and see whats on your door step

I am not sure of the extent of records but

Butterflies today at Northowram

Ringlet x 6 (all new looking so 2nd generation just stating last week they were all very tatty)
Speckled Wood x 7
Meadow Brown x 5 ( as Ringlet)
Large Skipper x 1
Small Copper x 1
Peacock x 5
Painted Lady x 4
Red Admiral x 1
Gatekeeper x 3
Green veined White x 2
Small White x 2
Large White x 2
Small Tortoiseshell x 11
Comma x 4
14 species on a ten minute walk from the house , still not had time to look for the Hairstreaks this month......

The purple patch just got more purplier

Quite literally with this little star. At 5mm it's one of the smallest of the caloptilias, it's an Azalea Leaf Miner. This "very rare" Yorkshire moth was netted in my garden after dusk, as was another first for myself below.

Head detail of Brytropha senectella showing the pale palps and sides to the head with a dark central area.

If anyone wants any moths dissecting but can't be bothered sending them off to a proper expert I'd be more than happy to "have a go" at them - no guarantees though :-)

Sunday, 4 August 2019


Another busy night. First off, the only photo I took in the small hours. I think it could be an Apple Ermine.  I wasn't able to get a side view/shot, due to where it had lodged itself.

I looked at all the Yponometudae that were similar to this one. I'm a bit confused. All the photos of them in Manley, show a row of small black dots at the tail, (not the right term I know). This row on ALL of them is a curve like a letter U. The extreme "points" of it are towards the head of the moth. The photo below does not show a row like that. The lowest row is composed of large dots, pointing down to the tail at each end. An inverted letter V in fact. That was a clumsy description, I'm sorry. I don't understand why this one is different to the rest. Help?

Apple Ermine. TBC,

Now for the moth count. I'm on safer ground here.

5 x Marbled Beauties.
5 x Blastobabsis sp.
4 x Edonia sp. (If it helps, Some were narrow, dart shaped. Others were noticeably larger and broader).
3 x Agriphila tristella. (One was close enough to ID. The others were just out of reach but looked exactly the same).
1 x Willow Beauty pale form. (It would fly for a few seconds, settle for a short time, then fly again. I watched the moths for 10 minutes, It did that all the time).
1 x Common Footman.
1 Lesser Yellow Underwing. (I just got close enough to get a good look, then it flew. It's a surprise when the yellow pops out. Which is the idea of course).

Also, the same as the night before, there were three medium sized brown moths flying to the light, then to me and back to the light. As I said, I spent 10 minutes watching them, hoping one for one to settle. Not a chance, I've idea what they were. Blasted things.

Saturday, 3 August 2019


Another moth count count from their local drop in center. 2 am this time. (I do sleep occasionally, by the way).

I only have one photo. It's not a good one but OK for an ID. It the first I've seen this year.

 Udea lutealis.

Roll call now:
13 Blastobasis sp. (Mixed).
10 Marbled Beautys. (Mixed).
2 Willow Beauties. (Pale form).
1 Riband Wave Non-Banded.
1 Edonia sp. (High up).

Also, there were three medium size, mid-brown moths. They didn't want to sit still, simply flew round the light me for 10 minutes. No idea what they were. 
so, including those 30 moths again.

Dark Green Fritillary and Cacao Moth

The best period in my garden since the migrant madness of 2006! It continued with this amazing sight from my bedroom where these two photo were taken. I thought six Painted Lady's on the same Buddleia was great -  then I managed to pick out this beauty.

Continuing on from the Ephestia species netted in my garden earlier this week I decided to have a go and dissect it. Quite a long, draining experience for such a tiny moth but it was worth it as it turned out to be a female Cacao Moth - another first for myself.

Slide preps guided by the illustrations in Goater's Pyralid book. Seems all I had to go on were the minute spines in the anterior half of the Ductus Bursae where as the False Cacao Moth has only a tiny patch of spines where it joins with the Bursae Copulatrix.

Spines enlarged below.

Just over 50 species recorded in the garden by day and wandering around with a net by night. Four of which were lifers - even had a Hedgehog for the first time in many years........

Friday, 2 August 2019

Lee Mount - 2nd August

Garden watch on and off during the day

Painted Lady x 5 on Buddleia at one point though 4 most of the day
Small White x 6
Large White x 2
Peacock x 1
Large Skipper x 1
Comma x 1
Ringlet x 1
Meadow Brown x 1

Also I'm stilll trying to confirm Purple Hairstreaks, maybe 3+  fluttering around the top of the oak at the back of the house again late afternoon. Tricky looking up into the light. I guess that's what they are but need to be 100% sure. I'll keep trying...!!!!

Withens Gap / Cold Edge

From yesterday I found these caterpillars feeding on nettles. They don't look very appetizing!! but I guess these will be Pupa by the time any juvenile Cuckoo's arrive !
 Peacock butterfly larvae

Loads of Butterflies yesterday between Withens Gap and Haigh Cote, above Cold Edge dams. Loads of nettles and thistles along the track and warm sunshine makes a big difference to the outcomes.

Small Tortoiseshell x 66 and counting....
Peacock x 1
Small White x 2
Large White x 1
Green-veined White x 20
Small Skipper x 16
Large Skipper x 17
Ringlet x 43
Meadow Brown x 50
Small Heath x 4
Painted Lady x 2
Antler Moth x 1
Wainscot sp...probably Common (?) x 2
Common Hawker Dragonfly x 1 headed over towards Warley Moor


I just popped in here,and thought I'd brighten the day after all the rain. Below is my reworking of the Gatekeeper I took a few days ago.



Andy and Colin ID'd what I thought was a Large Yellow Underwing, as a Common Rustic. I've corrected it lower down the page.

Quite a busy night at Gordon's moth cafe. Recorded at 3 am. Numbers first, the images.

11 x Blastobasis sp.
4 x Marbled Beauties.
4 x Eudonia sp. (Mixed).
2 x Common Footman. (I've never seen so many as I have this year,)
2 x Willow Beauty. (1 dark, 1 light form).

Now the images.
Most of these photos were taken with my FZ72, this meas using the zoom from about 8 feet away. The camera does not like zooming at close distance and soon can't focus. I have to crop the images. Some turn out as poor images, sorry.

Another first for me. A Dun Bar, and quite  pretty.

Dun Bar.

I think this is a Large Yellow Underwing, but am not sure. 

Common Rustic.

I know that people will see the next and all will know what it is. Except me. I didn't find one that looked like it, when trying to get an ID. It seems very delicate and ethereal, almost translucent. I'm sure it's common...

ID Needed please.

I'd forgotten we had to go out this morning. I've just be reminded, oops! I hadn't time to ID this and it's a poor shot. I wondered if is was a Carpet, I don't know. I just wanted to get this post out, before I get my wrists slapped, (again). It's a hard life. :-)d I hope it's recognisable.

ID Needed.

Thursday, 1 August 2019


Loads of Painted Ladys   , Peacocks , Small Tortoiseshells , Comma and all 3 Whites today in Northowram . The second generation of Small Coppers are out with at least 3 today , Gatekeepers 4 , Speckled Woods 6 + ,2 Red Admiral ,  Meadow Brown still looking in good condition but Ringlets are looking very tatty........Did not get time to look for Hairstreaks...........

Lee Mount - recent's

It's been hectic recently with lots of moths in and around the trap.
2 Willow Beauty last night was nice but won't list the rest here other than two  specials from the last few days.

 Single-dotted Wave - only the fourth record here so it was a pleasing result on 29th July

A new moth for me this morning, thanks for the confirmation Andy - Barred Red - a lovely looking moth.

Small Clouded Knot-horn

Following on from the Phycitodes species I netted in the garden last week I decided that I would have a go at dissecting it myself as I had found another two days later so I had a spare - what could possibly go wrong?
Nothing as it turns out, I was very pleased with the results. It was a female, not the easier male as I hoped for but I think the prep below is pretty diagnostic of P.saxicola and not maritima as had been suggested. There are some illustrations at the back of the new micro book by Sterling et al.

Even better was to come on the garden moth front this week when I netted what I think is one of the Cacao moths. A worn female, it may be the rare False Cacao Moth or hopefully the less rare Cacao Moth which I haven't seen yet - just wondering whether to dissect this one as well.........

Wednesday, 31 July 2019


I we were just off to bed when I spotted a  Willow Beauty (Pale form). I had to take it, seeing that it was kind enough to show up, after I'd snapped it's dark form this morning. I've never seen both forms in such a short time before.

Willow Beauty - pale form.


Moth count numbers first, at 3 am this morning. (At 8 am, there were just 5 moths left). Then some images from breakfast time.

4 x Common Footman.
2 x  Marbled Beauties.
7 x  Blastobasis sp. (I could clearly see one or two B. lacticolella and B. adustella) the rest were too high up to define.
1 x Riband Wave - Banded form.
2 x Edonia sp. (Too high for photos at the time).

A Willow Beauty, (dark from) arrived during the morning. I was wondering when they would arrive here.

Willow Beauty.

Willow Beauty detail.

Here is where I trip up. I think I have IDd the next one correctly. I did a lot of reading about these moths. So...

Agriphilla tristela TBC.