As of March 2015, an official website for Surrey Moths has been set-up here. There you'll find information on everything to do with the Surrey Branch of Butterfly Conservation, including the updated events calender for 2015. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


A nice session mothing on Merrow Downs, Guildford, last night. The most notable macro presence was the sheer number of Grass Rivulet, with 80 in one trap alone.  In our 5 traps we managed c80 species (I've forgotten a few!) under mostly cloudy skies:

11th June, Merrow Downs:

30 Common Swift
1 Oak Hook-tip
1 Pebble Hook-tip
5 Cream Wave
4 Red Twin-spot Carpet
2 Silver-ground Carpet
1 Garden Carpet
4 Common Carpet
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Grey Pine Carpet
1 Broken-barred Carpet
60 Green Carpet
2 Pretty Chalk Carpet
110 Grass Rivulet
1 Foxglove Pug
1 Mottled Pug
2 Shaded Pug
1 Yellow-barred Brindle
1 Brown Silver-line
1 Scorched Wing
5 Brimstone (including a fresh, completely white individual, with retained dark markings)
2 Scalloped Hazel
2 Peppered Moth
1 Pale Oak Beauty
3 White-pinion Spotted
5 Clouded Silver
1 Lime Hawk
15 Small Elephant Hawk
1 Iron Prominent
1 Pebble Prominent
2 Marbled Brown
3 Pale Tussock
10 Orange Footman
4 White Ermine
2 Buff Ermine
6 Heart + Dart
4 Shuttle-shaped Dart
6 Flame Shoulder
1 Large Yellow Underwing
2 Ingrailed Clay
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character
1 Shears
1 Sycamore
1 Dagger sp.
1 Angle Shades
4 Minor sp.
5 Middle-barred Minor
1 Spectacle

4 Nematopogon swammerdamella
2 Monopsis weaverella
1 Aspilapteryx tringipennella
1 Argyresthia trifasciata
3 White-shouldered House Moth
4 Elachista argentella
1 Agonopterix arenella
1 Teleiodes diffinis
4 Cochylimorpha straminea
1 Agapeta hamana
1 Eupoecilia angustana
1 Cnephasia sp.
2 Celypha lacunana
1 Bee Moth
10 Hypochalcia ahenella
3 Crambus pascuella
3 Crambus lathoniellus

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Nightjars the highlight again!

Last night, I thought it might be worth trapping after our Nightjar walk at RSPB Farnham Heath, though the weather was not ideal.  Unlike in the past, I did not have my generator, so I had to make do with using the power from the office, which meant the location was not the best.

Nonetheless, after a brilliant Nightjar walk in which I got my best views ever, I left the trap running overnight, and opened it up in the morning to a good number of moths.

Nothing spectacular, but 95 moths of 32 species is a good haul all things considered.

Farnham Heath, 8th June:
16 Narrow-winged Pug
13 Grey Pine Carpet
8 Orange Footman
8 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
4 Pale Tussock
3 Common Swift
3 Treble Lines
3 White Ermine
2 Buff-tip
2 Tawny-barred Angle
2 Flame Shoulder
2 Birch Mocha
2 Spruce Carpet
2 Fox Moth
2 Clouded Silver
1 Peppered Moth
1 Brimstone
1 Cinnabar
1 Pine Hawk
1 Spectacle
1 Grey Pug
1 Green Carpet
1 Heart + Dart
1 Light Brocade
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart
1 Common Pug
1 Red Twin-spot Carpet

5 Scoparia pyralella
1 Brown House Moth
1 Nemophora degreella
1 Bacta sp.
1 Coleophora sp.
1 Notocelia cynobastella
1 Elachista canapennella

Nemophora degreella

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Three churrs for Alder moths at Leith

The first field trapping session of the year (which, thanks to the weather is much later than usual) was at the beautiful Leith Hill on the 31st.  I had an early-ish start the next morning, so wasn't going to bother going, that is until I heard the warden, Sam Bayley, was planning to attempt to ring Nightjars at the same time. 

We started to set up 5 traps in a 'string of pearls' type formation along the paths.  Sam set his nets up much further away, so our lights would not interfere with his efforts. 

The sun had barely set before we heard the first Nightjar.  There was one particular spot near one of Bob Arnfield's traps that was absolutely brilliant for them, and we were treated to a magnificent display by at least three birds, often flying about over our heads! They weren't bothered by our presence at all.  This was in the end a little frustrating, as sadly, Sam failed to catch any birds. In fact the spot he had chosen saw little activity!  We held the monopoly where we were!  I have never been to a site with so much activity from the nocturnal birds, beacuse in addition to the caprimulgus-fest, a couple of Cuckoos called late into dusk, and there were loads of Tawny Owl and Woodcock about.

Onto the moths.  It was a nice muggy evening to start with, but the sky soon cleared.  At first numbers appeared pretty poor (the story of the year so far it seems), but we actually accumilated a decent haul by the time we packed up at 1:30.  The highlights were a load of Alder Kitten, and 2 Little Thorn, both lifers for me.  I did see a few micro lifers, but it was a fairly poor night for micros in truth, with little variety.  I am unsure which ones were lifers, as my laptop has recently broken, so I don't have my life list to hand.

31st May, Leith Hill:
6 Scalloped Hook-tip
3 Red Twin-spot Carpet
3 Common Carpet
1 Purple Bar
1 Small Phoenix
2 Red-green Carpet
7 Grey Pine Carpet
15 Green Carpet
2 Foxglove Pug
2 White-spotted Pug
8 Narrow-winged Pug
2 Little Thorn
1 Peppered Moth (intermediate form)
1 Common White Wave
1 Pine Hawk
6 Alder Kitten
2 Sallow Kitten
2 Pebble Prominent
2 Lesser Swallow Prominent
1 Coxcomb Prominent
2 Pale Prominent
9 Marbled Brown
2 Lobster Moth
20 Great Prominent
25 Pale Prominent
1 Orange Footman
1 Buff Ermine
3 Flame Shoulder
1 Light Brocade
1 Pale-shouldered Brocade
1 Common Quaker
1 Treble Lines
10 Nut-tree Tussock
1 Silver Y

Total: 146 of 34 species

3 Nematopogon swammerdamella
1 Phyllonorycter harrisella
2 Elachista canapennella
30 Neofaculta ericetella
5 Syndemis musculana
1 Celypha lacunana
1 Scorparia pyralella

Alder Kitten

Little Thorn

In a couple of weeks time, I will be moving down to Portland, Dorset, so I will be leaving this blog.  Many thanks to all the blogs followers, and I hope you will continue to support it.  Thanks as well to all the other contributors to the blog, particularly Bill, who originally set it up and invited me to join.  Keep it going from strength to strength guys!

Once settled in, I will probably set up a new blog encorporating all my wildlife sightings from the island, and I will hopefully add a link here once it's started.