First of all, apologies for the lack of updates from me this year. It's been a busy summer, with little time spent standing still! After coming off Fair Isle in late May, I was offered the chance to return as a volunteer at the island's bird observatory for a month- a dream opportunity that I was never going to turn down (feel free to have a read about my work on Fair Isle on my blog). Leaving Fair Isle in late July, I then headed over to California for a couple of weeks of sun, sea and beer. Poor me.
In between the travelling, I have kept an eye out for moths, even managing a few unusual ones...
It was a bit of a surprise when this Mother Shipton, a moth usually found in open grassland, literally dropped out of the sky onto the garden lawn whilst I was eating lunch back in early June...
This smart looking micro, Ethmia quadrillella, caught in the garden on 21st August, turned out to be the first record of the species for Surrey. It's a scarce moth, confined mainly to fens and wetlands towards the east of England, but also has a tendency to arrive in Britain as a migrant- explaining the few other records from counties along the south coast. This one arrived on the same night as my highest ever single migrant count of 14 Diamond-back Moths and a Silver Y.
Aristotelia ericinella, caught on the same night as the above. A heathland speciality, probably bred from cultivated heather in a nearby garden- as can be said for a few White-line Darts and a Heath Rustic also caught this summer.
It's been a poor year for Hoary Footman in the garden compared to previous seasons, with only three individuals caught (including this one), and a bad year for footmen in general with no records of Buff Footman, and more surprisingly no sign of any Common Footman. I have recorded Hoary as late as 15th October, so there is still time for a revival...
And finally, this Yarrow Pug from 23rd August took the garden moth list to 500 species!
I'm afraid this will most likely be my last update from north Surrey till at least the end of the year as I'll be moving in to Uni this Saturday! Cheers all for reading the blog. Keep it up!
Widdop Moor, June 22nd
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