Thursday, 24 April 2014

Garden goodies

After spending the easter weekend down on the south coast, it was nice to be welcomed home by a new micro moth for the year in the shape of a carnation tortrix resting on a bush by the front door. I tried to boost the moth total a bit further by running the trap a couple of times, but clear skies and low temperatures meant that only a few of the hardier species which I've already recorded were lured in.
193: Carnation Tortrix
Carnation Tortrix
Whilst the nights have been cold, the days have been generally warm, sunny and generally very unBritish, although as I type this it's grey, windy and generally much more British outside! One sunny morning found me mooching around the garden, half-heartedly waving my camera at the hairy-footed flower bees before noticing a single dark hoverfly resting on a leaf. I quickly recognised it as one of the extremely difficult Cheilosia genus, but fortunately this was the relatively distinctive spring species Cheilosia caerulescens, which I'd recorded in the garden last year at a similar time. More straightforward was the queen garden bumblebee, Bombus hortorum, that was buzzing between the ornamental nettles that were planted to provide forage for long-tongued species such as this.

194: Cheilosia caerulescens
Cheilosia caerulesccens, showing the distinctively nobbly face
195: Bombus hortorum
Garden Bumblebee
As the forecast was for a cloudy night, and warmer temperatures, last night, I had another go with the moth trap. Hopes weren't high when I woke to a chilly wind blowing in through the window, and the trap was rather sparsely populated, with just 6 moths of 4 species present. 3 of those species were new for the year though, including the attractively patterned Waved Umber which is always a particular pleasure to see. Hopefully the weekend will prove to be a bit less damp and grey than forecast, and I'll be able to get out and break through the 200 mark.

196: Waved Umber
Waved Umber
197: Nut-tree Tussock
Nut-tree Tussock
198: Shuttle-shaped Dart
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Total: 198 Species - see all the photos here

Lifelist 1315 Species

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