Wednesday 25 December 2013

25 December 2013 - Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas! Missed the Queen's Speech today as I was busy playing with new microscope together with my old trusty Nikon Coolpix. Should be good for some 'gen det' later in the year... 
Drosophila suzukii (male left, female right)

Friday 27 September 2013

27 September 2013 - East Malling Research

Adrian Harris managed to find this Western Conifer Seed Bug as it wandered across his desk - first site record! Nice one Adrian.

Thursday 26 September 2013

26 September 2013 - Blue Town, Isle of Sheppey

Took some colleagues last night to the Isle of Sheppey to locate and photograph the Yellow-tailed Scorpions which have collonised the harbour since pre-1870. Took a UV hand-torch which had been purchased by Santa last Christmas for me... This equipment proved essential kit as with a normal torch it was impossible to locate the little rascals. A twenty minute search covering about 80 metres of harbour wall yielded about 20 scorpions and nearly as many weird looks from the locals getting trollied in the nearby pub...!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

25 Sptember 2013 - Long-tailed Blues at Kingsdown

Took an extended lunchbreak with Mike Easterbrook and Adam Whitehouse to visit the Long-tailed Blues at Kingsdown. Wonderful, wonderful wee beasties!

Loads of these beetles loitering on the tops of the dried herbage

Interesting fly/wasp and ant meeting

Thursday 5 September 2013

5 September 2013 - Queendown Warren KWT

Another visit to the fantastic Queendown Warren KWT reserve - with the usual motley crew of half interested colleagues and birders... ;-)

From some considerable distance I saw a large moth fly towards and land near one of the traps. I thought it had to be a hawk-moth or something else big as it was only slightly smaller than a light aircraft. After scrambling towards the trap I relocated the quarry lurking beside a small hawthorn tree - Large Thorn!!!

Further goodies included an Orange Sallow and three, presumed second generation, Waved Blacks.

Large Thorn

Large Thorn

Orange Sallow

Micro 1

Wednesday 4 September 2013

4 September 2013 - East Malling Research

I think the various groundhoppers make it to the top of my 'favourite grasshopper' list - if it ever existed. This Slender Groundhopper was found next to one of the sand/gravel beds on site - a habitat not so dissimilar to the Long Pits at Dungeness, which is the only other place in Kent I've found this species.
Slender Groundhopper

Thursday 29 August 2013

29 August 2013 - Holborough Marshes KWT

A nice catch at Holborough Marshes for the Kent Wildlife Trust - including four species new for the site.

Buttoned Snout

Chalk Carpet

Gold Spot

Burnished Brass

Mullein Wave

Tuesday 27 August 2013

27 August 2013 - More Hawk-moths at work

A colleague recently found several superb Eyed Hawk-moth caterpillars on young apple plants - thankfully some of them delayed pupation long enough to allow others to get the cameras out. Nice!

Sunday 25 August 2013

25 August 2013 - Cliffe Marshes RSPB

Visited Cliffe Marshes RSPB for some moth surveying - a nice selection including a fine Dark Sword-grass. The ear moth has to go down as a spp - hopefully I'll get in to gen det in due course to get these things sorted correctly.
Dark Sword-grass

ear moth spp

Old Lady

Micro 1

Micro 2

Saturday 24 August 2013

24 August 2013 - Convulvulous Hawk-moth at work (East Malling)

The Company Secretary found this superb Convulvulous Hawk-moth whist he was passing the smokers shed at work. A quick telephone call later and we had ourselves a mini moth twitch!

Thursday 22 August 2013

22 August 2013 - A924 in Perthshire

Took an evening drive out to the moors along the A924 - a couple of hours running the light in the mist/drizzle, along the side of the road, produced an interesting catch.

Heathe Rustic
Neglected Rustic
Grey Mountain carpet
Scarce Silver-Y 1

Scarce Silver-Y 2
Scarce Silver-Y 3
Northern Deep-brown Dart
Northern Deep-brown Dart
Northern Spinach
Micro Spp - looked really distinctive - but I can't see it in the book...

Micro spp (again)

Minor Shoulder-knot

Minor Shoulder-knot - 2nd individual of the night

Possible Barred Chestnut - but I'm really not happy with ID -  all help/guidance is much appreciated.

Big, worn, interesting and best left unidentified...?
Dark Arches - dark version!

Wednesday 14 August 2013

14 August 2013 - Cairngorms, Aberdeenshire

Last night I went up to some upland/moorland for some roadside moffing. The Northern Rustic was the highlight of the moth front - but a presumed Scottish Wild Cat stole the show on the way home at 1.30am.
Northern Rustic - A wonderful shiny lump of a moth
Northern Rustic - The undoubted highlight of an evening out.

Grey Mountain Carpet - 20+ of these very variable large carpets
Chevron - 30+ of these beautiful, often purple-coloured, moths. Superb!

Autumnal Rustic - first of the year.
presumed Ingrailed Clay (though at high altitude I did suspect this was a Northern Dart for a while - but in the cold light of day, I'm not really sure why I quite so excited...)