Thursday, 31 March 2011


The moth trap was put out at the park in the evening of Tuesday 29th and despite the slight chill and only partial cloud during the night, there was a surprisingly good mix of moths the next morning. Ninety-four moths of eleven species were counted which is a good session for March for here. Several of these nicely coloured red chestnuts were noted, one pictured above.

Three of these shoulder stripe moths were also noted, each one resting with the abdomen tip curled upwards.

The oak beauty, pictured above, was the biggest of the moths noted, although the chestnut bands across the wings have faded a bit. One or two of these are often noted early in the spring.

Joining the moth melee were several blossom underwings, pictured above, some with a warm pinky-brown colouring to the wings.

Just the one dotted border was seen with this one pictured resting on the outside of the trap.

Resting on the side of the white walls of the house was this small brindled pug - another typical early spring moth for the park.
Other moths noted were the grey shoulder knot, small quaker, common quaker, hebrew character and the March moth.

Amongst all the moths in the trap was this great diving beetle, which would've flown into the trap, attracted by the bright light. One or two are often found in the trap during the year.

Birdwise at the park, the two chiffchaffs were still singing on Tuesday, with the first sand martin flying over the park on Tuesday afternoon and again on Wednesday. A male blackcap was seen feeding amongst the trees in the car park on Wednesday, the first of the spring here.

A male marsh harrier flew over the car park on Tuesday afternoon and then headed west over the fields towards the pub. There was another good view of a male marsh harrier at dusk on Thursday by the park pond, which scattered all the ducks off the fields and then it flew low over the nesting mute swan, which hardly bothered to look up. Amongst the wildfowl on the pond were 14 tufted ducks and 4 pochard. Thirty goldfinches roosted in the bushes by the car park on Thursday night.

The ruff was still present on Tuesday although no sign by Thursday, however there were 100 black-tailed godwits and 20 redshank. Little egret numbers have still not come back after the cold winter although one bird was in the fields on Tuesday. A little owl flew along Bromans Lane as night fell onTuesday evening while the first pipistrelle bat of the spring at the park was seen flying as night fell on Thursday.


Bennyboymothman said...

Nice Blossom Underwing! these are very uncommon in Essex, do you get them on a yearly basis? I suppose being on the coast is the best place for them juging by the data on the Essex Field Group website

Dougal Urquhart said...

Hi Ben - I've not looked at their Essex distribution map before and taken them for-granted here. They're regular in the trap here in small numbers during the first half of April.I read that Bedfordshire had their first county record a few nights ago, so keep your fingers crossed in west Essex!
Happy mothing - Dougal