The fantastic warm evenings led to an impressive 135 species of moth being recorded at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire at the weekend. A total of 819 individuals were noted making it one of the best weekends for recording in recent years. The highlights were three new species for the site list – Scarce Silver-lines Bena prasinana (above) a long expected macro moth to be trapped, Monochroa lucidella and Argyresthia brockeella photographed by Doug Fairweather.
The rest of the haul included a wonderful selection of Lepidoptera including Peach Blossom Thyatira batis, Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis, Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria, almost 30 Hawk-moths Sphingidae, Garden Tiger Arctia caja, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua fimbriata and Burnished Brass Diachrysia chrysitis to name just a few of the more colourful species…. and some were posed for pictures.
From a recording point of view, it was pleasing to note the second Short-cloaked Moth Nola cucullatella for the site while the year list rose to 236 species. The fourth Red-tipped Clearwing Synanthedon formicaeformis of the summer was seen and the migrant Pale Mottled Willow Caradrina clavipalpis was trapped.
This coming weekend (July 20th and 21st) sees the eagerly awaited Summer of Wildlife event take place at Tophill Low NR. At 10am on both Saturday and Sunday, I will be showing the highlights of the catches taken overnight and hopefully posing a few of the moths for photographs. Weather permitting, I should have plenty to show, but as with everything, you can never be sure. Last Friday saw only two Hawk-moths trapped despite sweltering temperatures, while a slightly cooler Saturday evening saw over 25 make their way into the boxes.
A good selection of butterflies were also on the wing. Highlights included 31 Marbled White Maniola galathea while Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris, Large Skipper Ochlodes venata, Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, Comma Polygonia c-album, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus were other species noted.
The trickle of autumn migration saw 7 adult Little Gulls Larus minutus drop onto D res early afternoon on Saturday, while a Greenshank Tringa nebularia and 4 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus moved south on Monday evening.
Despite the wonderful sunny weather, hot temperatures sometimes don’t make for fantastic numbers of Odonata. However, 14 species were recorded on Saturday including Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis and Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense.
As the bigger species come onto the wing, the smaller damselflies are often overlooked. Once again this year, Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa numbers are low with very few to be found around the site, whilst plenty of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum are on the wing.
Once again, three species of Longhorn beetle were recorded with Rutpela maculata Black and Yellow Longhorn the most numerous.