Despite the cold temperatures and prevailing north and north easterly winds, there were surprise moth records during early May at Tophill Low NR in East Yorkshire.
On the morning of the 6th, whilst searching grasses, this Prays ruficeps was found, albeit looking the worse for wear. The status of this species is currently unknown in Yorkshire, but this is the second individual at Tophill following the one below in 2013, photographed by Doug Fairweather.
The first new moth of the year, taking the site list to a total of 638 species, was this Phyllonorycter harrisella, photographed by Doug Fairweather, also on the 6th.
Away from the moth records, the sunshine of the 1st produced the first Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense of the 2017 Odonata season, but records thereafter have been limited due to the weather.
Birding wise, a few Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea were noted over the Bank Holiday into early May, and summer migrants are in full song, including this Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus on the 2nd.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax moved through in small numbers, with other wader species including Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula and Dunlin Calidris alpina with the highlights of the period being a summer-plumaged Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola on the 1st and a Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola over the 6th-7th.
Meanwhile, a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus was still present on the 12th, most probably the same bird that has been lingering in the area on and off for while.
For the latest news from Yorkshire Water’s Tophill Low NR, check out the reserve blog and twitter feed.