During the end of June/early July period at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, Blackneck Lygephila pastinum numbers increased with several seen dayflying, though the peak count involved 12 trapped overnight on July 3rd, something of lower total than in recent years, though it has been decided this year to target this species less and try something else, as it is known to have been present annually in good number since it was first recorded in 2008.
Both dayflying Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Z. lonicerae have been recorded this year in small number, the latter species having avoided detection last summer.
Clearwings Sessiidae have been noted from late June, but have proved difficult to find at times, though 21 Six-belted Clearwing Bembecia ichneumoniformis were noted recently.
Brown-veined Wainscot Archanara dissoluta is notoriously scarce on site, recorded on only 10 occasions with 16 individuals recorded since it was first noted in 1996. The first, and perhaps the last record of the year, was found in the traps on June 30th – proof that Tophill still hosts this scarce Yorkshire species.
The light traps attract over 100-130 species each time they are set at the moment, and the incredible year of site scarcities recorded continued during early July. A Lilac Beauty Apeira syringaria trapped on the 2nd was the fourth site record, followed the night after by a Slender Brindle Apamea scolopacina. The only previous Tophill records of this species involved two in 2001 – so it was something of a surprise when another was attracted to light on the 5th in a completely different part of the site.
The 5th also saw this Dioryctria simplicella recorded. A little, worn but considered to be this species, confirmation came via genitalia dissection as it proved to be the first site record since 1997.
With such a wide diversity of moths being recorded, it came as no surprise to record the 652nd and 653rd species since trapping began in 1992. V-Pug Chloroclystis v-ata has been on the expected list, and one duly appeared on July 6th. Despite being a widespread species across the county, it is surprising it has taken so long to record one at Tophill. Less common in the county is Spruce Bud Moth Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana – the first record for Tophill occurring on the 7th.
The 7th also saw Tophill’s second Phoenix Eulithis prunata trapped, the only previous record occurring in 2011. The third followed on the 10th. This Scarce Footman Eilema complana was the sixth site record, have recently been added to the site list in 2015.
Two Codling Moth Cydia pomonella on the 9th became Tophill’s third and fourth records, following singles in 2012 and 2014. The 10th saw the first Bulrush Wainscot Nonagria typhae of the season trapped – the 371st species of the year identified on site, equalling the total number of species identified on site over the 1992-2006 period.
Birdwise, small numbers of waders trickled through during the early part of the month, with South Marsh East holding Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa and Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus almost daily, with odd Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus appearances. The highlight was a Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia present on the 11th and 12th.
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