Category Archives: Esticadinho Nature

September specials after summer of success at Tophill Low NR

 

Acleris cristana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

Following the most successful moth summer ever since consistent recording began at Tophill Low NR in East Yorkshire back in 1992, the autumn began with more success in the form of this Acleris cristana trapped on September 1st. A Yorkshire scarcity with 15 documented county records.

Acleris cristana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

Phycitodes maritima Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

This Phycitodes maritima was trapped on the same date, a new species to be recorded on site in May, this individual was the third of the year.

Feathered Gothic Tholera decimalis is another site scarcity. This one taken overnight on the 4th the fifth site record since it was first seen in 2002 and this was the first individual attracted to the lights since 2013.

Feathered Gothic Tholera decimalis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

Orange Sallow Tiliacea citrago Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

The 7th saw this Orange Sallow Tiliacea citrago make the year list – the fifth Tophill record since 2003 and the first since 2015.

Black Rustic Aporophyla nigra Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

Cold weather thereafter produced a lack of site scarcities until the 21st when this Black Rustic Aporophyla nigra appeared in the traps. The third reserve record following individuals in October 2014 and 2015.

Black Rustic Aporophyla nigra Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

Pink-barred Sallow Xanthia togata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

Despite the recent period of cold overnight temperatures, Pink-barred Sallow Xanthia togata have been noted nightly, this one above the helping the total number of individual moths recorded surpass the 32,000 mark with 467 species documented since January 1st.

The busy mycology recording season is slowly picking up as diversity increases with species including this Common Puffball Lycoperdon perlatum on show next to the paths.

Common Puffball Lycoperdon perlatum Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire September 2017

As ever, for the latest Tophill Low NR news, check out the daily updated twitter feed here.

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New landmark moth records reached at Tophill Low NR by August’s end

Maiden's Blush Cyclophora punctaria Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Moth recording at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire during the second half of August saw more site scarcities appear. The reserve’s second ever Maiden’s Blush Cyclophora punctaria was attracted to the lights on the 16th, with the same night also seeing Epinotia caprana appear – the second site record confirmed by genitalia dissection.

Epinotia caprana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

A Pyrausta aurata was also recorded on the same date, the third individual on site following records in 2010 and 2013, while after two Great Brocade Eurois occulta  in 21 years, the second in three days was also taken on the 16th.

Pyrausta aurata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Great Brocade Eurois occulta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Mompha raschkiella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

The second Mompha raschkiella of the year was trapped on the 21st, the sixth site record, with a further three recorded by the month end. The 21st also saw Tophill’s ninth Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana appear – the first since 2013.

Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Single Tawny Speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata were trapped on the 21st and 28th – the 10th and 11th reserve records since the first recorded individual in 1992.

Tawny Speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Gracillaria syringella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

The second Gracillaria syringella of the year, and ninth site record, was recorded on the 21st, while the 22nd saw this Pebble Hook-tip Drepana falcataria taken at light, the ninth Tophill record.

Pebble Hook-tip Drepana falcataria Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

A landmark was reached on the 22nd when Tophill’s second Old Lady Mormo maura  was the 450th species to be recorded this year – the first time since recording began in 1992 that this total has been reached in a moth trapping year.

Old Lady Mormo maura Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

The total of 450 was soon improved upon, with the eighth Eudonia angustea in site history appearing on the 23rd and a Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla on the 24th the third Tophill record.

Eudonia angustea Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire

Moth trapping overnight on the 28th also saw a second new landmark reached – this Common Marbled Carpet Dysstroma truncate was the 30,000th individual moth of the year recorded on site – the first time this has ever occurred!

Common Marbled Carpet Dysstroma truncata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Gynnidomorpha alismana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire June 2017

A few moths taken as specimens across the summer are still being worked on. Two in particular trapped on June 2nd caused considerable interest as they were considered to be a Gynnidomorpha species. After further discussion, and seeking expert advice, our thoughts have proved correct and it is now agreed the two moths are G. alismana – and from correspondence believed to be a new species for VC61. Two further individuals were trapped on July 17th and hopefully other retained specimens will prove to be this species. The species is scarce in Yorkshire as a whole.

Gynnidomorpha alismana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire June 2017

With specimens of other species retained across the busy summer period still to be identified and confirmed, the site list now stands at 664 species, with the year total now being 456 species.

Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus have been a daily fixture with numbers varying each day, with a high of 142 on the 24th. Many offering excellent views, particularly on the southern marshes, included this stunning juvenile on the 19th.

Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Aside from Little Gull H. minutus alighting on D reservoir wall, the western wall has held numerous juvenile Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flavissima and occasional Pied Wagtail M. alba yarrellii, while the reservoir itself has held occasional Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis and Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus, while a Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis was present on the 28th.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flavissima Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Yellow Shield Pluteus chrysophaeus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

August has proved a decent month for fungi diversity including this Yellow Shield Pluteus chrysophaeus and the rather aptly named Hare’s Ear Otidea onotica.

Hare's Ear Otidea onotica Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Hare's Ear Otidea onotica Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

A slight increase in Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta during the latter part of the month was noticeable as the species was incredible scarce since first appearing on the wing. Brown Hawker A.grandis have been showing well, but predictably difficult to photograph, unlike this Southern Hawker A. cyanea.

Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

As ever, for the latest Tophill news, check out the twitter feed and blog.

Early August sees moth record surpassed

Red Underwing Catocala nupta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Autumnal signs became increasingly evident in early August at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire. One striking feature of August on site is the appearance of Red Underwing Catocala nupta on the wing. The species often roosts on walls around the reserve during the daytime with numbers seen varying each year.

Red Underwing Catocala nupta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Small Wainscot Denticucullus pygmina Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

The first Small Wainscot Denticucullus pygmina of the year were trapped on August 8th – and it was also the 432nd moth species of the year to be recorded on site, surpassing the previous highest annual total of 431 species in 2014.

Further new species have been added to the site list in recent days as identifications are made to some of the July specimens, including the first records of Dichrorampha petiverella and D. montanana. August new additions commenced with the first site record of Agriphila selasella trapped overnight on the 9th, which was followed by several further individuals over the following days, taking the all-time site total to 663 species.

Agriphila selasella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Great Brocade Eurois occulta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Great Brocade Eurois occulta records at Tophill Low NR involved single individuals in 1996 and 2006, so this one trapped overnight on the 14th was a long over-due record of this migrant species. Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon also appeared the same evening, the fourth to be trapped this month.

Great Brocade Eurois occulta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Other early August highlights included the third site record of Plutella porrectella on the 1st, and a third Ptocheuusa paupella on the 14th following on from the two earlier records in July of this scarce Yorkshire species.

Plutella porrectella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

August Thorn Ennomos quercinaria Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Iron Prominent Notodonta dromedarius Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Iron Prominent Notodonta dromedarius and Orange Swift Triodia sylvina have also been attracted to the lights in small number during the first half of August, the latter species helping the year list move one closer to 450 species and hopefully beyond.

Orange Swift Triodia sylvina Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

Shaggy Parasol Chlorophyllum rhacodes  Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire August 2017

The diversity of fungi becomes more apparent during August, with the first Shaggy Parasol Chlorophyllum rhacodes noted early in the month alongside Stinkhorn Phallus impudicus and a small variety of other species.

Birdwise, Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus have remained present almost daily throughout the opening half of the month, at least two juvenile Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla were present on D reservoir late afternoon on the 6th and the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis of the autumn was there briefly the day after.

Kittiwake R. tridactyla saw the D reservoir annual target of a perfect 12 gull species recorded in just 212 days of 2017, while surpassing the highest ever annual moth list in site history took a mere 220 days!

For the latest news from Tophill Low NR, check out the twitter feed and blog.

July ends with Yorkshire moth rarity at Tophill Low as new monthly record set

Ptocheuusa paupella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The continued incredible July period of moth recording at Yorkshire Water’s Tophill Low NR in East Yorkshire turned up perhaps what will be one of the most unexpected moth species ever to appear in site history in the form of two Ptocheuusa paupella on July 30th. Discovered alongside O reservoir path on the Common Fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica, this is the third site in Yorkshire to record the species following three at Reighton, North Yorkshire in 2011 and at Spurn, East Yorkshire in 2016 (per communications). The 2011 record was the most northerly east coast record of the species which previously hadn’t been noted further north than East Anglia (per Yorkshire Moths).

Gypsonoma aceriana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Site rarities continued to appear with the identification of two Gypsonoma aceriana – the second and third site records occurring on July 3rd and 15th.

Two Ptycholomoides aeriferana included this one below on July 29th – the fifth site record, while a Cydia splendana on the same date was also the fifth site occurrence.

Ptycholomoides aeriferana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Cydia splendana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Some random numbers recorded during July included 1087 Uncertain Hoplodrina octogenaria, 755 Mother Of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis, 575 Dingy Footman Eilema griseola ,  256 Double Square-spot Xestia triangulum, and 196 Crescent Helotropha leucostigma to mention just a few species of the species recorded.

A total of 1037 Agriphila straminella were trapped, with countless more seen in the field, while its close relative Agriphila tristella numbered a mere 29 despite being on the wing for only six days fewer.

Agriphila straminella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Agriphila tristella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Forty Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa were collected – approximately 25% of the total number recorded all time since first documented on site in 1997. White Satin Leucoma salicis totalled 54 for the month, and single Acleris holmiana were recorded on the 15th and 31st taking the total number of individuals to 18 since it was first recorded in 1997.

Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

White Satin Leucoma salicis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Acleris holmiana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Antler Moth Cerapteryx graminis was noted on the 17th occasion since first seen in 2006 on the 15th, while a sign that the end of the summer is on the horizon was confirmed by the appearance of Rosy Rustic Hydraecia micacea on the 28th.

Antler Moth Cerapteryx graminis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Rosy Rustic Hydraecia micacea Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The third and fourth Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon of the year were trapped on the 6th and 25th of the month – a scarce migrant visitor to Tophill, these take the tally to 25 since it was first recorded in 1996.

Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The month of July saw over 11,700 individual moths recorded of a minimum 306 species, the stunning Gold Spot Plusia festucae below the 300th species of the month on the 29th.

Gold Spot Plusia festucae Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

In the context of moth history at Tophill Low NR, July 2017 produced the highest ever monthly count of species in the 307 months since recording began proper in 1992 and this 31 day total also stands among the highest annual lists ever recorded on site!

The 2017 year list total also continues to tick over, with the number standing at a minimum of 422 (the second highest all-time annual total) as the campaign heads into August.

As ever for the latest site news, check out the Tophill Low NR twitter feed and web page.

Moth year list hits 400 in record time at Tophill Low

Acleris aspersana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The incredible moth year at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire continues at pace as the 400 species mark was reached and passed over the weekend of July 21st/22nd – the fastest ever the total has been reached in the site’s history. Incredibly, the 400th species was Acleris aspersana – not new to the site, but the first time it had been recorded since one in 2002.

Caloptilia rufipennella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Caloptilia rufipennella is another rarely recorded species on site – the fourth Tophill individual noted, and the first for three years, was taken at light on the 21st, as the year total races on towards what will hopefully be a new site record in 2017.

News from early July concerned the addition of Epinotia signatana to the reserve list. Two trapped on the 5th were proved by genitalia dissection and it becomes the 657th documented moth species recorded.

Epinotia signatana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

As ever, for the latest news, check out the Tophill Low blog and daily updated Twitter feed.

The Tophill Low NR list – just keeps increasing

Arhopalus rusticus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The Cerambycidae list of Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire rarely sees additions, totalling just seven species up until July 12th 2017. However, that was before this Arhopalus rusticus was found during moth recording. On checking records, it appears to be the third VC61 record and 8th county record, per the recently published Yorkshire Naturalist Union Coleoptera list 2017.

Arhopalus rusticus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Scarcer still was this Argyresthia bonnetella f. ossea taken at light on July 14th – the third documented record of this form in Yorkshire following communications with a leading expert.

Argyresthia bonnetella f. ossea Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Kent Black Arches Meganola albula Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

July 2016 saw Kent Black Arches Meganola albula added to the Tophill Low list. Rarely recorded away from coastal haunts, further records weren’t expected, so it came as something of a surprise to trap a single on the 14th, followed by two others on the 15th in a different part of the reserve.

2016 was also the year Coronet Craniophora ligustri was added to the site list, the individual below attracted to light on the 14th the second site record.

Coronet Craniophora ligustri Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Batrachedra praeangusta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

This Batrachedra praeangusta trapped on 15th was a new species for Tophill Low and was one of 140+ species attracted to the lights that night – thought to be the highest single night haul in site history. The period 13th-15th yielded in the region of 180+ species, but the total is yet to finalised. An impressive number for a site which is still relatively ‘young‘ given planting of the main woodlands only commenced post-site construction in 1959.

Catoptria pinella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

The 656th species to be recorded on site was Catoptria pinella on the 19th, while the supporting cast in recent days included Ypsolopha scabrella and Pale Mottled Willow Caradrina clavipalpis.

Ypsolopha scabrella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Pale Mottled Willow Caradrina clavipalpis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Butterfly recording saw nearly 1000 individuals of 17 species recorded on the July 17th, while the dragonflies continue to show well with a minimum of seven Emperor Anax imperator present on the same date.

A Garganey Anas querquedula was present from the 15th remaining until the 21st at least on South Marsh East, while small numbers of waders were present each day.

Check out the Tophill Low blog and twitter feed for the latest site news.

Moths lead the way as wader passage continues with a trickle in inland East Yorkshire

Blackneck Lygephila pastinum Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Six-belted Clearwing Bembecia ichneumoniformis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Six-belted Clearwing Bembecia ichneumoniformis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Brown-veined Wainscot Archanara dissoluta Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Lilac Beauty Apeira syringaria Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Slender Brindle Apamea scolopacina Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire

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.

Dioryctria simplicella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

V-Pug Chloroclystis v-ata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Spruce Bud Moth Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Phoenix Eulithis prunata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Scarce Footman Eilema complana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Codling Moth Cydia pomonella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Bulrush Wainscot Nonagria typhae Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

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.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire July 2017

For all the latest news, checkout the Tophill Low blog and twitter feed.