Monday, 28 July 2014

Cafe Mocha - Jesse Cook

While all the land at Parley Court Farm belongs to the Dampney family just one small snag has arisen since Phase II of the Solar Panel Project begun and that is the matter of access to that acreage. With literally Millions of Pounds worth of equipment, plant and ancillaries involved with their erection it is no wonder that security is tight. Room then for the gentle approach and the start of a Charm Offencive with the German's who are running the whole show. Last Thursday in his Port 'a' Cabin Office I met Site Manager Pedro Sabiote (not at all German sounding?), a real toff, and quickly got down to negotiating the required access to lay Moth Traps at the northern end of the property. Aware of all of the safety issues as well as security he put me though a mini safety course and laid out the conditions associated with the permit.
Saturday, my friend Dave Foot arrived to enjoy another night Mothing here at Parley but with a good number of daylight hours left we busied ourselves trying to solve a couple of conundrums. Without a doubt, the 2 most intriguing species caught here this year have been
 BALSAM CARPET
(only the 'second' confirmed Dorset Record)
and
 BUTTONED SNOUT
 (a species a little more common in the County)
 Both are selective with their diets and will only flourish on a couple of Plant types.
Why then have they both been caught here and are they in fact breeding?
We needed to find the food plants.
Within just 300 yards of the start of our search a first single stem of
 ORANGE BALSAM
was found on the bank of the River Stour
 and as we progressed towards the Manor much more was found
in and around the marshy parts.
It was almost unbelievable that the second
HOP
would be found in exactly the same are, both of which I had seen before
but was unaware of the association until Dave arrived.
By sunset we had sited Dave's 3 traps at the north end and my 5 at their usual locations, and with weather condition being near perfect it was then just a matter of wait and see! During these preliminaries Common Buzzard, Mediterranean Gull, Woodcock and Nightjar were all encountered, and as I wandered toward the traps early the following morning
SUNRISE (05:00)over
Merritown Heath
 TREE PIPIT
 
STONECHAT
(it wasn't noticed until uploading the images that this adult male is 'ringed' right leg)
and
DARTFORD WARBLER
were all vocal and all feeding 'young'.
Cafe Mocha - Jesse Cook 
Of all the beauty, diversity, colour and patterning that is Mothing one of the family groups that stand out for me are the Mocha's. Just 5 Insects that occur in Great Britain bear the name and yesterday morning we managed to catch 3
 (The) MOCHA
BIRCH MOCHA
along with my own and the property's first
DINGY MOCHA
Just to round off the quartet this
BLAIR'S MOCHA
was caught here last season so that leaves only the 'scarce' False Mocha to be attracted.
A small cross-section of the remainder includes
 NARROW-WINGED PUG
 PLAIN WAVE 
alongside the almost identical and far more common
RIBAND WAVE (right)
 LARGE EMERALD
 a rather good example of
SMALL RUFOUS
 A new addition
SOUTHERN WAINSCOT*
 again shown with a 'confussion species'
SMOKY WAINSCOT (left)
 
 'Southern' again showing the 'headband' which is diagnostic.
 KIDNEY-SPOT LADYBIRD
another creature on my Ladder of Learning
never seen before.
 LESSER TREBLE-BAR*
 TURNIP MOTH
new for here while the exciting little
 Mustoma nitidalis
shouldn't be here at all! Discovered on UK soil for the first time only a short while ago in this locale, it hails from about as far away from Parley as you can get. A native of the Antipodes, it is said to have been conveyed to England via garden plants and/or other vegetation but just as likely to have 'hitched' a ride on the wing of a
 
 DRINKER (Moth)
 TWO-SPOT LADYBIRD
 Another 'scarcity' but this time a true migrant
Cydia amplana
 With nothing for size comparison it should be said that were not 
my Mentor on hand I would doubtless have discarded this as a
Micro.
PINION-STREAKED SNOUT
and finally a
CLICK BEETLE
which can do what no human has yet achieved.
With a single 'click' from a spine on the back end which can be snapped into a corresponding notch, the beetle can propel itself into the air at a 'take-off' speed of 400G and reach a height of 20 x body length. Now let's see you do that Signor Sotomayor! (Info from Wiki).
THE PROCESS OF EDITING CONTINUES,
BRACE YOURSELVES FOR MORE TO COME.
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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Night's In 'White Satin' - Moody Blues

It may have been the torrential rain, which lasted for about a hour yesterday afternoon, that knocked out the external electrical ring main to the stables and other outbuildings. This resulted in loss of power to a couple of the Moth Traps overnight, a tragedy in as much as catches have been excellent in recent days. Despite that 68 species of Macro were secures including what may be described as 'goodies'. First up was
 LEOPARD MOTH*
 not at all a common species in Dorset
 and a personal 'first' ever for me!
Even rarer with, as far as I can find, less than 100 records in the County
 WHITE SATIN*
 which has its Dorset stronghold
in the region of the Moors River which forms the North Western
boundary of Parley Court Farm.
Others taken last night and including a few from the past couple of days
include
 SMALL BLOOD-VEIN
 CLAY TRIPLE-LINES*
 YELLOW SHELL
 BLUE-BORDERED CARPET
 BIRD'S WING
 DUN-BAR
BROAD-BARRED WHITE*
 TRUE LOVER'S KNOT
and the very similar
BEAUTIFUL YELLOW UNDERWING
LESSER YELLOW UNDERWING
 ELEPHANT HAWK-MOTH and 
SMALL ELEPHANT HAWK-MOTH
the Micro
ORTHOPYGIA GLAUCINALIS
A bit of a 'heart-stopper' this one as at first glance it was thought
to be the extremely rare and local (mostly to Kent)
LESSER BELLE
photo from Wiki.
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