Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Garden Butterfly Review 2014

This year was a first for me on two counts.

Firstly, a female Common Blue butterfly visited my garden on the 31st July, nectering on my Lavender plant as shown above. I have had Common Blues before, but never a female.

Secondly, an Essex Skipper visited the same plant when dark during the evening of the 3rd July. Surely butterflies do not fly at night, I hear you say? I once found a Purple Hairstreak sitting on a bulk head light in the early morning while hunting for moths!

A total of 15 species were recorded in my garden for 2014. This equals the record set in 2009.
12 species were seen in July, which is now the record for that month.
A butterfly was recorded in every month last year with the exception of December.

A Small Tortoiseshell was seen on the 2nd January, which again sets another record for the earliest ever in my garden. This species was recorded in 7 out of the 12 months, including 9 together on the 18th August.

I wonder what 2015 will bring. As I write this blog (25th Feb), I have still not seen a single butterfly in the garden or anywhere else as it happens!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Garden Moth Review 2014

A new moth species for the garden in 2014 was this White-point Mythimna albipuncta. I actually recorded two individuals, one on 30th Aug and the other on 19th Sept. It is usually listed as a Migrant moth, but it is now thought to be established along parts of the south and south-east coasts of England.

The Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana is still the most abundant moth found in my garden with 231 individuals seen since 2005. However, the most common moth seen in 2014 was the Lunar Underwing Omphaloscelis lunosa with a total of 65 individuals all seen on the same night - 19th Sept.

2014 broke the record for the number of moths seen in the garden with 486 individuals. 96 species were recorded which was slightly under the record of 99 seen in 2013.

Leaving the garden for a moment, my life list now stands at 337, up from 321.