A visit from Dave Gandy prompted a trip into the Broads from specialities. These used to major on Swallowtails (which we saw in abundance, including pre-mating chases, a first for me), Norfolk Hawkers and Cranes (all of which we saw). But now, thanks to Potter Heigham Marshes, they include Spoonbills and Black-winged Stilts. What a shame that this excellent site is being transformed wholesale into reed beds. One would have hoped that there would have been space for both.
Cranwich Camp was on fine form that balmy mid-June evening. Although we were too early to see Proliferous Pink flowering, there plenty of Spanish Catchfly. We also had good moths such as Fox Moth (new for me), Powdered Grass-veneer and Breckland Plume.
I've developed a fair old suntan this month. Despite ostensibly being chained to the writing desk (I filed my Hedgehogs book earlier this month and am now a quarter of the way through 52 European Wildlife Weekends, which is roughly on track), I've still managed spend a fair few hours outdoors, ensconced in all things natural - #30days wild and all that - whether in the garden (mothing or adding to the bird year list) or, occasionally, further afield. I've blogged about some of the highlights - from mating Hornet Moths to Spurge Hawk-moth - already. This post is about the other stuff.
... and Festoon and Grey Arches from this second batch. Even better were entirely new moths for me - in the garden, without moving from home, notably Blackneck and European Cornborer.
Not a bad month then. And if I get a few more moth catches like the one below, I'll be very happy indeed.
Moths elsewhere included a couple of decent rarities. At Cranwich Camp, friends from Footprint Ecology and I netted a micro moth that we could not identify. It only granted photos in the pot, escaping when we tried photographing it outside, but proved to be Eucosma metzneriana. This is a potential Red Data Book species, a new colonist in Britain, and only the second for Norfolk (with the third and fourth caught nearby on successive nights!). The second was a Small Marbled, caught by Matt Casey in Hethersett. A lovely vagrant - enchantingly small but beautifully marked, with very few Norfolk records, all since 2011.
Back to garden moth-ing. I've had quite a bit of fun, with a succession of decent (250+) catches prompted by the warm evenings. Some new critters for the garden too, including Miller and Barred Red from this first lot...
My garden hasn't been as good as hoped for clearwing moths this month. That said, I didn't catch any clearwings here until July last year, so anything is better than nothing. I've had a couple of Red-belted (one of which is above) and a few Yellow-legged (which attracted anincreasingly regular moth-twitcher), and - finally - a Currant (at about the 20th attempt). But not numbers. I did, however, luck in on a new site for Red-belted Clearwing, at some allotments in west Norwich. Plenty of Currants and a couple of Red-tippeds there as well.