James Lowen 

The Brecks are always good value for grass-veneers. This year I looked properly for the first time at the dark form of Crambus perlella  (Satin Grass-veneer) and enjoyed numerous Thisanotia chrysonuchella (Powdered Grass-veneer).


8 September 2023 Broken ground

I have had some work in the Brecks or Breckland (meaning 'broken ground') this year, so have taken mild advantage to Bible around seeing birds such as Goshawk, Firecrest and Wood Lark, a few plants and some day-flying moths. In previous years, I have tended to visit Cranwich Camp before the Proliferous Pinks have really started flowering. Even so, I was astonished at (a) how locally proliferous they are there, (b) how late they flower (still going strong in late Aug) and (c) how they have spread away from the car park 'colony' to the trackside ditches and even out in the main, westerly 'square', within metres of another star plant, Spanish Catchfly, which is abundant on site.

My other favourite plant of the summer was Basil Thyme. A real pretty little thing, even if I was mainly exploring its patches to see if I could find a little micro moth called Basil-thyme Case-bearer Coleophora tricolor. I failed, being a bit late, probably.

I foundPyrausta despicata to be particularly numerous this year, with easily 300 winging up from my feet during one particularly intense hour. (It also explains a good year for them at home, perhaps.)

My final Breckland moth experience of the summer involved extended views of two Hummingbird Hawk-moths nectarine on Viper's Bugloss. One individual was very ragged and pale, the other lovely and fresh. What creatures! And what an area!

Some of the speciality moths were seen in good numbers too. Lots of Oblique Striped were around on each visit, and I saw perhaps ten Tawny Waves in total, plus Reddish Light ArchesMarbled Clover, Grey Carpet, Clouded Buff and Lunar Yellow Underwing early in the season. One year I'll seek permission to trap here overnight.