21st October 2014

At last - a Red Sword-grass! A new moth for Keele and for me too - although I have seen other people's. Also Blair's Shoulder-knot, 4/5 Red-green Carpets, 2 Chestnuts, 2 Angleshades, 2 Yellow-line Quakers and a Feathered Thorn. Not bad given the howling gale!

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Red Sword-grass

15th October 2014

Our Year 3 Bioconservation Students were trapping small mammals in the Walled Garden. They were surprisingly successful with 3 Bank Voles and 7 Field Voles. The evening before, when setting the traps, they noticed a number of bats circling the moth trap! The traps a filled with straw bedding and food so the mammals are comfortable until they weighed and released unharmed the next morning.

Preparing to weigh a Field Vole prior to release

Longworth mammal traps - there's food and bedding inside

Field Vole

Field Vole

Emptying a mammal trap

14th October 2014

Three November Moths and a Yellow-line Quaker today. 20 Redwings flew overs and 4 Jays - there is a shortage of acorns so Jays are frantically looking for food and are particularly visible at the moment.

November Moth

10th October 2014

It was cold last night but Figure of Eight was new for the year. It preferred to cling to the flex!

7th October 2014

Wind and rain has curtailed moth trapping! Just a single tortrix moth last night - Acleris variegana.

30th September 2014

A week away makes a lot of difference - much more autumnal. Meveille-du-Jour is now appearing in the moth trap along with Mottled Umber, Barred Sallow and lots of Red-green Carpets plus Dusky Thorn.

Jays are quite obvious flying over - there is a shortage of acorns this year so I expect to see a lot more of them as they search out what little food remains!

Barred Sallow


Mottled Umber

Red-green Carpet
Dusky Thorn

18th September 2014

Nights are milder so a few more moths but apart from the Lunar Underwings, nothing of note. Wasps on the increase in the trap - got stung emptying it! here's one that was "grazing" on wood near the trap.
Common Wasp

Common Field Grasshopper in Walled Garden