Archive for May 22nd, 2008

22nd May 2008, Thursday

Pannel Valley NR Moths

It is interesting to compare our catch with the Rye Harbour trap. Flame Shoulder was our commonest moth last night but Shears are an uncommon moth here with none so far this year. We had 53 moths of 22 species with our first Eyed Hawk-Moth and Gold Spot for the year.

22nd May 2008, Thursday

Rye Harbour Moths

About 40 individuals of 18 species in the Lime Kiln Moth trap this morning, the majority of which were either Shuttle-shaped Dart, Shears or Flame Shoulder. Among several new species for the year, the highlight was a single White Colon (below), a nationally scarce species which turns up in small numbers here annually. The name comes from the white marks about two thirds of the way down the wing (just visible on the right wing here).
rxwhite-colon-08.jpg
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22nd May 2008, Thursday

Dungeness bumblebees

At the beginning of this week Pete Akers and I commenced the first of three sets of timed walks over the Dungeness NNR to monitor bumblebee numbers. After the weather-induced disasterous showing last year it was interesting to see if numbers would be low this spring. In fact they were not so bad, just slightly less than last May (when numbers were high following an unusually warm April).

Slightly worryingly no moss carder bees Bombus muscorum were found. This species has declined each year for the past 4 years, from 47 insects found in 2003 to only 4 last year. It is thought that this northern bee could be suffering from a run of warm years, although it would be ironic if the cold wet conditions experienced last year pushed it closer to the edge. Numbers of its more southern relative the brown banded carder bee Bombus humilis were only slightly lower than last year, an encouraging sign for this Biodiversity Action Plan Species (thanks to Mike Edwards for the photo below).

Brown banded carder bee

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