"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Cuttle Pool NR and Garden Moths

Last Thursday afternoon we decided to visit a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust reserve that we hadn't been to before. The site was only given to the Trust in 2012 and prior to that it had been used for gravel extraction until 1975 and then some small scale landfill.

The reserve is situated mid-way between Knowle and Temple Balsall and there are a variety of habitats within the small (4.25 hectare) area - semi-improved woodland, wetland, areas of grassland, pools, a brook and wet flushes.

195 vascular plants have been recorded and here's a few photos of some I saw

Self Heal

Bird's Foot Trefoil? - forgot to check the leaves!

Creeping Cinquefoil (plus Heath Speedwell, Parsley Piert and Thyme-leaved Sandwort)

Lots of Dog Roses flowering in the hedgerows

Scarlet Pimpernel - such a pretty, often overlooked flower. Other names for this species include "Poor Man's Weather Glass", "Shepherd's Sundial", "Wink-a-peep", "John-go-to-bed-at-noon" based on the plant's habit of opening at seven o'clock in the morning and closing at 2. Its petals also close when rain is on the approach. Apparently anyone holding one of the flower's gains second sight!

Cinquefoil, Clover, Speedwell and Pimpernel

Various habitat improvements are in progress - paths are being established and scrub encroachment tackled. The wet flushes will be managed along with the silted up ponds to improve habitats for invertebrates. At present around 764 invertebrate species occur here, 12 of which are nationally scarce and 7 regionally important.

Had a peek under this refugia -

but there was only an ant nest!

Scorpion Fly

I'm still trying to identify this species.

Cinnabar moth - rubbish photo (very heavily cropped) as soon as I got close it immediately took flight.

There were quite a few Ringlets around the reserve and an unidentified blue butterfly too far away to even guess which species. There were quite a few blue damselflies around too but again I couldn't get close enough to identify any.

On the way home we stopped off at Barston Ford

Garden Moths

Finally, I'm trapping more moth species. So a few photos of recent moths.

First of all, a couple of the smaller or "micro" moths. I really do need to start getting to grips with these if I am to stand any chance of reaching 365 species seen in the garden this year (update on that challenge hopefully later next week).

Crambus pascuella

Juniper Webber

Buff Ermine

Bright-line Brown-eye


Willow Beauty

Not 100% sure of this one - think its probably a freshly emerged Willow Beauty again (its not large enough for Great Oak Beauty)

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (I don't usually start trapping these this early in the year).

Small Magpie

Heart and Dart

Dagger aggregate - there a couple of Dagger species that can only be separated by genitalia dissection which I have no intention of ever doing!

And a so-far unidentified weevil lurking in one of the egg boxes. My file of unidentified species from the garden and elsewhere just gets larger and larger - very hard sometimes to find time for identification especially when just one or two species can take me hours of trawling through books and websites.


Anonymous said...

Another lovely post, which sent me scurrying to Mr Google to find out what Creeping Cinquefoil, Heath Speedwell, Parsley Piert and Thyme-leaved Sandwort look like. So I learned something new from you, thank you.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much - glad you enjoyed and learned something new. Have to admit I have i-spot to thank for the Parsley Piert and Thyme-leaved Sandwort id :)

Anonymous said...

Still no ringlets here....

The micro moths are rather smart aren't they? I am trying to make more of an effort id'ing them this year too (no mean feat!). :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks :) Strange how appearance dates differ for regions as I still haven't seen a Meadow Brown.

Micro id is difficult :( They are so tiny and so lively and even when you see something that looks distinctive when you check in the book there are loads that look the same :( Have dozens to id!!!

Amanda Peters said...

Great post and intresting to read, I've had a few moths this week,I would be interested how you are recording your moth in the garden, are you just writing them down in a book as you find them ?
ID can be very hard, I put some on ISpot to day and two people in the "know "came up with two different answers !
Amanda xx

Dartford Warbler said...

That looks a really interesting habitat to visit.

The Small Magpie moth is so pretty. I enjoy the poetry in the old moth names as much as seeing the moths themselves.

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda. re: moth recording yes, I keep a list of all moth trapping sessions in writing in a folder. Plus a list of first appearance dates each year and a "life list". Then I also do an excel sheet of each trapping sessions including all moth species and numbers caught which I send to County Recorder at end of year. I also take part in the Garden Moth Scheme which runs for about 8 months and you fill in the excel sheet they provide.

Moth id is very hard. I've been trapping for 4/5 years and still make howlers :)!!! Some of the macros are distinctive but others like carpets, pugs and some noctuids are difficult as so many look similar and then there are variations within a species not to mention worn individuals!! Micros are even harder. I thought I'd identified one for certain the other day and put it on twitter for confirmation - only to be told it was a caddis fly!!!!!I think with moths you are always learning although I suppose that applies to all groups.

Sorry for such a long answer! Let me know if you want any recommendations for id books or websites and I'll give you a list.

Dartford Warbler - Thanks :) I think the beauty of moth names is one of the things that got me so interested in moth trapping - that and attending some moth nights at local reserves :)

Amanda Peters said...

Thanks RR, I managed to get some Moths in my home made trap last night, never seen them befor, all going on iSpot...thanks for the notes on recording, will date and write them down as I get them. Photos coming soon.
Thanks again.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Hi Amanda - good news on the moths - look forward to photos :) If you are on twitter a lot of people on there are very helpful re: id. Just add hashtag teammoth or moths. Its a good idea to keep a record of what you see especially if you continue moth trapping for any length of time then you can compare first appearance dates etc. :)