Sunday 2 October 2022

Autumnal Stuff

On Thursday night the autumn's first few nocmig records of Redwing (6) and Song Thrush (3) were a reminder that 2022 is hurrying on rapidly. And thus ended a very quiet September for me, bird-wise. As if to drive the meagreness home, several miles of coastal walk last Wednesday bagged just a handful of Chiffs. The scenery between West Bay and Stonebarrow is quite spectacular, but the only obvious migrants were a small number of hirundines...

Looking west from the slope of Golden Cap, with Charmouth and Lyme Regis in the distance.

Thank goodness for moths. Without them I would be forced to write an opinion piece...

Our first Black Rustic.

There are a number of so-called autumn moths which have been featuring on my Twitter feed recently, and of course I've been hoping some will put in an appearance here. Black Rustic looked like a smart one, and boy, it did not disappoint! As you can see, not black exactly, rather a velvety mix of almost-blacks with a buff scratch in the kidney mark. Lovely. One hundred percent Goth moth.

Here's another new one...

Barred Sallow, in the same catch as the Black Rustic.

Last night was our 107th night of moth recording, and saw yet another two new species...

Grey Pine Carpet, not uncommon locally I think.

Very few Bridport records (<5 on Living Record) but common enough in the county. First UK record was in Essex, as recently as 1989 apparently.

Just 4mm long.

And some others that were worth a snap...

The very lovely Angle Shades.

A couple of Common Marbled Carpets from last night's catch. A variable species, though these two look rather similar.

Our second Barred Sallow, far more contrasty than the first.

Our second Feathered Ranunculus, a male, showing the feathered antennae.

With every night's moth-trapping comes the possibility of interesting by-catch. Last night it was this lumpy beast...

Necrodes littoralis, or Shore Sexton Beetle.

Fascinating creatures like this are always a bonus. I find myself looking them up, learning new stuff, etc. Before I know it there will be a list...

Yesterday we were in London, attending the first Amateur Entomological Society exhibition since pre-Covid. It was our first since the late 1990s, but all seemed very familar...

Richard Lewington's illustrations are simply amazing. It was impossible not to buy something. We came home with a caterpillar field guide and a Painted Lady print.

It was great to see so many young folk there - including lots of children - as well as old fogies like us. I wonder if the Birdfair attracts as many? Anyway, it was good to get back to Dorset yesterday evening, switch on the moth trap and soak up the silence...


  1. Insect illustrations have always amazed me, as someone who cannot draw a crooked line, I am in awe. I don't see anybody in their uniform at the event Gav, fishing shows are regularly attended by men in camouflage for some reason.

    1. There was plenty of quirky attire, but not much camo. Entomologists seem a far more diverse bunch than the average angling or birding crowd. It was fun.