Posts Tagged ‘Checklist of the lepidoptera of Thorne Moors’

Observations & advance notifications

February 7, 2017

It seems a long time, last year in fact when we last posted anything.  To regulars who missed us, sorry.  To newcomers or just casual browsers of blogs welcome and here are a few items of potential interest:


The first adder of the season has been seen, the second earliest record of the year since modern records have been compiled.  Three mature animals were seen on Friday 3 February basking in the sunshine, this after a couple of days of mild weather.  They were well hidden amongst the bracken and leaf litter and test the skills of the experienced naturalist to locate their likely location.   Will this be an early season or will inclement weather cause them to retreat underground again?  Image: Martin Warne.

Raptors have been showing well for those prepared to put in the hours and legwork, with some superb views to be had.


Peregrine (above) and Merlin (below) Images: Martin Warne


Advance notification of our Annual Meeting

Friday 31st March 2016 (Thorne)

Speakers include Lucy Ryan (York University) who enthused, enthralled and educated us last year with the initial findings from her tagging of Thorne & Hatfield Nightjars.  We are delighted that Lucy has agreed to come back and provide us with an update.

Further details to be confirmed include a second speaker, the venue and timings.

There is no charge for people who work with the Forum but donations would be most welcome and will be used to support the tagging and research being undertaken by Lucy (tags are expensive and thus far have only had a 50% recovery rate, which is actually considered pretty good).

Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact

Other events involving the Forum include:

Peatlands for Birds is another in the series of Wilder Visions Conferences organised by Dr Ian D Rotherham and his team.  6-8 September 2017, Sheffield.  More information is available by clicking here.

The Yorkshire Naturalist’s Union Annual Conference Yorkshire’s natural history societies – for naturalists, for nature, for the future is being held in York on Saturday 8 April 2017.  For more information including details of charges and booking form click here.  The Forum have been asked to present their work and involvement with the safeguarding of Inkle Moor as a case study, so come along and discover more about the hidden gem of a forgotten fen.

Those readers interested in butterflies and moths might like to consider purchasing a copy of Ron Moat’s magnus opus?  Available at £7.  176 pp including 42 colour plates of species recorded from Thorne Moors.  Copies can be purchased from the Thorne Times office in Thorne or contact about postal copies (postage charged at cost). Copies will also be available to purchase at the Annual Meeting (details above).



‘Moff’ matters including a new publication.

June 17, 2016

The Executive are delighted to announce the forthcoming Technical Report No.20.  This latest, A5 sized publication, comprises 180 pages, including 22 in full colour.  It also contains a map with areas mentioned plotted on.  In addition to the checklist the TR contains an informative paper by Colin Howes on the historic ‘moth-hunters’ of Thorne Moors.

Moat Front Cover

This volume will be a limited print run and in order for the Executive to try to gauge the level of interest, we are asking people to contact us to register an expression of interest.  The publication will cost no more than £8, postage will be at cost and is estimated to be in the region of £2.

To register an expression of interest in TR20 please email 

Four go ‘moffin’

The weather seemed to have improved a little recently, certainly for those interested in observing and recording the wildlife interest of the Humberhead Levels.  So an intrepid team of four ‘moffers’ headed for a piece of fenland to see what they could record.

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Three MV lights and an Actinic produced some 64 species of moth.  It is widely acknowledged that MV lights generally attract the greater volume and diversity of species but it is always useful to have an actinic present as they can attract different species which prefer the actinic light spectrum rather than that emitted by Mercury Vapour (MV) lamps.  The presence of a Queen Hornet as we opened the actinic at the end of the evening saw caution applied as we also extracted a beautiful Elephant Hawk Moth amongst an assortment of other species.  Maiden’s Blush was perhaps the night’s best moth in terms of rarity.  This species despite extensive recording on Thorne Moors was not trapped on the site until July 2014.  It was known on Hatfield Moors from Geo. Hyde’s time and more recently includes two recorded last year in August (2015).

Mothing doesn’t have to be a nocturnal activity there are species to be observed in the day time.  Common and Lattice Heath along with Emperor Moth are commonly enough encountered.  This tiny longhorn moth was spotted on a much maligned nettle and would appear to be an uncommon record, or simply one not reported very often?

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Cauchas fibulella on nettle.  Image: Martin Warne.

Get out there, see what you can add to the various ‘inventories’ of the invertebrates of the Humberhead Levels.  Drop us a line, share your images and become part of the network which places importance and value on the wildlife of these special local ‘wildernesses’.



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Mark Avery

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I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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