Buckle Wood, Chapel Hill
80 minutes, 106 moths of 4 species, 87 Spring Usher!
Took a chance this evening to venture out into the woods today. It was very mild this evening for February remaining around 11c throughout, so I was hopeful I could encounter a few moths.
Showers were forecast for the early hours of Monday 3rd and they duly arrived quite heavy but I had an opportunity to run the light-trap for a good 4 hours at a few locations prior to this warning.
A potential issue was the wind which was gusting at times from the south, however, getting to the site I quickly made up my mind it could work here.
Setting up I did place a few stones on the ground sheet for it was needed especially at the start of the evening before things calmed down a little later.
Almost immediately moths arrived in the form of Tortricodes alternella (15) and then a Chestnut- the only one of the night.
I managed to capture one that arrived on the ground sheet, a Spring Usher. Then another flew past me followed by two more. These moths seemed to be appearing in good numbers. I say good numbers because I already was approaching my best total of this species- totalling 6, as I had had at any trap site before.
They kept coming over the next hour with 3 Pale Brindled Beauty's mixed amongst them. The ground surrounding the trap appeared to be alive with moths and I had to be careful where I placed my feet.
The ground sheet itself became peppered with Spring Usher moths, the light and the trap itself hosted many resting up at different angles vying for space. It turned out an exceptional night for this species with the warmth and timing playing an important factor in the numbers I believe.
A total of 5 only were in the trap box and 82 were outside for the stats.
I know for sure if I had remained there for another 20-30 minutes I would have had over 100 of this species, which is extraordinary. A night to remember for a long time for me!