Sunday, 29 September 2019

The 'unequalled' Blue Underwing - Catocala fraxini

Here is a photo of the second VC record from Robinson light trap at Great Crwys, The Hendre, 21st September 2019 -  I'm still on a high!
Apols for late post - only just signed up.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Something Blue x 2

Hazel Mitchell recorded her first ever Clifden Nonpareil (Catocala fraxini), on the night of 24th September, in her garden Robinson trap in Tintern. Astonishingly, she recorded another specimen the following night, which was larger and paler than the first and less damaged, so clearly a different moth. She admitted that taking two moths could be considered a little greedy!

The first county record was taken in 2018. The 2nd record was only just taken last Saturday (21/9/19), so these constitute the 3rd and 4th county records.

C. fraxini - 25/9 (4th VC35 record)
C. fraxini - 24/9 (3rd VC35 record)
The 2nd moth was larger & paler,with no obvious damage
The 1st moth had chips along the termen & a scaleless abdomen

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Redhouse Barns 2nd September

A lot of moths last night - mostly the usual suspects. It was nice to have 2 Bordered Beauty's and 2 Feathered Gothic's though.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Bedstraw Hawkmoth at Dingestow

In late July 2019 the largest influx of Bedstraw Hawkmoths since 1973 reached Britain. These spectacular moths appear to have originated from Germany/Denmark on strong SE winds, and many of the first arrivals were along the east coast of Britain between Northumberland and Shetland. It is unclear whether 10s of subsequent sightings further south and west in Britain represent moths drifting southwards, reorientating individuals that arrived more widely during the original influx, or further migrants from continental Europe, but the scale of the immigration made this the "chance of a lifetime" (I wasn't born in 1973) to find a Bedstraw Hawkmoth at Dingestow.  Regular checking of our Nicotiana and nightly trapping with MV and Actinic failed until the night of 4th August - at 05:30 on the morning of the 5th there was a Bedstraw Hawkmoth waiting for me in my MV trap. 

Following Gwent records in the influx years of 1870 (Chepstow) and 1973 (Usk), Kevin Hewitt caught the county's third Bedstraw Hawkmoth at Blackwood on the night of 31st July. The male at the Dingestow Court MV on the night of 4th August is therefore the fourth Gwent record.


Aside from this star moth, highlights among 80+ species included a wandering Evergestis pallidata, an unusually pale/plain Dioryctria abietella, single Maiden's Blush and Small Waved Umber, and a remarkable 5 Least Yellow Underwing.

We are the Campions

Continuing excellent weather produced 300+ moths of 90+ species on both 1/8 and 2/8. Numbers of common species seem reassuringly high after the duff years of 2016 and 2017, and wandering wetland/upland species were among the local residents on both nights.
Highlights on 1/8 were another Double Lobed, a wandering Calamotropha paludella and the coastal/migrant Crocidosema plebejana (which may now be resident on our Hollyhocks).


A Campion, new for Dingestow, was star species on 2/8, although a small, grey Dichrorampha montanana was also new. Accompanying them were a Cloaked Carpet (4th Dingestow record) and the first Pyrausta despicata I have caught here since 2006. Late summer moths such as Six-striped Rustic and Canary-shouldered Thorn appeared alongside typical midsummer fare.






Thursday, 1 August 2019

And still they come...

This little wetland moth appeared in the Dingestow Court MV on 31st July. This is the first record for SO40, although Small Rufous is widespread in the south-western part of Gwent. Otherwise it was a relatively forgettable night, with a Slender Brindle and 5 Diamond-backs being perhaps the pick of the bunch.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Two nights, two new

A Double Lobed to MV at Dingestow Court on 27th July was new for the area, and I thought this was going to be star moth of the weekend. However, a mega Pine Hawkmoth was waiting for me in the trap after the night of 28th July. There is only one previous (unverified) Welsh record according to NBN: from Fishguard in Pembrokeshire in June 1982. There was a SW airflow on the night of 28th July 2019 and I suspect my Pine Hawkmoth came from continental Europe rather than England, although it's impossible to be sure.


A rich supporting cast included Narrow-winged Pug (5th Dingestow record and my first since 2007), 3 Slender Pug, 1 Slender Brindle and a Dark Swordgrass on 27/7, and Mocha, Small Waved Umber and Satin Beauty on 28/7.