Sunday, 29 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyth - 28 July

During the day a spot of gardening uncovered a Rosy Footman and a Gothic, the latter being NFY.  Come the evening I set the MV but it was very much cooler and the lower temperature combined with a few showers meant the catch was much lower than of late, with just 53 moths of 30 species.  There were two NFY: Tinea semifulvella and a Clouded Border.   Otherwise, the usual fair but also Dark-barred and Red Twin-spot Carpets, Scarce Footman and Drinker.  

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Saving the best til last - Newport Wetlands 26th July

I trapped an amazing 76 species at Redhouse Barns on the night of 26th July. When I arrived at the trap at 8am the following morning, I could see there were a lot of moths in the trap and many of them were flying about, despite the fact that the trap was in the shade and it was quite cool. I knew I wouldn't be able to sort through the trap in the short amount of time before I had to give a guided tour of the reserve, so I covered the trap with a white sheet and put it where I knew it would stay in the shade all day.
I went to look at the trap again at about 3pm and could see that a lot of moths were flying about and some had even crawled out from under the sheet. I decided to check the trap indoors, something I don't normally do, because I knew that lots of moths would escape otherwise. I hate it when that happens, as I always think, "there goes the rare one"!
It took me at least an hour to short through the trap and then another half hour to try to catch all the moths that had flown out. New for the year (NFY) at this site were: grey/dark dagger, August thorn, dingy footman, small blood-vein (3), scarce footman, cabbage, double kidney (3), oak hook-tip, herald, pebble prominent, ruby tiger, olive, least yellow underwing, peach blossom, small rufous (2), and yellow shell. The catch also include 2 elephant hawks, a poplar hawk and 4 rosy footman.
I was about to leave, when I noticed yet another common footman on the window needing to be let out. As I leaned over to open the window I noticed a small Geometrid sat on the window frame. I potted it and immediately thought "Brussels Lace"!!! I had caught one of these over 6 years ago on the night before our annual Open Day. As it was the first time I had seen the species I had potted it to ID later. During the hectic day, I somehow got a few minutes to flick through Skinner and ID it. As it was a hot day I immediately let it go, not realising that it would have been a Vice County 1st! Of course I was gutted, especially as I had recently done the same thing with a mullein wave and rosy wave.

Brussels Lace
I spent quite a bit of time trying to catch another Brussels Lace. The caterpillars feed on lichens growing on trees such as blackthorn, so I set actinic traps in rides through dense blackthorn thickets that  were covered in lichen, but to no avail.
This one could easily have got away too, as I had opened and shut the window numerous times to let moths out and had even left the windows open for a few minutes, luckily it must have just sat there on the frame.

Brussels Lace

Friday, 27 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyth - 25 July

A bit late in posting, but Wednesday night produced the highest catch of the year so far and I only ran the trap until 1.30am!  There were 226 moths of 68 species.  NFY were: Sallow Kitten, Hypsopygia glaucinalis, Slender Brindle, Yellow Shell, Wormwood Pug, Argyresthia brockeela, Shaded Broad-bar, Scarce Footman, Dun-Bar, Apotomis betuletana, Codling Moth and Aethes rubigana (not shown on distribution map for Gwent in the new Micro book, but SB recorded it first back in 2000).  

Aethes rubigana

Sallow Kitten

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Nights with White Satin

On 24th July I ran 3 traps at Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve. I ran an 80watt Robinson trap on the rear veranda of the Visitor Centre, Uskmouth Reedbeds. Only 25 species, but sometimes its quality not quantity that you want. The 'best' moth was a stunning, white satin:

White Satin Moth

This is only the second one I have ever seen in 18 years of mothing. It is also a Newport Wetlands 1st and only the 2nd one for Newport. The 1st time I saw this moth was in July 2003 at Pencoed Reen, Duffryn, Newport. When I checked the date with Roger James, Newport Moth Recorder, I was amazed that it was 9 years ago that he and I trapped this moth together. I would have sworn that it was 4 or 5 years ago.
Other notable moths were: silky wainscot (2), brown-veined wainscot (2), small wainscot, pinion streaked snout and round-winged muslin. There were also 9 drinker, including one female.
At Redhouse Barns I ran the usual 125watt Robinson and  recorded 40 species, including Elephant Hawk (2), lunar-spotted pinion, brown-tail (2), coronet, short-cloaked (3) and sharp-angled carpet (2). Perhaps the most significant of these are the 2 brown-tail. I first recorded this species in VC35 in 2010 with a single adult. A larval web was found the next year on the Gwent Levels to confirm breeding.


The final trap was a 15watt, Skinner type Actinic trap which was set up in bird-ringers ride in one of the reedbeds. Only 7 species: drinker (13), silky wainscot (12), dark arches, Agapeta hamana, southern wainscot (7), smokey wainscot (2) and brown-veined wainscot. There were a few drinker eggs on the egg boxes, which seemed strange as there was no female drinker. It wasn't until I took the trap apart that a female drinker flopped down from where she had been hanging under-neath the wooden batton that supports the Actinic tube.
The whole point of running the 3 traps (although I probably would have run 2 anyway) was to show people the moths at the "Moths in the morning" event on the 25th. 12 people turned up and again, it was quality not quantity that counted. They were all really interested, enthusiatic people. On the walk which was part of the event, we only caught 3 moths, but none of these had come to any of the 3 traps the night before. They were: 6-spot burnet, shaded-broad bar and a latticed heath. We also saw some cinnabar caterpillars.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyth - 24 July

Didn't set the MV trap but nevertheless x2 Dingy Footman and a Pinion-streaked Snout (NFY) turned up on the outside lamp.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyth - 23 July

Short session with MV last night produced 80 moths of 46 species.  NFY included Small Phoenix, Rosy Footman, Grey Dagger, Lesser B-b Yellow Underwing, Drinker and Common Plume. There were also, Ghost Moth (x2), Elephant H/Moth, Satin Lutestring (x2) and Small Yellow Wave.

Gaer Fort 22nd July
I went 'dusking' over the Golla's on Sunday night. After 20 mins and catching nothing but a snout and 3 smokey wainscots I finally caught a sharp angled carpet to photograph. Taking a photograph took considerably longer, as Geometrids aren't known for sitting with their wings out, prefering to hold them clasped tightly over the body. Eventually I got a "blinding" photo:

Tonight I have 3 traps out at Newport Wetlands for "Moths in the morning" event. Weather is near perfect tonight - lucky as I chose the date about 6 months ago.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyh - 21 July

Best night of the year so far. MV produced 189 moths of 66 species (might be a few more - if I can find the escapees!).  A number of NFY: Beautiful Hook-tip, Clouded Border, Argyresthia goedartella, Dioryctria abietella, Anania coronata, Small Dotted Buff, Pammene aurana, Mother of Pearl, Burnished Brass, Coxcomb Prominent, Miller, July Highflyer, Swallowtail, Lesser Wax Moth and Bird-cherry Ermine.  

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Gaer Fort, Newport. 20th July. No ghost moths or ghosts.
3 generations of Larval Web ran an MV over the Golla's (local name for Gaer Fort, derived from "Golf links"). Soon after setting up the generator and trap at about 10pm, a local family (3 generations) came along walking their dog and toddler! They asked what we were doing and I said "guess". The man said "trying to attract ghosts?" I said "yes, how did you guess?" They said they had seen lots of ghosts and had loads of photos, but nobody believed them!
Surprisingly, no ghost moths came to the trap. We only stayed til about 11.30pm. Only 12 species, but these included an antler moth and 5 sharp-angled carpets. Unfortunately, I didn't have my "Macro moths of Vice County 35" list or a camera. Looking at the list today, it says that a photo is required as sharp-angled carpet is "uncommon", so this won't be accepted as a record. Lesson - always have the list and always have a camera. I'll be going back over the Golla's on Sunday night to try to catch some more sharp-angled carpets, luckily its only 100m from my house.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyth - 19 July

It was a bit windy last night, but nevertheless the MV yielded 39 moths of 27 species including the female Ghost Moth above and Antler Moth, both NFY.  Otherwise Slender Brindle, Satin Lutestring, Scalloped Oak, Buff Arches and the then the usual fair.  
Public Mothing Event:
Moths in the Morning
Wednesday 25th July
9.45am - 12pm
Come to Newport Wetlands Visitor Centre to see the moths that came to the moth trap put out the previous night. Then go on a leisurly walk to see day flying moths.
Leader: Kevin Dupé, Reserve Manager
Free event run by Monmouthshire Moth & Butterfly Group and the Countryside Council for Wales.
To get to this event by bus, catch the 9am Number 63 bus from Newport Bus Station.
Newport Wetlands 19th July
Quite a good catch at Redhouse Barns, Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve, on the night of 19th July. Total of 33 species, including: 1 small dotted buff, 1 rosy footman, 6 common footman, 1 poplar hawk, 1 cloaked minor, 1 middle-barred minor, 1 scalloped oak, 3 short-cloaked moth, 1 elephant hawk, 6 silver-y, 2 early thorn, 2 burnished brass and 1 spectacle. Also, my first adult drinker of the year - nice to see after finding numerous larva earlier in the year.
Rosy footman are one of my favourite moths:

 Rosy Footman

Small dotted buff requires a photo for verification, so here it is:

Small Dotted Buff

Tonight I hope to run an MV trap over the Gaer Fort - depending on the weather.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

July 17th Duffryn, Newport
I ran a trap in a garden on the edge of Duffryn, just off Morgan Way. The garden is backed by woodland with a lot of elms, ash and a few mature oak. Blackwall Reen is nearby. I used to trap regularly here about 7 and 8 years ago and had caught some really nice species. I wanted to trap here again because on the 18th I was working at Duffryn High School for their Eco Day and wanted to take a moth trap along to show the pupils what moths were flying locally.
On the morning of the 18th I went to check the trap. Catch included 2 poplar hawks, double lobed, yellow-tail, bee moth, engrailed, buff ermine, white ermine, beautiful hook-tip, buff arches, large yellow underwing and the usual suspects for this time of year. Not a brilliant catch, but enough to to impress the kids - especially the poplar hawk.
Running trap tonight (19th) at Newport Wetlands, fingers crossed......

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Newport Wetlands Reserve - July

This female scarlet tiger was on the north facing side of Redhouse Barns, low down. I think she had just emerged - hence the raised wings - trying to dry them from emerging or just the continual rain? 

She was still in the same place the next day, so we transported her to Uskmouth where she had much more chance of attracting a mate. I think she must have been brought to Redhouse from Uskmouth as a caterpillar on a vehicle or trailer last summer and had then pupated. Soon after this I saw over 20 scarlet tigers flying together near the sea wall, adjacent to the most south easterly reedbed. Coming to the end of the flight season now. The hot sunny days I associate with this species have been very few and far between.
Kevin Dupė

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Lower Ochrwyth - 14 July

MV produced 49 moths of 23 species.  NFY were Crambus pascuella, Eucosma campoliliana, Clepsis consimilana and Scalloped Oak (2).  

Eucosma campoliliana

                                         Scalloped Oak