Saving the best til last - Newport Wetlands 26th JulyI 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.
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.