Sunday, 27 July 2014

Michaelstone-y-fedw - 27 July

I had a quick look around Michaelstone-y-fedw this morning to see what butterflies might be about in this less-well recorded part of the county.  Mostly usual fair, but a couple more Essex Skippers.  Also,     Small Copper; Common Blue x8; Green-veined White x3; Gatekeeper x10; MeadowBrown x12; plenty of Small and Large White; and, Small Skipper x8 - a phew photographs follow for comparison with yesterday's Essex Skipper.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Big Butterfly Count - 26 July, Ochrwyth

Took part in the National Big Butterfly Count survey today and recorded 56 butterflies of nine species during the 15 minutes - best year to date.  It's easy to take part in the survey and it's running up to 10 August - full details at:

Given Kevin's recent posts, I had a close look at the Skippers and amongst the Small Skippers were x2 Essex Skippers.

Lower Ochrwyth - 24 July

MV run for a couple hours on Thursday night attracted 123 moths of 63 species.  Plenty NFY including those shown below.  Also, Common & Satin Lutestring, Blue bordered Carpet, Rosy Footman, Purple Thorn, Coronet, Black Arches, Oak Hook-tip, Clouded Magpie, and Canary Shouldered-thorn.
Photographs: Scallop Shell, Ruby Tiger, Scarce Footman and Mottled Beauty f.conversaria.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Wentlooge Level, 25th July

Today I spent 5 hours cycling along the Wentlooge Level to Cardiff and back looking for Small Ranunculus larvae and Essex Skippers. On Monday I had found at least 30 Essex Skippers on a small area of the Gaer Fort, west Newport, so I was interested in seeing how far they had spread west. I looked in Duffryn for Essex Skipper, with no success, but found 120 Small Ranunculus larvae on prickly lettuce growing on both sides of the Cuckoo Bridge over the South Wales mainline. The work to raise the bridge in preparation for the electrification of the line had created perfect habitat for the prickly lettuce to grow, There were hundreds of plants.
Just west of St Brides I caught a skipper which turned out to be a Small Skipper, but a bit further on I found another 13 Small Ranunculus larvae in the car park for a petting-farm.
 I carried on to Peterstone, but there was less suitable habitat than I had imagined along the road-side with some verges/reen banks flailed and many "commons" fly-grazed with very sad looking horses and ponies. I decided to push on to where I knew there was excellent habitat at Lamby Way Fishing Lake. When I got there I was impressed with the amount of flower rich grassland, with lots of knapweed, tufted vetch, teasel and fleabane. I soon caught a skipper which turned out to be an Essex. All together I caught/saw 8 Essex Skippers around the lake. There were also plenty of Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Six-spot Burnets and a couple of Shaded Broad Bars. It would be well worth running a moth trap here with plenty of reedbed, scrub, ruderal  and grassland.
 Having found Essex right on the Monmouthshire border with Glamorgan, I couldn't turn back without crossing the border (the River Rummney) and trying to find it in Glamorgan. I followed the Wales Coast Path across and along the Rummney and searched in the few patches of suitable looking habitat, but eventually gave up and turned back. Then, just before joining the road back through all the industrial estates and caravan parks that pass for the Cardiff end of the Gwent Levels, I noticed the massive central reservation on the dual carriage-way. Once I had managed to reach it, I found 4 Essex Skippers.
On the way back I searched in a couple of suitable looking places and managed to find just one Essex Skipper, just east of Peterstone. I'm sure a walk along the Wales Coast Path (ie along the sea-wall)between Duffryn and Cardiff would fill in many of the gaps in the Essex Skippers' distribution.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Uskmouth Butterfly Transect 22nd July 2014

Sheila carried out the transect and recorded over 400 butterflies: 254 Gatekeeper, 83 Meadow Brown, 53 Green-veined White, 27 Large white, 20 Small White, 19 Ringlet, 18 Speckled Wood, 17 Essex Skipper, 9 Peacock, 6 Common Blue, 6 Six-spot Burnet, 3 Shaded Broad Bar, 2 Red Admiral, and 1 Comma. The total number of individuals recorded for the year is now 3,028.
Today I saw 3 Painted Ladies at Goldcliff.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lighthouse Park

Highlight from last nights sheet & tubes 51 species garden session this Lunar-spotted Pinion.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Lighthouse Park

3 hours with the sheet & tubes again last night 70 moths 37 species Small Rivulet, Yellow Shell & this Southern Wainscot NFY.

Uskmouth Butterfly Transect July 15th

Sheila walked the transect accompanied by 2 work experience placements, Kieran and Katherine. They saw 184 Gatekeeper, 150 Meadow Brown, 46 Small White, 82 Ringlet, 46 Speckled Wood, 18 Peacock, 14 Large White, 12 Green-veined White, 10 Red Admiral, 6 Comma, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Essex Skipper and 2 small Skipper, 2 Six-spot Burnet and 1 scarlet tiger.
Also, this week on the Reserve, I have seen a Holly Blue, a Marbled White and a 2nd brood Common Blue.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Lighthouse Park

Had 3 hours last night with sheet & tubes. 105 of 52 species 7 NFY inc Twin-spotted Wainscot, Small Rufous, Sycamore, LBbYU, Marbled Beauty, Copper Underwing & Slender Brindle.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Imperial Park

A few NFY's under the works flood lights tonight while on my coffee breaks. Pebble Hook-tip, Nut-tree Tussock & Black Arches

Monday, 14 July 2014

Redhouse Barns, 13th July

After trapping here for over 14 years, it was great to get a new Reserve record: Beautiful Snout. There were also 5 Elephant Hawkmoths, a Rosy Footman, a Grey/Dark Dagger, 2 Drinkers, numerous Common Footman, several Dingy Footman and Vine's Rustics.

Lighthouse Park

Ran 4×30w actinic tubes on a sheet for 2 hours last night 74 moths of 33 species highlights were 11 Drinker.... NFY this Dun-bar & Marbled Green.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Lighthouse Park

Last night trap & sheet gave up 150 moths of 62 species NFY were Lychnis & an early Canary shouldered Thorn pick of the micro's was this Catoptia margaritella.

Seaview Moths, St Brides Wentlooge

10th July
Last night's trapping produced another bumper harvest of moths, we identified 115 moths from 42 species and I have to confess that there were also quite a few escapes, especially micro-moths.
We were delighted to see another rosy footman and swallow tailed moth, there were five elephant hawkmoths, the most we have trapped at one go.
We think this is a crescent moth, a new species for us.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Seaview, St Brides Wentlooge

July 7th

Last night's trapping came to an abrupt end after three hours due to a torrential downpour!
Nevertheless there were 79 moths from 28 species in the trap. Highlights included a Lime hawkmoth and a Swallow- tailed moth, also an Evergestis pallidata.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Hummingbird Hawk Moths

Had several sightings of these lovely moths in a garden in Rhiwderin over the past week feeding on English Lavender.  Most recent sighting 6th July, 18:15pm.

Lighthouse Park

Ran the actinic in the garden twice over the weekend 238 moths of 78 species highlights were Garden Tiger, Gothic, Antler Moth & Vapourer.

Seaview, St Brides Wentlooge

5th July.

We have had some excellent moth trapping evenings this season. Last night was no exception with 83 moths from 35 species in our Robinson trap.

The highlight for us was a Rosy footman which we have not caught before.  Two garden tigers, a poplar hawkmoth and three elephant hawkmoths contributed to the drama and we trapped a Dark sword grass for the second time in a week.Very pleasing!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Cwm y nant, Ochyrwyth

Nothing spectacular but a pleasant walk on Wednesday evening produced: 6 spot Burnet, NB 5 spot Burnet, Cinnabar, Silver Y, x30+ Meadow Brown, x2 Ringlet, x2 Small Tortoiseshell and Large Skipper.

Caerwent trapping session cancelled, due to the expected heavy rain.

As usual with National Moth Night, the weather is rubbish after 2 weeks of perfect mothing weather! Martin has emailed everybody who booked for MOD Caerwent, but I thought I'd post this incase.

Redhouse Barns, Goldcliff 3rd July - National Moth Night, Day One.

I ran the MV and recorded 40 species, including 10 elephant hawks, 1 magpie, 1 silver-Y, 1 double-lobed, 1 July high-flyer, 3 grey/dark dagger, 1 peppered, 2 rosy footmen and the stunning micro Catoptria pinella.

For the 1st time I up-loaded the records to the Moth Night website (accessed via the Atropos website). I was amazed how quick it was to do. Once you entered your details into the 1st line of records it defaults to these for each subsequent record. Once you've typed in a few letters of each common name it predicts the rest or gives you a couple of options to pick from. So quick and worth doing, to take part in the World's biggest moth survey.

Catoptria pinella

Double Lobed

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Uskmouth Foreshore 2nd July

I put out an actinic Skinner type trap at the foot of the sea-wall and informed the Coast Guard.
This morning there were 12 lackey's, 2 mottled rustics, a drinker, 1 brown-tail, 1 brown-veined wainscot, 3 obscure wainscots, 2 smokey wainscots, 1 common wainscot, 1 silky wainscot and 1 garden tiger.

Brown-veined Wainscot

Reddish Light Arches (from Redhouse Barns on 26th June)
Its been pointed out that this moth is actually a clouded-bordered brindle


Wednesday, 2 July 2014


From under the works lights on the night shifts in my coffee breaks this week gave NFY  Drinker, Scalloped Oak & Lobster Moth.

Its a draw - Scarlet Tigers 9 - Narrow-bordered five-spot burnets 9

Uskmouth Butterfly Transect 1st July

Sheila is back doing the transect and this week she recorded 11 species of butterfly and 3 species of moth. Meadow Brown topped the table with 111, closely followed by Ringlet with 80. Speckled Woods were 3rd with 12, Green-veined Whites 8, Small Skipper 6, Large Whites 5, Large Skipper 3, Red Admiral 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Small White 1 and the 1st Gate Keeper of the year.
Moths seen were: Scarlet Tiger 9, NB5S Burnet 8 and Yellow shell 2.