Friday, 24 April 2015

Larval Webs, Uskmouth, 24th April

Today I found a number of Lackey Moth larval webs at Uskmouth. Most were on Hawthorn, but one was on Bramble. Small Eggar larval webs should be visible in the next couple of weeks, although last year I only found one. The pupae can over-winter for a variable number of years, so I'm hoping this year may be better than last.

Lackey Moth larval web

Redhouse Barns, Goldcliff, 23rd April

I ran the MV last night and this morning found only 4 Hebrew Characters and a Shuttle-shaped Dart in the trap. On the wall of the Barn though I found a Brindled Beauty, a Powdered Quaker and a Nut-tree Tussock.

Nut-tree Tussock

Powdered Quaker

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Uskmouth Butterfly Transect 22nd April

Sheila and Fiona carried out the transect on Wednesday and recorded 125 butterflies of  9 species. 41 Peacock, 21 Green-veined White,11 Orange-tip, 16 Speckled Wood, 19 Large White, 4 Commas,,,,7 Small White, 4 Holly Blue and 2 Brimstone. Surprisingly there were no Small Tortoiseshell. A Red Admiral was seen, but off the transect.
There is an interesting article in the latest British Wildlife magazine, which I received yesterday, which compares phenology records from 1899 - 1914 to those of  1999 - 2014. The average 1st sighting of small white 100 years ago was 21st April and the average 1st sighting today is..... 21st April. For Orange-tip the average 1st sighting 100 years ago was 13th May, but today it is 24th April, 19 days earlier. The difference in the 2 fairly closely related species  is possibly related to the fact that Orange-tip are single brooded while Small White are multi-brooded.
Today, 23rd April, I saw my 1st Hairy Dragonfly of the year at Goldcliff, the earliest I have ever seen one, but not that surprising, given the resent warm weather.

Imperial Park

The security lights at work have been bringing in a few moths this week while i've been working the night shift. Last night 22/4 I was out on my usual coffee break walk around the factory checking for moths under the lights,when i noticed a moth flying around under one of them.As it came lower i could clearly see it was a Emperor Moth. Pot at the ready to pot & photograph my first ever Emperor and "BANG" a bat snatched it from 10 feet beyond my reach. I was was totally "gob smacked" to see this happen at such close quarters. The only thing left was the moths wing which fluttered down & landed at my feet.
Also potted my first Buff Tip of the year & the 7th county record of Mompha epilobiella.
Emperor Moth wing
Buff Tip

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Lighthouse Park

A few NFY moths so far for April. Moth numbers around the trap & Blacklights are starting to pick up a bit now.

Double striped Pug 4/4
Early Thorn 4/4
Brindled Beauty 5/4
Pine Beauty 5/4
Brimstone Moth 6/4
Streamer 6/4
Engrailed 8/4
Brindled Pug 8/4
Agonopterix arenella 12/5
V-Pug 13/4
Nut-tree Tussock 14/4
Flame Shoulder 14/4
Pale Pinion 15/4
Pebble Prominent 16/4
Swallow Prominent 16/4
Twenty Plume 16/4
Muslin Moth 17/4
Sallow Kitten 17/4
Chocolate Tip 17/4
Muslin Moth
Nut-tree Tussock

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Lower Ochrwyth - 16 April

Two first-for-year species to outside light tonight: Brown Silver-line and Water Carpet.

What a difference a day makes!

Uskmouth Butterfly Transect take two, 16th April

As the weather today warmed up, Sheila and Fiona decided to do the transect again for this week. They recorded 87 butterflies of 8 species, over 3 times as many butterflies as yesterday.
Peacock 60, Speckled Wood 8, Large White 9, Comma 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Orange-tip 3, Holly Blue 1 and Brimstone 2.

Uskmouth Butterfly Transect 15th April

The Butterfly Monitoring Scheme transect week starts on a Wednesday this year as the 1st of April was a Wednesday. Wednesday this week was forecast as being the best day this week, but on the coast it didn't live up to expectations. The afternoon was supposed to reach 18 - 19c, but it was cold and windy. In fact the mist which had cleared at about 10am, rolled back in from the sea at about 1.30pm. Sheila and Fiona did the transect anyway, but only recorded 25 butterflies of 4 species. Peacock 19, Speckled Wood 4, Large White 1, and Small Tortoiseshell 1.
On my way home from work I saw my 1st Orange-tip of the year near Lliswerry High School and my first Holly Blue in Nash.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Lower Ochrwyth - 15 April

MV out briefly attracted: Nut-tree Tussock; Lunar Marbled Brown x2; Double-striped Pug; March Moth; Clouded Drab; Hebrew Character x2; Common Quaker x17; and, Light Brown Apple Moth.

Gwentlands Close, Chepstow.

14th April 2015

Operated moth trap last night in another part of the garden.Trapped:
4 Hebrew Character
2 Common Quaker
1 Double-stripped Pug
1 White Ermine

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Lower Ochrwyth - 10 April

I didn't set a trap last night but Square Spot at outside light, also Early Grey, Brindled Beauty and Hebrew Character.

Wednessday 8 April 2015 - Gwentlands Close, Chepstow.

First time I purchased and used a Moth Trap - an Actinic. Trapped the following:
4 Double-striped Pug
3 Common Quaker
3 Hebrew Character
1 Early Grey
1 Clouded Drab.

On the 10 April whilst completed a BBS at ST4592 (Cuhere Wood) I found a small white butterfly. Could this be early?


Uskmouth Butterfly transect 9th April

Sheila carried out the transect on Thursday afternoon and recorded 37 butterflies of 8 species: 15 Peacock, 11 Comma, 5 Brimstone, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Large White and 1 Speckled Wood. 
I can't remember seeing so many over-wintered Peacocks  in the spring - I keep seeing groups of them everywhere on the reserve. There are also good numbers of Comma, but there are far fewer Small Tortoiseshell about.
Its great that so many Brimstone were about as we planted 5 Alder Buckthorn bushes around the reedbeds about 13 years ago. Although Brimstone bred the first year they never really seemed to establish themselves. The bushes are much bigger now which will hopefully help.
I'm surprised I haven't seen any Orange-tips yet this week. I'm sure it will be any day now.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Lower Ochrwyth - 9 April

More moths about, but species numbers still not great - 54 of 9 species: Hebrew Character x7, Common Quaker x37, Small Quaker, Twin-Spotted Quaker, Clouded Drab x4, Early Grey, Early Thorn, Brindled Beauty and Pine Beauty (below).

Monday, 6 April 2015

Abergavenny 5th April 2015

We ran the MV on the 5th and identified:
9 Hebrew Character
2 Small Quaker
17 Common Quaker
6 Clouded Drab
2 Early Grey

A significant increase in number of specimens but not a lot of different species as yet!
Mike and Val

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Lower Ochrwyth - 4 April

A much milder night resulted in a better catch with 49 moths of 12 species coming to the MV:
Oak Beauty; Early Thorn; March Moth; Small Quaker x2; Common Quaker x28; Twin-spotted Quaker x3; Clouded Drab x3; Chestnut; Mottled Grey; Hebrew Character x5; Early Grey; and, Grey Shoulder Knot.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Blackvein, Crosskeys - 4 April

Glorious spring day, with plenty of Chiffchaff singing, Swallow over the house, tadpoles at Dan y graig and flowering bluebells.  Also good to see some butterflies with at least x6 Peacock, Small Tort. and Comma.  Best of all however were x2 Orange Underwing, but sadly not able to get a photograph.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Lower Ochrwyth - 2 April

A few more moths about last night, but unfortunately rain stopped play however this was not before x29 moths were trapped of x7 species: Shoulder Stripe; Hebrew Character; Oak Beauty; Clouded Drab; Small Quaker x4; Common Quaker x19; and, Diurnea fagella x2.