Sunday, 31 May 2015

23rd May
Daytime weather: Sunny spells, light winds and warmer.

A nice bright sunny start with light winds, heralded a much warmer day, in fact it was to be the first time that the temperature would reach over 20c this year.
I just had to get out there and do a bit of butterfly recording for the county.

As most of us know when looking for butterflies moths often turn up from time to time whilst rummaging away amongst undergrowth when walking a site. This was the case today.
I managed to disturb a Speckled Yellow (sorry no picture) which did a complete circle around me and shot away out of reach of my camera.
I was about to leave site when a second moth came into view, a small micro.
I paused and thought, shall I try to obtain a picture or not because sometimes they can be difficult.
I decided to take the challenge and test my patience.
Having got a few pictures it seems well worth it because Sam has told me that we have an Eucosma aspidiscana (Golden-rod Bell) on view.

My first for this year and a bit of a rarity in the county.

23rd May, Chepstow
Weather: Partly cloudy, mostly calm.
Overnight  low 12.5 celsius

On your marks 'Argents'
Sam Bosanquet has recently informed me that this species is a completely new one to Vice County 35.
I read that it belongs to the Argyresthiidae family of micro moths which consists of no less than 25 species.
A few are listed as quite common but several are classified as local and two scarce.

This one called Argyresthia trifasciata, or common name 'Triple-barred Argent' is local.
It or they, were both very nearly overlooked.
Just as I had completed looking at the egg boxes I saw the first one fly down onto the lawn. Luckily I managed to coax it into a moth pot. The second one was found by pure chance when as I was about to pick up the moth trap. It was perched upon a corner bracket.
Both were quite co-operative in allowing me pictures which was convenient as they are difficult to photograph due to size.
It's food plant Cypress is just 10-15 feet away in a bank of several trees.
Just for the record!.....Seriously I did not place the moths on the sheet like this, they actually lined as if on starting orders, hence the headline.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lighthouse Park

Ran the 120w actinic last night 26/5. Clear & 10° so was a bit optimistic but moths started dropping in around 2230.
31 moths of 23 species by 0200. NFY were as follows
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Light Emerald
Willow Beauty
Marbled Minor agg
Clouded Silver
Clouded Border
Freyer's Pug

Then the star of the night was pulled from the trap

This Toadflax Brocade.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Abertysswg - 26 May

I visited the north west of the county this afternoon specifically the reclaimed colliery spoil near Abertysswg Farm.  Similar habitat to Bedwas and therefore similar species: Common Blue x8, Small Heath x3, Peacock, GV White, Large White, Small Copper, Dingy Skipper and a very worn Painted Lady.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Bedwas - 16 May

A visit to the old colliery spoil at Bedwas today was very productive for butterflies with 7 species in all and good numbers of Dingy Skipper.  Also a few moths including first migrant Silver Y:

Dingy Skipper x26; Common Blue x17; Peacock x6; Small Heath x5; Small Copper x2;
Green-veined White x1; Large White x1
Cinnabar; Silver Y; Mint Moth

Small Copper
Small Copper

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Slade Wood today

Singles of Grizzled Skipper and Painted Lady, as well as an unexpected Hummingbird Hawk (which, as usual, failed to hang around for a photo). There were also a few individuals of the rare tortricid moth Eucosma aspidiscana in the quarry. The foodplant for this species is Goldenrod, which abounds at the site.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Pyrausta nigrata at Caerwent

I visited MoD Caerwent today with Martin and Roger. Plenty of nice butterflies and moths including Drab Looper and Grizzled Skipper in reasonable numbers (though undoubtedly still to peak), plus a few Dingy Skipper and a single Brown Argus. Most exciting for all three of us, though, was the handsome micro-moth Pyrausta nigrata. We saw 3 of these in a small area of grassland, exactly where Martin and Sam B had seen them back in 2004. Caerwent is the only known site for this species in Gwent, and it is very rare in Wales generally.
Pyrausta nigrata

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Pantside Community Woodland Park - 10 May

Revisited the Pantside Community Woodland Park at Newbridge today.  Not a great deal about: Peacock, Orange-tip x6 (female and male below); Green-veined White x2; and, Treble-bar x3.

Lighthouse Park

Designed & built a new DIY trap a Robinson style 4 x 30w actinic. Ran it last night 9th May 8 moths of 7 species NFY were Oak Hook-tip, Pale Tussock, Common Wave & Dog's Tooth. Still slow in the garden but it can only improve over the next few weeks.
DIY 4x30w actinic

Pale Tussock

Dog's Tooth


Friday, 8 May 2015

Abergavenny 7th May 2015

Forgot to post last few trapping details but ran our MV trap last night and identified :
Brimstone 2
Buff-tip 1
Flame Carpet 2
Flame Shoulder 3
Hebrew Character 2
Lime Hawkmoth 2
Nut-tree Tussock 2
Poplar Hawkmoth 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 4

Mike and Val