Friday, 29 April 2016


24th April
Frosted Green
Conditions: Dry, early cloud clearing and becoming cold later.

A quiet evening with little wind to speak and clearing skies.
Few moths around at first but becoming busier.
Enticed 28 moths to the moth trap numbering 13 species.

Great Prominent

The list included:

Small Quaker 2
Twin-spotted Quaker 1
Common Quaker 3
Early Grey 1
Early Tooth-striped 2
Engrailed 1
Hebrew Character 1
Clouded Drab 7
Frosted Green 5
Lunar Marbled Brown 1
Great Prominent 1

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella

and a single of the micro
Dyseriocrania subpurpurella (Common Oak Purple) pictured to the left which was confirmed by Sam Bosanquet.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


21st April
Conditions: Breezy, generally dry with just sporadic spots of rain.

Expected to have encountered a few showers but thankfully they stayed away.
The evening was breezy but the site was quite sheltered which helped eleviate any issues regarding anchoring anything down!
In the few hours I was there I recorded 14 moths of 7 species with two species completly new to me.
The list included Common Quaker-5, Hebrew Character-3, Lunar Marbled Brown-2, with one each of... Shoulder Stripe, Dotted Chestnut, Scorched Carpet and the micro Brindled Flat-body (Agonopterix arenella).

Brindled Flat-body (Agonopterix arenella)

Dotted Chestnut

Lunar Marbled Brown
Scorched Carpet

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Lighthouse Park

Moth numbers in the trap are starting to pick up a bit now (a little bit that is).

Have ran the trap at home 13 times so far this month for 94 moths of 21 species. Am still down 18 species on this time last year.

NFY this month so far are

Brimstone moth 11/4
Water Carpet 12/4
Streamer 13/4
Pale Prominent 14/4
Oak-tree Pug 21/4
Grey Shouldered-knot 21/4
Engrailed 22/4
Pine Beauty 23/4

Friday, 22 April 2016

Redhouse Barns, 21st April
I ran the MV and this morning recorded just 7 moths of 4 species. 4 common Quaker, a clouded drab, a Hewbrew character and a shoulder stripe.

Shoulder Stripe

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Butterflies at Uskmouth

A few more butterflies today. Nectaring on sallow at Uskmouth were 2 peacocks and a small tortoiseshell. A female brimstone was flying against the easterly wind. Also a few small and large whites about. Still no orange-tips though, can't be long now. I did the butterfly transect on Sunday and only saw 3 peacocks and one small white, despite the 100% sunshine and hardly a breeze.

Peacock on sallow blossom

Its hard to believe that this butterfly must be at least 7 - 8 months old.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Redhouse Barns, 14th April

I repaired the rain-guard and ran the MV. This morning I recorded just 6 species: 2 powdered Quaker, 5 common Quaker, 1 clouded drab, 4 Hewbrew character, 2 streamers and the Pyralid, Scoparia ambigualis.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Redhouse Barns, 11th April

I ran the MV overnight and in the morning recorded just 7 species. Powdered Quaker, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hewbrew Character, Angle Shades, Epiphyas postvittana and a Dotted Chestnut.

Dotted Chestnut
I was lucky to find this as it was clinging on to the underneath of the trap. Last week I was lucky to spot a Pale Pinion that was outside the trap on a lump of concrete I use to weight down a bowl I use to cover my electrics.

Pale Pinion

Saturday, 9 April 2016

1st April
Near Highmoor Hill

Barred Tooth-striped
A first for Vice County 35 and for Wales
I thought I would conduct only my 3rd trap this year at a new location near Highmoor Hill.
The weather forecast was expected to keep dry in this area although the patchy rain band was not too far away out the west.
Winds were quite strong into the evening with gusts but the woodland offered some shelter.
I didn't expect too many moths to turn up as it then began to rain later but was happy and determined to get a few trapping hours in to get back into the swing of things after the winter period, so I carried on and 'toughed' it out.
Luckily I brought along an umbrella to cover the trap to fend off the rain although when I left the scene for a few moments the wind had other ideas prising it away to send it cartwheeling across the ground several times.

By the end of the evening I was pleased with the haul considering the conditions; 26 moths of 11 species with quite a few Clouded Drab and Common Quaker about.
The list included Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Clouded Drab, Early Grey, Hebrew Character, a nice Pine Beauty, Early Thorn, a Twin-spotted Quaker and March Moth both of which I was happy with, plus two unknowns.

I just jotted down November Moth? and Carpet on my pad having absolutely no idea as to what they were.
Getting back home I downloaded the pictures and tried matching them on the Norfolk site.... and there they were, two types of  'Tooth-striped' Moth an 'Early and Barred'.
Suddenly looking at the details I saw National Scarce A underneath the 'Barred' and alarm bells went off!

I immediately sent the pictures to Martin Anthony in the early hours who then upon receipt said he hadn't seen one before so he had to get it confirmed.
Not too long after Mark Parsons from Butterfly Conservation in Dorset confirmed it as a Barred Tooth-striped moth, making this the first sighting of one of these species in Vice county 35 and indeed the whole of Wales.

Early Tooth-striped (top) and Barred Tooth-striped below


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

25th March

Chepstow Park Wood

Did somebody mention a newt?

Moth trapping as well-seasoned trappers know, can and often attracts other forms of insects.
Caddis Fly, Cockchafer, Wasps, Bees, dangerous Hornets, Fly's and as I've now found out small invertebrates.
The 7 species of moth that arrived are always of interest but as Sam mentioned on the previous post, one can be distracted by the unexpected in the 'field'.
I believe this might be a Smooth Newt which turned up on this trapping session.
I had just gone to get myself a coffee and upon my return this guy turned up upon the sheet.
It was fascinated by the light and I have to say I was equally fascinated by it. I thought at first it was a Common Lizard but the webbed feet and slow deliberate forward movements ruled that out.
If somebody could enlighten me as to what it is it would appreciated, thanks. It has been (excuse the pun) bugging me for some time and as Sam has mentioned it I thought I would ask the question.


A soggy night at Dingestow Court

With southerly winds promised I trapped on Sunday night (3/4/16), but there was much more rain than forecast and the sheet around my MV was sodden when I checked the trap.  When I lifted a fold in the sheet I was surprised to find a female Smooth Newt hiding underneath, presumably it had been munching on some of the smaller insects that had come to the trap. 

Even better was a gigantic water beetle sitting on the sheet.  I very nearly recorded it as the common Dytiscus marginatus (Great Diving Beetle) because I wasn't aware of any other 3cm long species, but sense prevailed and I checked it in the book.  It was something much better: Dytiscus circumflexus (Tiger Diving Beetle) identified by its long coxal processed (spiky bits underneath), tiger-striped belly and metallic green elytra.  It is mostly found in brackish habitats and the only Welsh records are from the Levels (Gwent, Glamorgan & Llanelli), Anglesey and coastal Denbighshire, so my one presumably flew up here from the Newport area!

After such excitement, the 9 species of moth were a bit of a sideshow.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Seaview Moths 4th April

Despite the showers we trapped last night and caught 26 moths from 5 species (common drab, hebrew character, common quaker, twin spot quaker and early thorn), all common but a cheerful start to the season.