I spent a couple of sunny days in VC35 carrying out surveys for Drab Looper, among other things, on Monday and Tuesday.
At Slade Wood on Monday I failed to find any Drab Loopers, but I did find 5 larvae of Barred Tooth-striped on privet in the quarry area. This is the same area where the larvae were found last year, and again I couldn't find any in the eastern part of the wood despite abundant privet.
In the afternoon I visited CADW's Llanmelin Hillfort and was impressed by the number of Drab Looper flying - I counted 18 in 23 minutes. This is more than were seen at any of the Welsh sites in 2016, and it is still early in the season. There were many micro-moths flying at the site including Micropterix tunbergella (also seen at Slade Wood), Cauchas rufimitrella and the tiny plume Adaina microdactyla.
There was also a vacated mine of the scarce Eriocrania chrysolepidella on hazel.
On Tuesday I joined Martin and Roger at MoD Caerwent for a few hours. We saw several Drab Looper and good numbers of Grizzled and Dingy Skipper, as well as Pyrausta nigrata at its only known site in the county.
George (Butterfly Conservation Wales)