Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Isotrias and Grass Rivulet

Moth numbers have certainly picked up at Dingestow over recent nights, although catches are still in the range of 50-60 species rather than the 80+ I had in Carmarthenshire on Sunday night.  Highlights last night were Dingestow's second Grass Rivulet (a wanderer as Yellow Rattle doesn't grow here) and Dingestow's first Isotrias rectifasciana (a Tortricid added to the VC35 list near Caerwent last year).

Two aberrations were also of interest: the melanic form of Clouded-bordered Brindle is pretty frequent, but I don't think I've seen the 'full Y' form of Beautiful Golden-Y before.



Sunday, 27 May 2018

Oecophora bractella

The mouth-watering Oecophora bractella was present in mum's Robinson trap last night, in her garden in Tintern. If only she'd taken one near all those days I visited her!!!

Friday, 25 May 2018

A damp morning at MOD Caerwent

Martin and Roger organised a week's access to the Caerwent Range and had 3 wonderful sunny days there from Monday to Wednesday; unfortunately rain arrived on Wednesday night and my visit on Thursday morning was marred by drizzle and wet vegetation.  Sweeping the flower-rich grassland was impossible, and I can't wait to go back on a sunny day as there are bound to be many unrecorded notable species.  Tapping bushes and netting whatever flew out was more productive, and I logged ca20 common spring Micros, although several visits by George Tordoff in May 2016 & 2017 meant that I didn't add much (my only previous visit was in July 2004) - just 7 species were additions to the 69 recorded previously.

Highlights were the exceedingly elusive Spuleria flavicaput, which has just 2 previous VC35 records, Adela (Cauchas) fibulella, Alabonia geoffrella and spinnings of Acleris schalleriana.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

This week in Tintern

I let mum borrow a Robinson trap again this year, so she could run it in her garden in Tintern. The last couple of nights have seen some of the more local species visit the garden, including Cloaked Carpet, 3 Little Thorn, Lunar Thorn, Barred Umber, 2 Alder Kitten, Poplar Lutestring and Alder Moth (5 last night alone). Epinotia subocellana was also new for the garden.

Cloaked Carpet
Little Thorn
Lunar Thorn
Alder Kitten
Poplar Lutestring
Alder Moth
Epinotia subocellana

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Glaucous Shears at Dingestow

My first and only Glaucous Shears at Dingestow visited in May 2001.  After 17 years of waiting I was thrilled to catch another of thus upland moth last night (22/5).  I wouldn't normally have trapped on a coolish night with northerly airflow, but guests wanted to see some moths; I'm glad I did!  Other highlights included 2 May Highflyers, 1 Orange Footman and my first Mottled Pug of the year.  A bit of diurnal beating and sweeping produced a Small Yellow Underwing, 2 Coleophora deauratella and lots of Glyphipterix fuscoviridella.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A nice daytime micro

Following Sam's plea for people to look out for day-flying micros, I obliged today with a splendid Hysterophora maculosana flying around bluebells, the larval foodplant, at Llanmelin Hillfort. This is a great site for micro-moths though I didn't see much else today apart from a few Micropterix tunbergella and a larval case of Psyche casta.

I was there to count Drab Loopers, and had 16 of those on the timed count compared with 6 a week ago. Hopefully numbers will increase further over the next week or two. A Grizzled Skipper was a welcome sighting too.

At Slade Wood I didn't see any Drab Loopers but was pleased to net the leaf beetle Clytra quadripunctata flying near some wood ant nests (the larvae develop in the nests). It's quite a scarce beetle and this is the only site at which I've encountered it.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Daytime micros

The diurnal Micro season is really getting going (at last), with calm conditions and sunny weather making a lot of tiny species flutter around or sit on bushes ready for beating.  Please try to catch some Eriocrania on birch before their short season ends, and look for Metriotes lutarea (a grey Coleophora lookalike) on the flowers of Greater Stitchwort.  Esperia sulphurella are all over the place, and are easily netted in the early morning, and Phyllonorycter quercifoliella was fluttering around oak trees at 07:30 this morning.  The photo shows a Grapholita jungiella I spotted at Cwm Celyn (NW VC35) on 5/5 - the 6th county record and the first time I've seen it in Gwent.