Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Update 3 of 3 - National Moth Night 15/05/2010

The third and final post this evening.

National Moth Night my arse. As ever, the event coincided with less than ideal conditions - in fact this year it was possibly the worst ever with crystal clear skies and plummeting night time temps. Me and Adrian Russell had already decided that the conditions were not likely to be productive enough to warrant a full blown assault anywhere with multiple traps and an overnighter, so we opted for what we hoped would be a worthwhile alternative. We left traps running at one site whilst we set up a sheet and more traps at another.

Firstly - Owston Wood. This Forestry Commission site should be a great woodland, despite the mass clearance that has been ongoing for a while. The site looks like some kind of natural disaster has struck with bits of trunk and branches lying about everywhere. The only way we were getting in was via Adrian's Land Rover - my Vectra certainly could not stand this type of abuse!

We ran 1 x 125W MV light over a sheet and 2 x 125W MV traps from dusk until 22:40. And it was bloody cold. The total catch from these 3 lights was a paltry 8 of 6 sp.

1887 Clouded Border (Lomospilis marginata) 1 [yeartick]
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) 1
1920 Scalloped Hazel (Odontopera bidentata) 3
2028 Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) 1
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 1
2190 Orthosia gothica (Hebrew Character) 1

Scalloped Hazel

After clearing up, we headed back to Wardley Wood where we'd been earlier to drop off traps. This is another great Forestry Commission woodland that really has to be accessed with a 4x4 - although in complete contrast to Owston it looks as though no one has been into the wood for some time and all of the rides are starting to become overgrown.

We'd left 3 x 125W MV traps running from dusk - 23:30. The total catch was much better than Owston, but still pants - 20 of 12 sp.

1652 Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis) 1 [yeartick]
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) 1
1768 Grey Pine Carpet (Thera obeliscata) 1
1902 Brown Silver-line (Petrophora chlorosata) 7 [yeartick]
1920 Scalloped Hazel (Odontopera bidentata) 2
2000 Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius) 1 [yeartick]
2003 Pebble Prominent (Notodonta ziczac) 1
2015 Lunar Marbled Brown (Drymonia ruficornis) 1
2028 Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) 1
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 1
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 2
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 1

Brown Silver-line

The garden traps were no better, with just 6 of 6 sp. (125W MV 4 of 4, 80W actinic 2 of 2). On the upside though, two of those were firsts for the year in the garden.

1834 Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata) 1
1883 Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata) 1 [first for year]
2063 Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica) 1 [first for year]
2092 Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) 1
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 1
2243 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 1

Muslin Moth - if you think this is an inappropriate pose, you have not handled enough for photography

Muslin Moth - the inspiration for thousands of stereotypical 70s disco gay blokes

No Muslin Moths were injured in the making of this blog post

With another cold night in prospect, I left the traps off on Sunday night though five minutes in the garden with a net before dark yielded a couple each of Elachista rufocinerea and first for the year Tinea trinotella.


Rid said...

Hi Mark, seems like there is far more to this mothing lark than I realised. It appears you are quiet an authority on it. Hope you weren't affended by the remark I made on my blog about you "bush shaking", it was not ment to offend and obviously you can see I am ignorant to the correct terminology!!!!

Cheers Rid.

Skev said...

Of course no offence: bush-shaking seems a suitable description to me. Later in the year I'll be beating the bush with a big huge stick .....