I headed over to Cossington Meadows and met up with Adrian in good time to drive in and down the track creating a massive dust cloud - it was like rallying through Dakar. It was still quite light as we started to deploy a few traps, and still very warm though we were under no illusions that the temps would cool off fairly quickly. In the event it had dropped to a mere 16°C at 20:30, and to 11°C by 23:00 when we left. A 125W MV light over a sheet and 3 x 125W MV traps should have yielded far more individuals, but the species tally wasn't bad - 64 of 26sp. Most importantly, as this site has hardly been trapped before we added 12 species dots to the map. Of less importance, but just a satisfying, I picked up a few yearticks.
Before I summarise the list and show a few shots, we had an unusual find when Adrian shone a torch up into a bat box that we fully expected to be empty. It was full of earwigs and woodlice and looked like no bat had ever been in it, but we could also see what appeared to be a couple of caterpillars. With deft use of one net below and the handle of another net to give one a poke, we soon had a noctuid caterpillar to look at. The bat box was fixed to an Ash tree, and I immediately recognised the caterpillar as I've seen this one before ...
Also before I launch into the catch, I netted and potted up a micro that warranted a better look. It appears to be one of the smaller Depressaria spp., and possibly a new one for VC55 but we'll have to wait for a det to confirm. Post-script - looking increasingly likely that this is Depressaria ultimella as I suggested locally this morning. Will be a VC55 first when confirmed.
CONFIRMED - gen. det. by Jon Clifton Jan 2012
0006 Eriocrania subpurpurella 1
0609 Elachista maculicerusella 3 (NFY)
1651 Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata) 2
1722 Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata) 1 (NFY)
1725 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe ferrugata) 6 (NFY)
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 2
1853 Oak-tree Pug (Eupithecia dodoneata) 5
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 4
1883 Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata) 1
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 1
1919 Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) 1 (NFY)
1979 Lime Hawk-moth (Mimas tiliae) 1 (NFY)
1997 Sallow Kitten (Furcula furcula) 3 (NFY)
2003 Pebble Prominent (Notodonta ziczac) 1
2006 Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma) 1 (NFY)
2011 Pale Prominent (Pterostoma palpina) 3 (NFY)
2028 Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) 1 (NFY)
2064 Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) 2 (NFY)
2078 Least Black Arches (Nola confusalis) 2
2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) 1 (NFY)
2186 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis) 5
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 2
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 1
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 11
2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 1
2289 Knot Grass (Acronicta rumicis) 2 (NFY)
Flame Carpet - sadly a dull/dark one
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet - we had a few of these that had us going as the central band looked odd and there were no twin-spots.
Lesser Swallow Prominent