I've already mentioned the Convolvulous Hawk-moth, White-line Darts and Archer's Darts that we took during the mothing session at Bawdsey Quay in Suffolk on Sunday night - about time I posted the combined list from mine and Adrian Russell's 6 traps and mention the other highlights. Thanks to local moth recorder and birder Matthew Deans, we ran our traps around a scrubby area that runs directly onto the large shingle point, with Bawdsey Manor and its wooded grounds behind us.
We ran a good selection of lights overnight: 400W metal halide, 250W MV, 3 x 125W MV and a 160W/40W blended/CFL combo. Conditions were not exactly superb, but not bad - dry, mild, mainly clear but with a stiff NE breeze to start which then dropped. Our combined total catch was an excellent 931 of 101sp. (with one additional micro pending ID). Here's the list, with new species for me highlighted in bold blue, and other goodies (ie things we don't usually see in VC55) highlighted in green:
Lots of other non-lepidopteran highlights (apart from the awesome Ant-lion) in the traps which I'll cover separately, plus a few new plants from around beaches and saltmarsh. I should mention that our shingle traps were part of a larger group effort with more traps running on the saltmarsh and around a wooded car park. Good moths taken in those traps included Sandhill Rustic and Tree-lichen Beauty - both would be new for me but I'm resisting ticking them as I didn't even get a chance to walk around those traps during the night, let alone assist with the emptying! We were also shown a Small Marbled that Matthew took at his current regular site at Bawdsey Hall - a first for Suffolk I believe.
Amongst the trapped goodies on Sunday night, we took a bewildering range of coastal darts. By range, I mean in terms of size, colouration and markings - not necessarily species! White-line Dart is rare in VC55, and for some reason I've never knowingly seen one when trapping out of county. I was therefore pleased when we took what was apparently White-line Dart, but this was soon tempered by some frustration and confusion as the night wore on and we ended up with a bunch of potted darts that looked like contenders for Coast or Sand, but were quite likely all White-line and probably included one or more 'new' species currently being extracted from the White-line complex (like 'Dusky Dart' Euxoa eruta). So, here's a few 'White-line Darts' which will have their bits scrutinised in due course.
Dark dagger marks, white lines - White-Line Dart?
Very dark, barely discernible white line - Dusky Dart?
Small, sandy, err - WTF Dart?
Luckily there were a few other darts that were not so problematic, and featured highly on the unwritten list of moths that I'd really like to see. Stunning.
A bit tenuous, but I suppose an archer's dart is an arrow ....
A group of us were moth trapping over in Suffolk last night. Lots of good stuff in the traps, and also a few bits from around the site - but that can wait. Aside from the moths and other bits, we did pick up something that I certainly wasn't expecting. Some things are just inherently awesome for any number of reasons - sheer beauty, impressive size, rarity. This one fits the awesome bill .....
Had a grand family day yesterday at Wells-next-the-Sea; not exactly a nearby place but the beach there is well worth the drive for a long day out. We had a great time, doing all the seasidy things that young boys like to do including some crabbing in the harbour.
I love Wells; the beach is big, sandy and adourned with loads of seashells, with large shallow pools left behind after high tide (no rock pools though), and the pine woods behind are also good for anyone with a wildlife interest. Throughout the day I managed to point the camera at a few things and actually managed to quite easily pick up a fair few new species without any real effort. Some of the plants are fairly confident provisional IDs - shout up if you notice anything clearly wrong.
First up a couple of beetles - one from the beach and one from the scrubby area alongside the wood:
Phaleria cadaverina - kept buring its front end in the sand
Anthocomus rufus - sadly too active to get a fully clear and in-frame shot!
Some beachy stuff:
Common Cockle - quite a few live specimens in the shallow pools
Sand Goby - much easier to see in the shallow pools than to photograph!
Green Shore Crab - two of many seen during the day
A couple of bits from the pine wood:
Dogs Vomit Slime Mould - such a charming vernacular name
An as yet unidentified sawfly larva
And some more plants from along the long stretch between the beach and the harbour:
'Glasswort' and Annual Sea-blite growing side-by-side
Appears the Glasswort is not so straightforward to ID as I believed.