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

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Wicken Fen, 28th June 2009

Of the few out of county sites that I've trapped, Wicken Fen has to be my favourite. It is always well worth the effort of lugging traps, cables and gennies out onto the fen tracks and board-walks with a wheelbarrow, and the sheer numbers of moths makes for a lengthy emptying session in the morning if you get it right. We'd planned a few days earlier to go for a Wicken session on 28th, got put off by the forecast rain and then decided to go for it again when the forecast changed for the better. So I hastily contacted the trust and arranged for a permit for me, Adrian and Ron. I had some doubts as I drove through some horrendous torrential downpours on the A14 south of Market Harborough and Kettering before arriving at a dry, warm and humid Wicken Fen. It was either going to be a good night or turn thundery and be a washout. Thankfully it was the former. We ran 17 traps and a tripod light, with the total catch being an awesome 4279 of 257 sp. My six traps (4 x 125W MV, 1 x 250W metal halide and 1 x 80W actinic) contributed an excellent 1352 of 182sp. It took a good six and a half hours to collect in and go through these 17 traps! By the time we finished the late June heatwave was well underway. Here are the main highlights from a very good list (bold species are British Ticks for me): Reed Leopard (Phragmataecia castaneae) 33 Ethmia quadrillella 20 Gelechia muscosella 2 Brachmia inornatella 3 Cosmopterix lienigiella 1 Phtheochroa inopiana 31 Phtheochroa rugosana 2 Phalonidia manniana 11 Acleris lorquiniana 7 Willow Tortrix (Epinotia cruciana) 11 Chilo phragmitella 39 Calamotropha paludella 4 Schoenobius gigantella 15 Donacaula forficella 6 Eudonia pallida 16 Sitochroa verticalis 2 European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) 1 Perinephela lancealis 21 Opsibotys fuscalis 1 Nascia cilialis 11 Trachycera marmorea 2 Nephopterix angustella 2 Adaina microdactyla 1 Emmelina sp. (pres. argoteles) 2 Lesser Cream Wave (Scopula immutata) 26 Cream Wave (Scopula floslactata) 3 Treble Brown Spot (Idaea trigeminata) 4 Oblique Carpet (Orthonama vittata) 11 Scallop Shell (Rheumaptera undulata) 11 Marsh Carpet (Perizoma sagittata) 2 Dentated Pug (Anticollix sparsata) 2 Small Seraphim (Pterapherapteryx sexalata) 17 Brown-tail (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) 1 Round-winged Muslin (Thumatha senex) 36 Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata) 3 Red-necked Footman (Atolmis rubricollis) 1 Striped Wainscot (Mythimna pudorina) 250 Southern Wainscot (Mythimna straminea) 143 Flame Wainscot (Mythimna flammea) 8 Reed Dagger (Simyra albovenosa) 2 Reddish Light Arches (Apamea sublustris) 1 Mere Wainscot (Chortodes fluxa) 12 Fen Wainscot (Arenostola phragmitidis) 6 Silky Wainscot (Chilodes maritimus) 3 Bordered Sallow (Pyrrhia umbra) 1 Silver Barred (Deltote bankiana) 3 Cream-bordered Green Pea (Earias clorana) 29 Dotted Fan-foot (Macrochilo cribrumalis) 18 A few shots from around Sedge Fen as I planned where to deploy my kit. Lots of sedge, reeds, willow carr and reeds. And a few reeds - you get the gist. The iconic windpump.

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