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

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Mothing 06/04/2010

Mild (still c10°C at 11pm), cloudy, pretty still and no rain. Perfect.

Although I left it a bit late I headed out to Gisborne's Gorse, an area of woodland within the Charnwood Lodge reserve. After a bit of a panic when it appeared that one of the combination locks was either knackered or re-coded (before it finally opened with a bit of brute force), I got set up and running for 20:30 just in time for the first moths to be flying. I ran 1 x 125W MV over a sheet, and 2 x 125W MV traps. I had no intention of staying too late - just a couple of hours to see what came in and hopefully to see Mottled Grey again (haven't seen it for a while).

Besides, there's something distinctly unnerving about sitting around in dark remote woodland on your own. In moments of stark lucidity, your brain assures you that the most dangerous things in the wood at that time are you, your car and your generator. Unfortunately the jumpy wimpy part of your brain shouts louder and makes you seek the security of the bright light you are using to attract the moths. My heart skipped quite a few beats when completely unexpectedly whilst walking to one of the traps, a Pheasant loudy vacated it's roost from a low branch c10ft directly above my head.

Anyway, the overall catch was 406 of 24sp. - pretty good for just 2 hours running. Good to see both Mottled Grey and Oak Nycteoline, plus I need to check how unusual taking Amblyptilia acanthadactyla away from the garden is.

0461 Ypsolopha ustella 1
0663 Diurnea fagella 42
1025 Tortricodes alternella 3
1044x Acleris ferrugana/notana 6
1054 Acleris cristana 1 [yeatick]
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1 [yeartick]
1659 Yellow Horned (Achlya flavicornis galbanus) 1
1663 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 3
1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 2
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 2 [yeartick]
1775 Mottled Grey (Colostygia multistrigaria) 5 [yeartick]
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 41 [yeartick]
1930 Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) 14
1947 Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata) 20
2139 Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa) 2
2179 Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea) 1 [yeartick]
2182 Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) 32
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 130
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 8
2189 Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda) 21
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 29
2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 3
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 38
2423 Oak Nycteoline (Nycteola revayana) 2 [yeartick]

As it happens, when I got home I immediately nosed around my garden traps and found another acanthadactyla and, best of all, an overdue garden tick Red Chestnut. Total catch this morning was 45 of 15sp. (125W MV 21 of 10, 80W actinic 24 of 10).

0282 Caloptilia elongella 1 [first for year]
0663 Diurnea fagella 2
0667 Semioscopis steinkellneriana 1
0688 Agonopterix heracliana 1
1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1 [first for year]
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 3
1746 Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata) 2
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 1 [first for year]
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 1 [first for year]
2139 Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa) 1 [FIRST FOR GARDEN]
2182 Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) 2 [first for year]
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 11
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 8
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 9
2243 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) 1

I'll post some photos later this evening.


Anonymous said...

A cracking haul there, Mark. Certainly puts my 3 species to shame from Monday nights hour out with the lamp & net.

Anonymous said...

You you try being subjected to a 'howling banshee' pass by a couple of argumentative tawny owls to enliven your evening out ! Together with noisy muntjac and mating foxes, we had quite an exciting night out last night ourselves.

A very similar species list though.......... although fewer micros, of course.


Skev said...

Dean - comparing your method to running 3 MVs is not really a fair comparison. BTW - what type of fitting/bulb is your lamp?

I can imaging the scene Keith - I can deal with Tawnies etc as you kind of expect them in a dark wood at night. Roosting Pheasants are completely out of context to what you expect. Maybe I should just take my i-Pod and earphones!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that beats my year total and species list in one sitting!

Stewart ( for some reason I cant sign on my google blog account?)

Anonymous said...

Mark, the bulb is a tube consisting of 30 white LED`s. It might not sound impressive, but it`s nearly as bright as a 125w MV.
I`ll have to see how it performs on a much milder night.

Skev said...

Stewart - beats my garden totals for the year by an even bigger margin. Really not worth comparing in-woodland catches to the garden (unless your garden is in woodland!).

Dean - will be interesting to see how it goes on more favourable nights. The visible light intensity is not necessarily key (a 100W tungesten bulb will be easily outperformed by a 25W actinic tube due to the UV output) but even so I get quite a few moths flying at me with a much lower powered LED torch when in woodland. Catching them with a net by torchlight is another matter!

Anonymous said...

Mark, i knew that an LED lamp wouldn`t have the pulling power of an MV or Actinic. I just wanted to illuminate an area and net any moths that were in the given light range.
Maybe i`d have a better chance if i walked the site, instead of staying in one place.

I know what you mean regards a torch. I`ve tried netting by torch before, but you are limited due to the narrow beam. Whereas the lantern gives out a 360 deg light.

There must be a method to my madness, somewhere.

Skev said...

Ah - see what you are trying Dean, an interesting approach.