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

Monday, 29 May 2023

What a Ride

On Saturday night I headed out with a couple of light traps, something of a rarity in recent years for all the obvious reasons (cancer / chemo / surgeries / covid restrictions ....). Checking back, I managed four nights out in 2019, none in 2020, two in 2021 and just the one last year. Most pertinently, only two of these were nights out on my own setting up and recording and they were in 2019. I am absolutely going to be out a bit more this year.

Aside from the paucity of nights out around a light, it has just occurred to me that in all that time my current car has been the most under-utilised vehicle I've ever had. Weeks parked up whilst I was unable to drive, long periods off road during lock-downs, and we've not been up and down to Devon with any regularity either. Coincidentally: it very much looks like the this outing will be the last mothing effort in this car anyway, as I'm expecting a changeover in the next week or so (though dealership delays may scupper that), and the last mothing trip I made in the previous car was to the same site - Fox Covert at Ulverscroft.

My next car will not be mistaken for an Uber everywhere I go.

Even more under-utilised than the car, good to know it still runs.

I ran a 125W MV over a sheet ....

.... and a couple of 125W MV traps along the main track.

I really wasn't expecting a lot, as garden catches have continued to be poor and anecdotally the mothing up and down the country has been relatively poor. There really does seem to have been a major entomological crash, perhaps more due to the prolonged drought and searingly hot period last summer. Time will tell if anything picks up or recovers. So it was no surprise really that things were a bit slow, at least for the first hour. I ended up with a pretty respectable total of 174 of 50sp. running the lights from dusk until 00:30. Most pleasingly though I saw quite a few species that I haven't seen for a long while, and some that are either rare or have never turned up in my garden.

I had the TG-6 to hand, which meant I was able to snap quite a lot on the sheet rather than bringing stuff home. Very serviceable snaps, albeit not the most aesthetically pleasing background! I did take a few micros to check. So in no particular order, here's a load of moth photos from the night ....

Green Silver-lines

White-pinion Spotted

Barred Hook-tip

Scalloped Hook-tip

Grass Rivulet

Marbled Brown

Brown Silver-line

Orange Footman

Coxcomb Prominent

Scorched Wing

Lesser Swallow Prominent

Dwarf Pug

Swammerdamia caesiella [probably, pending dissection]

Capua vulgana

Eulia ministrana

Epinotia tetraquetrana

Epinotia tetraquetrana

Argyresthia conjugella

Argyresthia conjugella f. maculosa

There were numerous Netelia/Ophion type Ichneumons on the sheet, a number of Melanotus sp. click beetles, but by far the most numerous thing were Cockchafers. Loads of them. Initially, the first ten or so were unceremoniously chucked away, only to come bumbling back like six-legged boomerangs. I then started collecting them in the plastic tub that the light bulb goes in, more successful but I can assure you that two hours or so of writhing incarcerated Cockchafers stinks.

There were at least 80 or so spread across the lights. I rarely get these at home - thankfully - and had forgotten how much I loathe these getting in the way. I thought I'd done a great job of containing them and then getting shot of them all. However, much to my surprise given that I cleared out the gear yesterday and used the car, today there was one sitting on the parcel shelf. How the hell it avoided setting off the alarm for two nights I'll never know. It prompted a further check, during which I found a much less offensive weevil which I can only assume came home on Saturday as well ....

Bumbling hairy twat Cockchafer

Strophosoma melanogrammum

The outing yesterday was to go and watch LCFC win majestically whilst being relegated. Wow, it's been a ridiculous few seasons that we could never have imagined possible, and which makes this drop even tougher than any we've suffered previously. We played shite all season, were badly managed and the Club made decisions too late. Totally avoidable. Back to a 46-game season in the toughest league to get out of. If we don't bounce straight back up (and I'm not sure we will) I suspect a long period of frustrating play offs. Still, we won more in our short stint than some other clubs (Spurs, Everton ....).

All your hopes and dreams, all you need to know, joy ride ....

1 comment:

Skev said...

Too true!