Wondered if it was a silly idea putting the traps out with gusty conditions last night but the catch was better than expected. Still relatively low numbers and 21 species but showing progress. The first cockchafer turned up. Prominents evident as Great, Pebble, Pale, Swallow and Lesser Swallow. Chocolate-tip quite numerous this year. Firsts for the year were Spectacle, Shears (one of them white), Privet Hawk-moth, Common Pug, Green Carpet and Platyedra subcinerea. Still have an occasional Orthosia. Keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of May.
Not an ideal night for mothing but felt it might be the best night of the week so went to what I thought might be a sheltered spot, Brian came along too with one trap as he had to leave early but we were packing up at 11.15. Very few moths on the wing but the falling cherry blossom at the sheet trap kept us alert! 16 species in total. New for the year for me; Pale Tussock, Angle Shades,Rivulet, Adela reaumurella, Monopis weaverella and Syndemis musculana which was the last moth discovered packing away. Flame Shoulder most common moth.
Been trying to catch up with Small yellow underwing for a few years now to photograph. Have seen them at a few places but only singles and only briefly so it was nice to go out on Sunday afternoon and find a couple of sites where I saw more than one. I saw 3 in a small meadow on the edge of Great Cornard, mainly flying over and feeding at Buttercups. I then went on to Cornard Country Park and found an area of meadow with lots of the food plant, Mouse-ear chickweed. Here, I saw at least 6, flying over the sward and nectaring on the chickweed. Very quick moving and difficult to photograph, but did get a few reasonable shots. Hoping for Marsh pug in that area too, as that feeds on the same plant but didn’t see any so maybe it isn’t on the wing yet, one for another visit.
Only a handful of moths (11sp) in the garden trap last night, but a few were new for the year here: Green carpet, Brimstone, White ermine, Red twin spot carpet, Orange footman and Aroga velocella. All were singles.
Ran the traps in a new area for me last night, dry reedbeed bordered predominantly by alder woodland but with areas of willow and poplar. Best 2 moths were Seraphim and Flame Wainscot (2 of each). Other new ones for the year included Chocolate-tip, Chinese Character, Common White Wave and at long last my first Brimstone Moth of the year. A few new micros including Garden Pebble, Bactra lanceolana & B. terrella. 35 species and around 80 moths was satisfying considering it had been quite chilly up to about mid-day.
In common with others who have posted on this site the poor 2013 season crawls on. No species new to my site list for the last 10 days. Still picking up Orthosias and a Chestnut on 10th May. Still have my Agonopterix alstromeriana and A. scopariella. Had a second Northern Drab on 10th and second Acleris kochiella on 16th. No Lead-coloured Drabs this year. Catches have ranged between 9 and 21 species and not much higher in total numbers. Firsts for the year:- Pale Pinion, Chamomile Shark, Lychnis, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Turnip, Cinnabar, Pale Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent, White Ermine, Puss Moth, Poplar Hawk, Common White Wave, Waved Umber, Brown Silver-line, Narrow-winged Pug, Scrobipalpa acuminatella, Elachista canapennella, Pseudoswammerdamia combinella and Aspilapteryx tringipennella. No hint of warmer weather in the near future even looks cold for the whole summer, maybe a short warmer spell in a weeks time.
Last night was the only night this week when conditions were just about passable to try some trapping at my site. Ran 2 125w MV traps, caught 18sp with very low numbers of moths. Commonest was Brindled pug with 20 seen. Others of interest included Birch mocha, Poplar hawk, Chocolate tip (2), Angle shades, Epinotia immundana (all new for year), Great prominent (3) and Pammene argyrana (I’ve also found a few of these by day in the polytunnel this week). First May bugs in the traps too, but only 2 seen. Normally an abundant species for me at this time of year, shows things are still running late. By this time last year, I had run lights on 31 nights, this year I’ve only run them on 19 nights. Surely this year can’t be worse than 2012, can it?
Given the cold temperatures and looming rain the meeting tonight has been postponed till tomorrow. Apart from that it’s same meeting time and location. If you’re thinking of attending do get in touch tomorrow evening as there’s still a chance it may be cancelled tomorrow as well.
A dying wind, good cloud cover but a temperature of only 7 degrees was borderline for finding any numbers of moths yesterday evening. So it proved to be with a trickle of around 30 moths coming to the traps over a period of about 2 hours. Not very good for 4 traps in mid-May. I recorded just 16 species including a few tired looking Brindled Pugs and Orthosias plus a few firsts-for-the-year of Pale Tussock, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Coxcomb Prom, Lime-speck Pug and Syndemis musculana.
It doesn’t look to be getting any better over the next few days!
As the forecast was poor for Saturday night, we decided to move the event to Friday, hoping that conditions would be better. It was good to find that the breeze had dropped on site so we went ahead with trapping along the river Waveney, the same spot where we saw both Balsam carpet and Double kidney last year. A Barn owl hunted along the edge of the river whilst we were setting up, giving quite close views, a nice start to the evening. With 9 traps deployed, wandering around at dusk with nets resulted in a few moths being caught, including Water carpet, Agonopterix ocellana and Common wave. When it was too dark to look anymore, we sat down around the sheet to await the moths. In fact we did a lot of waiting as moths were very slow to come in, and this continued right through the trapping session. Some traps only managed to catch 2-3 moths in total! Thankfully some did do better, so it wasn’t all a waste of time. Best species seen from the 35 recorded included Pale pinion, Reed dagger, Acleris cristana (2), Sallow kitten (2), Herald, Waved umber. Commonest moth seen was probably Pebble prominent, quite a number of these came in to the sheet light after 11pm. We also had both Pale prominent and Swallow prominent too. Unfortunately we didn’t catch any of our target moth, the first brood Balsam carpet.
Larvae of Drinker, Lesser yellow underwing, Broad bordered yellow underwing and an unidentified wainscot larva were also found whilst walking between traps, adding a few more species to the list for the night.
At around 11.45pm the wind started to pick up and rain began to fall so it was decided to pack up. No more moths were really coming in anyway.
So a slight improvement in species seen including a few that were firsts for the year for many, hopefully things will only get better