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Thursday, 21 October 2021

Don`t trust the weather forecasts!

 Although the BBC weather presenter did say that showers would occur over Wales, both the online BBC forecast and the Met Office forecast suggested - for Llanelli at least - only a <5% chance of showers. So, out went my washing and out went `yours truly` who has been `confined to barracks` since Sunday. I intended to do some casual, unfocussed leaf-mining in the Millennium Coastal Park and to later visit the almost adjacent Stradey Woods, just to see `what was about`.

`What was about` was a load of showers which gave me a good drenching but at least the onset of the first heavy shower did flush a moth, which I luckily was able to catch with a plastic container. It was a rusty-dot pearl.

                                                             Above: the rusty-dot pearl.
Above: some lucky blighter may have had a pot of gold awaiting him at home. All I had was a sagging line-full of sodden clothes!

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

The Cypress Gang

 Unlike Chris Handoll`s diverse mix of recent moths, my efforts have only brought results ranging from poor to dire (one suitable night only yielded two common marbled carpets!), so it was pleasing to have a better variety - but still only five species - on Sunday night (17/10). Best of the bunch were two residents that have taken to suburbia and its various planted Cupressus conifers, namely two cypress carpets and a Blair`s shoulder-knot; both species are relatively recent colonists in the British Isles. At Pwll I also used to catch, in season, two species of Argyresthia - cupressella and trifasciata, as well as the cypress pug. The other species caught on Sunday were Merveille du jour, red-line quaker and angle shades.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Maenol Update

 I've managed five trapping sessions so far this month but the catches have been disappointing, the usual seasonal moths have turned up: Marbled, Spruce and Pine Carpets, Sallows, Yellow- and Red-lined Quakers, Green Brindled Crescents, Merveille du Jours, Black Rustics etc.; several of the November Moth clan, the first on October 13th; an occasional Dark Swordgrass, Brown-spot Pinion and Lunar Underwing, a single Pale Mottled Willow (October 9th) and, this morning, just for a change, a Grey Shoulder-knot.

Pale Mottled Willow
Lunar Underwing
Grey Shoulder-knot

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Phyllonorycter messianella


24 hours in the fridge calmed this specimen down. A handsome creature. If this is messianella, I wonder where it originates as I know of no local examples of its foodplants - oaks, beech, sweet chestnut.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Tricky Chestnuts

 I found myself puzzling over a strongly marked orangey-brown moth. Research led me to think it was a well marked Chestnut, my first for the year. Also in the trap was my second ever beaded chestnut. It's state of wear makes me speculate that it's actually the same moth!

I also found a tiny leaf miner.
Despite being very skittish and generally badly behaved I think this is Phyllonorycter messianella. Any thoughts?

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Pontyberem garden.

 In spite of the wonderful weather (15.2 degrees min), nothing unusual in the Garden Moth Scheme trap this morning, though there were 25 species which was great. This compares with just 7 species this time last year, when the temperature was 7.4!

Best for me was a perfect Oak Nycteoline of a form I've never seen before.

There were no migrants, though I did have a nice male Gem about three weeks ago in the warm spell.

70.047 Gem, male. 17th September 2021

74.009 Oak Nycteoline 8th October 2021

Firsts for the Year in Burry Port

 Like Ian, my moth trap had a distinctly autumnal feel, though alas, no Merveille. I was pleased to have three firsts for the year - my second ever Autumnal Rustic, My second Sallow (and the first for a couple of years) and the autumn regular, Red-line Quaker. I fancy one of these is the form rufa.