Thursday, 19 October 2017

Hill farm moth jackpot

Some amazing captures have been made at a hill farm near Llandovery this week, as well as other excellent moth (and other wildlife) records made in 2017. This is part of a wildlife audit being undertaking by the owner, Stephen Ruttle, and the very able ecological consultant (Peter Sturgess), who is methodically surveying the site.
I shall confine this blog to the main interest of a trapping session on the night of Weds 18th October.

                                           Above: some of the TWELVE sprawlers caught.
                                                   Above: two pearly underwings.
                                                      Above: convolvulus hawk-moth.
Above: I was feeling rather smug the other night, having caught two vestals, but I`ve now clearly lost out with this score of four!

What a result! -  and just reward for the first-class recording and conservation work being undertaken at this upland farm. It also demonstrates that migrants can turn up anywhere and that a trap on higher ground may increase chances of unusual migrants. The site probably also benefits from a lack of competition from competing light sources (something that my regular suburban trap sites suffer from).
Six merveille du jours, an oak nycteoline, three rusty-dot pearls and a red sword-grass were also caught with the above moths.
All the above photos (and records): Peter Sturgess.

Quick post: more migrants at Pwll

A reasonable assemblage of moths in the garden traps last night (Weds,18/10) including several silver ys, a very dark turnip, a rusty-dot pearl and another vestal. Some quick `record shots` of the vestal and rusty-dot pearl below:

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Last Night at Maenol

It was cold here, but dry and overcast, so I put a couple of actinic traps out just in case something of interest arrived.  I was not disappointed, there were three FFYs:

Help with identification would be welcome here.  Not with the Red Sword-grass (I can manage that one!) but the other two: I'm assuming that the green geometrid is likely to be Red-green Carpet rather than Autumn Green Carpet, even though there's no red on it, and the plume is probably Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla.  I've had all of these species here before, but not very often, so it was very nice to see them!
Following Steve's comment I photographed the underside of the geometrid which he kindly identified as Autumn green Carpet.  Not a difficult matter, it fell out of the pot upside down and obligingly remained in that position.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

For your amusement.....

Just taken possession of a new car and the letters are . . . . .WMA. One of my friends, who stoicly suffers my moth conversations and shows great interest in my catches, said 'Typical - Welsh Moth Association!' so trying to think of a Moth-y name, its red - so Ruby I guess!!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Here is a better photograph of my "Turnip" or "Pearly Underwing", a positive ID is welcomed


Reading the various lists of rare moths that turned up last night (crimson speckled, Radford`s flame shoulder, Blair`s mocha, silver-striped hawk-moth...) has made me try the `wild card` and perhaps (or  more likely) a fruitless gamble. I`ve put out the MV, my most weather-sturdy trap, surrounded by large stones and with the large pane atop likewise weighted down.
At least I`ll find out if anything flies in such winds, which are actually "easing off "- albeit slightly - later tonight. I`ve actually done this once before and a few common moths turned up.
A Stephen`s gem from the Azores would be nice... if so, I`ll probably let you know. If there`s nothing, then there`ll be silence from Pwll on the blog.

                                                                Above: it`s out!

Postscript Tuesday morning - just three moths: a flounced chestnut, a very worn snout and a red-line quaker (and lots of caddis-flies). It seems that none of the above distinguished guests were passing by! I should have used `common sense` (as Chris did) and put out the trap on Sunday night, which seems to have been the best one for migrants.

The Calm Before the Storm

That was last night (Sunday).  I was going to give the traps a rest, but just before retiring at 10pm I went outside, and the warm, calm atmosphere prompted me to put a small actinic trap outside the front door.  There were enough moths inside the trap this morning to make the effort worthwhile, and it was particularly gratifying to see a trio of migrant species (quartet if you include Silvery Y).

              Rusty-dot Pearl                              Dark Sword-grass


The Vestal was a FFY for me, and like one of Ian's it had a slight orange tint.

The storm is set in for the night, so the traps will be staying indoors.