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.

NMN Sat. 14th October - not a bad night at Pwll.

In contrast to others, my sole night`s trapping for NMN in 2017 produced good results at my home traps at Pwll. I had n`t bothered to trap on `NMN 1` (Thurs 12th) as the weather was vile (very wet and windy) and, the next night, not only was the weather rather poor again, but my MV was n`t working. A rapid visit to an electrical wholesaler and quick home repairs had it working in time for Saturday night and out it went, together with a mains actinic and a less powerful mobile actinic. My Pwll garden is sufficiently large to accommodate the three traps. A fourth mains actinic was set up in a different garden on the western outskirts of Llanelli.
The combination of the three home garden traps yielded 40 species (also one additional micro still to determine), with resident moths (including some late sightings) and migrants both fairly well represented.
Of the residents, there was a cypress carpet - 1, large ranunculus 6 (5 females and 1 male), l-album wainscot 1 (possibly a migrant on this night as they occurred elsewhere in S.UK), red-green carpet 3, large ranunculus 1, Blair`s shoulder-knot 1, pine carpet 1, merveille du jour 1, green-brindled crescent 6,  and the pyralid Hypsopygia glaucinalis 1.
Late residents were represented by small seraphim, swallow-tail moth, garden carpet, flame and Carcina quercana (all as singles).
FFY `early winter moths` were November moth agg. 4, feathered thorn 2, mottled umber 1.

                                                       Above: Blair`s shoulder-knot.
                                                          Above: large ranunculus.
                                                      Above: green-brindled crescent.
                                                               Above: large wainscot.
 Above: both this Hypsopygia glaucinalis (photographed under a chair in the kitchen!) and the following moth were very skittish and would not settle.
Above: cypress carpet, caught in the battery-powered actinic placed at the bottom of the garden, next to a cypress tree.
Above: I`ve only included this photo as it shows a particularly pallid sallow next to a pink-barred sallow.
                            Above: who can resist not photographing a merveille du jour!

Migrants caught on the night were two vestals, a rusty-dot pearl and 5 silver ys.
Above: Saturday night`s two vestals. Note that the right-hand one was a light fawn colour, rather than the more usual yellowish form.
                                                           Above: rusty-dot pearl.
        Above: and last of all, to let us know that winter is on the horizon, a feathered thorn.

Yesterday evening (Sunday, 15th Oct.) saw another rusty-dot pearl come to my kitchen light - it was not the one shown above, which was only released today, and this morning saw Saharan dust on my car windscreen (which was n`t there yesterday evening). Reading various reports I now wish that I`d trapped last night too.
The mains actinic left at the different Llanelli garden on Saturday night only held 14 species of moth (including another merveille du jour, a Blair`s shoulder-knot and a different rusty-dot pearl). My Pwll garden often `scores` well due the great habitat variety (coast, fen, woodland etc) close by, rather than `bland suburbia (though the other garden abuts woodland).

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Picture correction

Hi this is the specimen that I thought was a Pearly Underwing, (the photo in y blog which I sent Ian I loaded by mistake, I thought it may be a brocade spp?)

Nicotiana Flowers Fail to Attract

No repeat of 2015 this time, in spite of favourable winds and mild, overcast conditions the actinic trap flanked by Nicotiana plants failed to do the business.

Site of actinic trap at the front

Last night I used the same trap combination as Thursday night, with the MV stationed in a sheltered spot at the back of the house.  A little more success this time, 23 moths of 14 species, the highlight being the first Brown-spot Pinion I've seen for two years.

 Brown-spot Pinion

The only micros in the catch were White-shouldered House Moth, Agonopterix ocellana, and a momphid from the woodshed which hasn't yet stayed still long enough for me to identify the species.  It has settled down now!

Mompha divisella

NMN Saturday, Cwmllwyd

Slightly better than Thursday's attempt, with 12 species this time among the 27 moths in the MV trap in the alder grove. In no particular order, these were; Green-brindled Crescent x4, Red-green Carpet x5 (no Autumn Green Carpets were found), November Moth agg. x3, Feathered Thorn x2, a Yellow-line Quaker, a Snout, a Flounced Chestnut, Chestnut x2 and a Silver Y. There were a couple of surprises, however:

A rather battered third generation Engrailed

 Dark Chestnut x5 - a good count, I think, for this less-than-common species in Carmarthenshire.

Everyone's favourite - Merveille du Juor.

Not the most productive NMN(s) we've had at Cwmllwyd!