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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Carmel - smoky wave?

Went up to Carmel Woods this afternoon to see if I could find chimney sweepers at a site where I`d had them some 20 years ago (around the limestone quarries at the western end) - but no luck.
I then decided to walk up to the nearby and parallel Millstone Grit ridge, specifically to the cairn/trig point near Garn-big. Along this path, towards the top, plenty of goldenrod grows at the very edge of the path itself. This plant hosts the very attractive pyralid Anania funebris, which I `ve had on three seperate years here and also perhaps the attractive starwort moth. Again some 20 years ago, I found the characteristic starwort caterpillars here on goldenrod. I suspect that today I was too early for the latter species, whilst the pyralid was simply not out (or hiding from the strong sunshine - and me!).
At the very top, close to the trig point, dense heather and bilberry grows and from here I flushed a moth. Luckily, I had a container on me ( I had not prepared, being  rather tired and not `switched on`). The moth looked interesting due to its size and predominantly plain markings, with vague cross bars and finely grey-speckled, dirty white background. It was only about an hour ago that I remembered about this moth which had been particularly active in the container and rather worn.
Upon checking it, I think that it is a smoky wave, said to be an upland species that actually feeds on heather and bilberry (which makes sense considering the vegetation at the locality). Jon Baker in 2006 said that it is only recorded from the NE of the county (Rhandirmwyn area etc) and gave it Category A2 status [ie he had n`t seen a specimen or photo].
Anyway I attach two poor photos of the now dead moth (which I`ll retain).


  1. Well done Ian. Looks good to me, and right habitat. I've seen it in Ceredigion or Brecs (from memory) but not Carms.

  2. Thanks Sam....checked the Carms records that I know of....RSPB survey records from Rhandirmwyn [can`t remember dates....c early 1980s] and Barry Stewart at Caeo Forest, 1992, we he was looking for nightjars.

  3. The actual dates are RSPB Gwenffrwd, Rhandirmwyn 20.6.1970 [not 80s as said above] and Barry Stewart, Caeo Forest [SN69-41-] 14.6.1992. I`m note sure if it has been recorded since.

  4. There`s also a 2006 record from RSPB land (G Lyons).