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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Quantity and a little bit of quality...Tyrwaun, Pwll.

I was too tired to take my `mobile traps` out last night, but settled instead for the home trap, with my MV rather than the actinic going out. The light of the MV is quite strong and I awoke at c 3.00am thinking it was time to get up. I thought I`d give myself another 5 mins in bed before checking my watch which then made me realise the true time! So, I decided to get up, make a cup of tea, and see what things were like at the MV on my small area of flat roof.
Upon ascending the ladder, looking like an illuminated burgler in a dressing gown, I was surprised to see how many silver y`s were resting on the two off-white walls on two sides of the flat roof. I counted 64, with an uncounted `guesstimate` of 5+ actually within the trap and two that had entered my kitchen. So, it was likely that a minimum of 70+ were present. Six dark sword grasses were also present, but no other migrants except for a single rush veneer (photo below).

Quality was provided by a merveille du jour, which had left by the morning.
I turned off the light whilst still dark at c 6.00am to allow the moths outside the trap (after checking) to escape my crepuscular robins, and I went to fetch the trap down and rescue any `stranded` moths about an hour later. It was when I fetched the trap that I noticed a large moth perched right next to the vanes - a red underwing, the other `quality` species. I`d heard of immigrant rosy underwings in southern England but mine was a red, a species that I`ve caught a couple of times at Pwll but not in the past few years. I suspect that its spread has been aided by the use of various tree willows such as Salix alba etc in landscape plantings. Various Salix species are a component of plantings within the Millennium Coastal Park (which is just seawards of and close to Pwll) and also at WWT Penclacwydd, another site where this spectacular moth has been recorded.
Certainly neither myself or Barry Stewart recorded it when we both living in the relatively willow-rich Llwynhendy area SE of Llanelli in the late 1980s-early 1990s. A photo of last night`s rather worn individual is given below.
One of the egg cartons in the trap, festooned by silver ys, when I finally got round to emptying the trap this afternoon (below).

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