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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Local Canute fails IQ Test!

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose - and last night was a loser! I had a triangular `moth mission` to set out my mobile actinics in SN50, to boost the numbers of species recorded in that 10km square. One was to be put at the edge of a heather bog at Llwyn-teg, Llannon and two others on the saltmarsh at Llangennech. The bog actinic was successfully put in place.
I then travelled the few miles down to Llangennech and, carrying my actinic and battery to a site on an island that is above high-tide mark. I was aware that the tide was coming in quite quickly, with a rapid flow up the saltmarsh creeks. It would have been possible to have waded across in my wellies but, wisely, decided to put the other trap out first, at an upper saltmarsh location right next to a reedbed and the Mid-Wales railway line. I was sensible not to have tried crossing over to the island, as 10 minutes later, that route was deep underwater and I would have been stuck on the island, with only biting insects (and perhaps moths) for company!
I`d noticed that there was some saltwater in small pools on the upper saltmarsh from an earlier tide, but thought I could `get away with it` at this particular alternative location, so the trap was left out, all lit up and ready to catch some saltmarsh goodies. Returning to the car across the marsh, I noticed that my way out was becoming cut off by the incoming tide, so I ran back across the marsh, collected the trap and - pursued by gnats and midges, made it back to higher, safe ground. I was not in any danger, but would have had to wade if I`d delayed - and I don`t like getting wet!
I`d now been out almost two hours, so I decided to call it a day (or night) and returned homewards, setting out one of the traps at a quarry site at Furnace, just in SN50.
I went back to the initial Llwyn-teg bog site early this morning, and there was some small compensation in the form of map-winged swifts and small dotted buffs (with small numbers of a few common species).

                                         Above: male map-winged swift.
                     Above: the larger female, lighter in colour and with subtly-different markings.

                                         Above: small dotted buff.

The Furnace Quarry site had rather small numbers (the night was clear) of typical woodland edge moths.


  1. I love your Map-winged Swifts! Common and Orange I've had here, but not M-WS. Two Ghost Moths in the trap yesterday though, male and female, very nice.

  2. From memory, I don`t think that I`ve had ghost moth for very nice Chris. Have just returned from a bit of local diurnal moth-searching, but no luck. For those who are interested, heard this afternoon of red-eyed damselflies at Trebeddrod Res (aka Furnace Pond, SN50).
    No trapping for me tonight...hope to check out the `N of Ffarmers/Llyn y Gwaith` area, on the border with Ceredigion, on Thurs.