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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Before the rain...

After two `heavy` nights trapping - Weds and Thursday - and with  particularly bumper catches on Thursday (and all the subsequent i/d and noting down), I did not trap on Friday night. The decision was helped by the heavy rain at the time when I would normally put out the traps - it does n`t bother me if it`s raining when the traps (MV and actinic) are out, but I find it a nuisance when putting out and collecting in.
Feeling relatively rested on Saturday, I would have liked to put out at least some traps on that night, but heavy rain was forecast for sometime after midnight and, crucially for me, at the time when I would have inspected the traps on the following morning. So, I decided instead on an hour`s dusking and a brief trapping episode (I had planned to midnight) on the coast east of Burry Port - just the one actinic and with me watching over it.
The dusking started off well, with a few species swept, including the chamomile shark caterpillar shown below, all from an area of dry but flower-rich grassland. However, it was noticeably cooler than previous nights with certainly a change in the weather and I was glad that I`d brought a jacket to keep warm.
The sweeping was n`t producing the numbers I had expected, with just a few common species caught and no moths were seen flitting about, except for diamond-back moths disturbed by my progress through rank vegetation.
The actinic was set up in a slightly sheltered position (there was a markedly cool breeze) almost on the seaward edge of some low dune grassland - but no moths arrived, so at 11.20pm, I packed up and went home. On previous experience, some moths ought to have arrived by then. The MV, which I had set up at home also had very little in it - just a few micros, including Caloptilia stigmatella - so it too was dismantled and stored away.

Above: chamomile shark caterpillar, found on floriferous rough grassland adjacent to the football pitch, Burry Port. There are only about ten or so records for this species in Carmarthenshire.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice caterpillar - I must look for that one sometime...