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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Saltmarsh stroll

The current spell of very blustery NW winds is not the best weather for mothing, whether by day or dusk, or using a trap. Yesterday evening (c 8.30pm, Tuesday 8/8), I stopped off after a `food-shop` at the North Dock dunes and saltmarsh, a location that - as I`ve said before - is very convenient for quick visits.
As soon as I started walking along the rough path on the inner (E) side of the narrow dune spit, I realised that moths would be hard to find, with strong gusts of wind keeping them down in the vegetation. Indeed nothing was in flight and all I spotted were some 6-spot burnets clinging to grass stems. The tide was almost `in` which meant possible difficulty in searching areas of high tide vegetation as I was not wearing wellington boots.

Searching a clump of mugwort, I spotted a single `tort` which may be Dichrorampha simpliciana (the size etc seems to fit that species).
                                         Above: Dichrorampha simpliciana (provisional det.).

As I returned to the car after about 20 minutes otherwise fruitless searching, I could see that the tide had receded to expose about 25 feet`s-worth width of saltings and I was pleasantly surprised that I could walk over it with care, allowing a saltmarsh (edge) stroll. In areas of sea aster and other saline vegetation, I flushed numerous torts, of which I caught four. These perhaps are Eucosma tripoliana.

                                             Above: Eucosma tripoliana (again a prov. det.).


  1. No, the weather hasn't been encouraging has it. I keep putting the trap out when I can, but poor catches. I have given up with my battery trap, it has been a total disaster, the battery has packed in after 5 months so I have cut my losses and sent it back for a refund as not doing what it says on the tin. Very disappointing. I will try again next year.
    Not trapping tonight, too clear but have a fellow moth-er staying this weekend so it will be out whatever the weather!!!!

    1. Such a shame to give up on your battery trap, Jane. I don't know what you've been using, but you need a good quality leisure battery to fire a 25W or even 15W actinic tube going all night. I bought a Power-sonic 21Ah battery last year and it works fine, readily available online for £35-40.

    2. I bought a complete kit from Wat Don, including a solar switch, and their own recommended battery. It didn't work properly from the get go, they made all sorts of suggestions , replaced bits, and we ended up making our own earthing mechanism as it simply wouldn't work with out it. I started getting poor catches and the battery had failed after only 4 months. I decided to send it back as unfit for purpose and will get another from Anglian Lepidopterists next year, with a lithium ion battery. I've got a lot of people in the village who want me to trap in their gardens and setting up the battery trap should have been so easy.

    3. Looking back on my records the battery trap had started to fail by June, bought the trap in March.

  2. Both of those Tortricid idents look good to me Ian, but hopefully you'll get more reliable confirmation!