Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Suggestions for future MMG event venues

If anyone knows of any sites in the county that might be suitable for an MMG public event and that we have not yet visited over the years, please do get in touch.

 Douglas.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Llandinam Gravels public mothing event

The weather leading up to our last event of 2017 at Llandinam Gravels was looking very good, with a southerly air flow, and the temperature staying mild. This promised a good evening of mothing and we weren’t to be disappointed. (click on any photo to see them all at full size)

Everyone gathered around the white sheet
Merveille du Jour

We were on site by 5:30 to give ourselves plenty of time to see where the traps were going, then to get set up, and by 6:30 the lights were switched on. It wasn’t too long before the first moth came to the table, a Spruce Carpet; this was closely followed by other autumn species: a Red-green Carpet, a Yellow-line Quaker, and a Chestnut. Next in was a superb Black Rustic followed swiftly by a stunning and very much crowd pleasing species the Merveille du Jour. The white sheet proved very popular with many moths being attracted to it, indeed, two Red-green Carpets found it extremely desirable and decide to mate on it, which was of interest for all to see. 

Pale November Moth

Common Marbled Carpet
 


The November Moths and other members of the genus were of course very much in evidence and we had a workshop on the best ways to separate the well marked individuals.

The white sheet very busy with moths

Unfortunately, although conditions were good for migrant activity, we didn’t manage to trap any.

Red-green Carpet mating
Angle Shades




We did however record six micro species which included Epinotia nisella and Argyresthia brockeella. For a full species list please click here.

A great head shot of a male Feathered Thorn
Acleris emargana




As the evening progressed we added Svensson's Copper Underwing, Snout, the Brick and the rather uncommon Dark Chestnut. The best moth of the night was probably a lovely Figure of Eight. Shortly before 11:00pm we decided to call it a night as no more new species were being brought to the table.

Figure of Eight


Many thanks to those who brought traps and to those who helped setting up and taking down the kit, and finally to Sue and Douglas for bringing along goodies for us all to nibble at.

Peter.

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On a personal note

Due to ongoing problems with my back this is the last event I shall be directly involved with as I am handing over the reins to a newly formed ‘Events team’ from the MMG members -  Douglas Boyes, Paul Roughley and Gavin Chambers. Between them they will organise and run public events throughout the county very much as I have done for the last 12 years, but of course, they will include their own take on things. 

A gift of a sponsored species (the Broom-tip) from the group


I was pretty gobsmacked when, during this event, I was handed a certificate by the group which said that the MMG had sponsored a moth (the Broom-tip) and dedicated it to me in Butterfly Conservation’s, ‘Atlas of Britain and Ireland’s Larger Moths’ due to be published in 2018. Such a lovely gift. I have framed it and will cherish it with fond memories. Sue then brought out a tin containing a chocolate brownie cake decorated with butterflies which of course went down very well with everyone; very tasty  indeed, thanks Sue.    

A lovely chocolate brownie cake from Sue


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, (past and present), who has supported the events over the years as these events have been an integral part of getting the message out about our moths and the pleasure they can give us. I have found that meeting people at these events has been very rewarding and I’m sure that this has been a catalyst for encouraging many more moth-ers in the county. I may not be directly involved with the events from next year, but I shall be attending them and supporting the new event team whenever I can. I’m absolutely sure that they’ll do a great job in the future.

And finally, a footnote – the first event I organised in Montgomeryshire in 2006 was at Llandinam Gravels – as was my last – this was totally unplanned, funny how things work out, isn’t it!

Peter.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Llandinam Gravels - public mothing event



Hello All,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding its last mothing event of 2017 at Llandinam Gravels, in the south of the county just south of Llandinam. This event is being held on ‘Moth Night’ (formally National Moth Night) and on this occasion the theme is migrant species, so hopefully the mild spell of weather we’re currently experiencing will work in our favour and we’ll bag a migrant or two. This site located alongside the River Severn has produced some excellent records in the past, so please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing at this excellent site.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Llandinam Gravels.
Event Date: Saturday 14th. October.
Meet: 6:30 onwards in the parking area at the end of the track.
Directions: As you approach Llandinam on the A470 from Newtown, take the first right by the statue and cross the river Severn over the narrow bridge; turn first left down the lane (then track) for about a mile and a half, we will be trapping at the end of the track. Please note The area where we will be trapping is beyond the MWT Llandinam Gravels Nature Reserve car park. Keep going down the lane until it comes to an end, then carry on straight on down the rougher track, we will be holding the event at the end of this track.
Grid Reference: SO011866.

Montgomeryshire Moth Group (MMG) is an independent voluntary group of people interested in moths. All ages are welcome to attend events whether experts or beginners.

This year all the events are light trapping events. We set up the light traps at dusk to attract moths and then release them after identification.

As with all our evening events, please bring a torch and wear suitable outdoor clothing.

You are welcome to join us for as much of the evening that suits you, we are likely to stay for several hours. However, in case of cancellation, due to poor weather or unforeseen circumstances, always ring or e-mail to check the event is on before joining us.

Peter.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Moths. Natural Histories Radio 4

Just providing a link to a general, but none-the-less very interesting programme about Moths broadcast on Radio 4 on 27th September. I for one did not know some moths could produce anti-bat sonar!

Phil.

BBC Radio 4 - Natural Histories, Moth

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Cors Dyfi event - a damp evening of mothing



Our penultimate event of the season was at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve, an excellent low lying bog in the extreme west of the county which over the years has produced some unique county records, and therefore, it is a very important site as regards moth species.

A view of the white sheet from a very wet car park

As the event approached the weather hadn’t been that great, with wet and rather cool conditions prevailing. On the day of the event, however, fairly dry and cold conditions were forecast but as evening fell drizzle ensued; at least this held the temperature up a little from the forecast, so we couldn’t complain.

Pink-barred Sallow

We arrived onsite by 6:30pm to give ourselves plenty of time to sort out where traps were going and to get set up. By 7:30, in the gloomy conditions, the traps were switched on and after a short talk by me the event got under way at 8pm.

The timing of this event meant that some of our resident autumn species were very likely to make a show – and indeed, the first species to the table was a beautifully marked Pink-barred Sallow, swiftly followed by a Canary-shouldered Thorn, a Sallow and a rather nice (and abnormally large!) Angle Shades. For a full species list please click here.

Traps on the boardwalk

After about an hour a stunning Orange Sallow was brought in. I knew straight away that this was the first time this species had been recorded at an event and when I asked Janine to open the species page on her computer I could then confirm that this was only the forth site in the county where this species had been recorded – there was certainly a heightened buzz of camera activity once this was known. 

Orange Sallow

Micro species were a bit thin on the ground, but we did manage five species, which included Epinotia nisella a very variable species with many colour forms and Agonopterix ocellana which was a new site record for this species.

The only migrant species of the evening was a Silver Y.

The only migrant species of the night - a Silver Y

A very large looper caterpillar was brought to the table which got us all flicking through the reference books but we were soon able to identify it as a fully grown Peppered Moth Larva. Its camouflage was so like the sallow twig on which it was found that not everyone was actually able to see it right away – once again, the cameras were in action!

Peppered Moth Larva

By 11:00pm activity had slowed down so we decided to call it a night, and, as we were packing the traps away, we did manage to add three more species to the list, a Pale Pinion, Copper Underwing and the micro Endrosis sarcitrella (white-shouldered House Moth).

Many thanks to all those who brought along traps and those who helped with setting up and taking down the kit. Also, many thanks to Sue, who couldn’t be at the event in person but still managed to give Paul a tin of home made chocolate tiffin for us all to enjoy (Mmm!).

Peter. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cors Dyfi public mothing event



Hello Moth-ers,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding its penultimate mothing event of 2017 at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve, in the west of the county just south of Machynlleth. This excellent low lying bog has proved to be an exceptional site in the past and we’re hoping something exciting may turn up, who knows! (perhaps a late Rosy Marsh Moth) along with those early autumn species, which include many of the beautiful sallow species. So please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing at this superb site.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve
Event Date: Saturday 16th. September
Event Time: 7:00 onwards, at the reserve car park.
Directions: The reserve is found on the right hand side, 4 miles south-west of Machynlleth on the A487.
Grid Reference: SN704984

Montgomeryshire Moth Group (MMG) is an independent voluntary group of people interested in moths. All ages are welcome to attend events whether experts or beginners.

This year all the events are light trapping events. We set up the light traps at dusk to attract moths and then release them after identification.

As with all our evening events, please bring a torch and wear suitable outdoor clothing.

You are welcome to join us for as much of the evening that suits you, we are likely to stay for several hours. However, in case of cancellation, due to poor weather or unforeseen circumstances, always ring or e-mail to check the event is on before joining us.

Peter Williams.
Montgomeryshire County Moth Recorder (VC47)

Tel: 01650 511583

Monday, 4 September 2017

Nocturnal pollination study.

Below is an article I came across that I thought may be of interest to mothers et al .

Night time plant pollination by insects seems, by comparison to daytime pollination to have been relatively neglected until of late. It is increasingly now recognised as a significant factor in food crop production.

With the current crisis in Bee populations in particular, there is an urgent need to establish and understand the environmental factors that benefit or adversely affect night flying insects.

The following article also provides a link to the actual published article in the journal Nature.  

Pollination threatened by artificial light - BBC News

Makes me wonder about all those poorly positioned, permanent "security" lights I see at homes and work places, often illuminating far greater areas than necessary.

Phil.