Y Felin is a 7 acre smallholding that has little changed since the 1940's. Today, and since our arrival 20 years ago, it is managed as a conservation smallholding on which we seek to protect the rich diversity of the unimproved meadows and hedgerows whilst encouraging the further increase of biodiversity.
By virtue of their mainly nocturnal flight times moths had, until a few years ago, been an under recorded aspect of the ecology of Y Felin. However, as with creating a pond which attracted many new species, acquiring a moth trap has revealed a great many previously unrecorded but already resident species.
Collecting a nights catch is always an exciting moment......and somewhat daunting too in the summer months with so many specimens to be identified. A task that is made so much easier now we have the excellent Monty Moths web site and its listings of the monthly likelies. The catch is always viewed with wonder and excitement by both adults and children alike who may be staying in our caravan or camping in the meadow. And it affords a good opportunity to talk about wildlife in general and the need to protect the habitats that are so essential to its survival.
The highlights of this years mothing have been watching the emergence of an Elephant Hawk Moth from a chrysalis unearthed during the winter and similarly the emergence of a Ruby Tiger from a cocoon found under an old corrugated iron sheet. From the trap the most notable record was the catch, in mid December, of a Clouded Drab a whole 6 weeks earlier than the previous earliest record for the County. But despite all the beauties of the moth world my favourite moths of Y Felin are our colony of Chimney Sweepers; dainty little black moths that emerge every year to flutter, in the sunshine, amongst the grasses and flowers of the meadows.