Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Pont Llogel Event

Our penultimate event of the year was at Pont Llogel SSSI. Earlier in the day it looked as though it was going to be a rather ‘wet one’ as it was heavy rain from early Saturday morning until mid afternoon, but then it stopped, leaving overcast conditions, giving more hope of a dry event.

The trapping site from the bridge
The trapping area along footpath
We were on site by 7:15pm and while we were setting up the traps light drizzle began to fall so the gazebo had to be erected pretty sharply to give us a dry base camp. Although rather damp, the overall weather conditions were quite good as the air was still, with a mild temperature, so we all anticipated a fairly good evening’s trapping and the trap lights were switched on at 8pm.
Setting up the white sheet

First species in was a Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing followed by a really nice Blue-bordered Carpet which Meurig was quick to photograph. The time of the year meant that we were very likely to catch several sallow species and we weren’t disappointed as we recorded the Centre-barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and the Sallow, all of which are ‘crowd pleasers’ due to their bright colours. Another crowd pleaser, a stunning Herald, also put in an appearance.

Blue-bordered Carpet
Centre-barred Sallow
After an hour or so the drizzle stopped but, unfortunately, a rather gusty wind ‘got up’ so we all had to occasionally hang onto the gazebo in case it took off. The moths however, continued to come in; Gavin potted up the fairly uncommon Clay Triple-lines, and a fresh Purple Bar and Barred Chestnut were brought to the table – Meurig was certainly kept busy with his camera as he was on ‘photo duty’ for the evening.

Clay Triple-lines

As far as Micro species were concerned, the list was rather smaller, but, a really nice Ypsolopha parenthesella was trapped and good examples of Epinotia nisella and Epinotia tenerana were also recorded. Only one migrant species was recorded; a Silver Y. For a full species list please click here.

Later in the evening Sue brought out the cake and we all had a ‘chocolate fix’ which kept us buzzing for the rest of the evening – the cake tin was soon emptied and our attention was turned back once again to the moths!
Barred Chestnut

As is often the way at these events we include a number of ‘identification workshops’ on the diagnostic features of those species which closely resemble each other. One of the workshops on this occasion was how to separate the Common Marbled from the Dark Marbled Carpet. Throughout the evening examples were brought to the table which all turned out to be the Common Marbled Carpet, so I was more than delighted when, late evening, Paul managed to pot a Dark Marbled Carpet and everyone was able to see the diagnostic features on the underside of the wing, showing it clearly to be this species.

Purple Bar
Dusky Thorn

The river bank from the footpath

Soon after midnight we decided to call it a day and started to pack the kit away. Several species were then added to list, these included a Rosy Rustic, a Canary-shouldered Thorn, and Mel potted a rather nice Dusky Thorn – however the rain had the last say - it tipped it down just as we were dismantling the last traps, which made a rather soggy finish to the evening.

Many thanks to those who brought along extra traps and to everyone who helped with setting up and taking down the kit - this is always much appreciated (particularly with an aging back!). Also thanks to Meurig for taking and processing the event photos and to Sue for the excellent cake.


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