Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Deri Woods public mothing event



Talk before event

On the preceding days before the Deri Woods event the night time temperatures had fallen to below freezing with the coldest night being -3c on the Thursday so the event didn’t look too promising. Therefore, it was very fortuitous indeed that the temperature picked up on the Friday and all then seemed set fair for Saturday.

A view of River Banwy
Lunar Marbled Brown
This was the first time that the MMG had held an event at this excellent woodland site and on this occasion it was to be a joint event with the MWT (Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust) who were bat recording. This part of the event was lead by Tammy Stretton and Chris Radford.

Doing id at base camp
We were on site by 7:00pm and while we moth-ers were setting up the kit Tammy gave a talk to everyone on bats and bat detecting, she then led a walk across the reserve bat detecting along the way. By 8:30 the moth traps were switched on and after a short talk on things ‘mothy’ the evening’s action got under way.

We started well - the first moth in was a very nice Water Carpet followed by an equally good Purple Thorn. The usual suspects of spring time trapping all made a show and included Common Quaker, Clouded Drab and Hebrew Character and a rather nice Lunar Marbled Brown also put in an appearance. Gavin brought a couple of unusual additions to the table, a vacated leaf mine in bramble of Stigmella aurella and a small larva which was later identified as a Buff Footman.

Clouded Drab
As the evening progressed the skies began to clear so the temperature didn’t hold up as well as I hoped for, but, fortunately the moths were still brought to the table at a steady rate. The rather small but strikingly marked macro moth the Least Black Arches was recorded and also a Grey Birch was potted. The latter moth sparked up an excellent id workshop and it had everyone fingering through the references books. After a while Sarah had the brownie points for identifying it.
Traps illuminating the footpath

Towards the end of the evening, probably, the best species of the event was potted, a rather nice Dwarf Pug a species which most who attended had not seen before, a second one was also potted.  Other notable late arrivals were Shuttle-shaped Dart, Streamer, and Oak-tree Pug.  For a full species list please click here.

Bluebells in a wooded area
Micro moths were definitely thin on the ground with only three species being recorded: Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Gracillaria syringella, and the aforementioned Stigmella aurella. No migrant species were recorded.
Dwarf Pug



As for the bat recording Tammy tells me it was surprisingly good for such a short recording window! Both Common and Soprano Pipistrelle were recorded, also, a brief pass from a Noctule and 2 different Myotis, the species of these three yet to be determined.



The event as a whole was very successful and everyone had a good time. We shall definitely endeavour to hold another event at this site as it holds great promise. Many thanks to Sue for bringing the cake and to Mel for the chocolates.

Peter.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Public mothing and bat recording event at Deri Woods - 29th April



Hello Moth-ers,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding a joint bat and mothing event with the MWT at Deri Woods Nature Reserve, west of Welshpool. This is the first time that the MMG has held an event at the excellent woodland site. The site itself is very under recorded, so you never know, an unusual species or two of bat or moth just might make an appearance! So please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing and bat detecting at this lovely woodland site alongside the river Banwy.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Deri Woods Nature Reserve
Event Date: Saturday 29th April
Target Species: Spring species
Event Time: 7:00 onwards, at the reserve car park.
Directions: At Llanfair Caereinion on the A458 cross over the river on Bridge Street, follow the high street along and round up to the right, staying on the B4385 through Llanfair, as you begin to leave Llanfair the road drops down, at the bottom of the hill the car park is on the right. In the car park there is a Llanfair Caereinion town road sign and a sign about the wood.
Grid Reference: SJ095067

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.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Dolforwyn Woods Event



Setting up base camp
Checking the white sheet

The first event of the year took place at Dolforwyn Woods on Saturday 1st April. In previous years these early events have produced some challenging weather conditions, and Saturday didn’t look too promising, a bit windy and heavy showers for most of the day. By early evening, however, the rain had cleared, and the wind had dropped, and as we set up the traps it was reasonably warm and very still, and a good catch was anticipated.
Purple Thorn on the white sheet

Lunar Marbled Brown
Checking the catch
Dark Sword-grass
Frosted Green
As dusk descended the traps were lit up and it wasn’t long before the first moths appeared, Engrailed followed by the first of many Brindled Pugs. Peter was then kept busy as the list of macros grew quite rapidly and included

Pale Pinion
Double-striped Pug

Lunar Marbled Brown, Dark Sword-grass and Dotted Border, all new species for the site, and Pale Brindled Beauty, which had only been recorded on one previous occasion. Micros were represented by two colour forms of Acleris literana and large numbers of Diurnea Fagella, both of which were new species for the site.
Acleris literana
additional species were brought back to base for identification in quick succession.





Water Carpet
At 11.30pm the temperature was still a reasonable 9C, but the rain commenced again, and we began to pack up. The traps yielded a Mottled Grey and Dyseriocrania subpurpurella as they were being emptied; both of these were new to the site. A total of 30 species 27 macro and 3 micro, were recorded, some of which were present in large numbers.To see the full species list please click here.

Thanks to those who brought along their traps, and to Sue who once again provided refreshments.




Paul Roughley.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Public Mothing Event at Dolforwyn Woods - Saturday 1st April



Hello Moth-ers,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding its first mothing event of 2017 at Dolforwyn Woods Nature Reserve, just north of Newtown. This has proved to be an excellent site in the past and we’re hoping for all those early spring species to turn up and perhaps one or two more unusual species, who knows! So please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing at this superb woodland site.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Dolforwyn Woods Nature Reserve
Event Date: Saturday 1st April
Target Species: Early Spring species
Event Time: 7:00 onwards, at the upper reserve car park (the meet time of 6:30 stated on the website is incorrect).
Directions: Going north on the A483 from Newtown to Welshpool you will see two signposts for Abermule on the right hand side of the road. Directly after the second signpost take the first left turn, signposted for Dolforwyn Castle. Dolforwyn Hotel is visible as you turn up this lane. Go straight on and follow the lane as it curves right for about 300yds. The reserve track is on the right. Follow the track for about 400yds until you reach a parking area.
Grid Reference: SO158956

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

Sunday, 12 February 2017

2017 'January Challenge' - the results

Hello Mothers,

The January challenge has now finished, the data is all in and has been collated in the charts below.

This year 11 mothers took part and between us we recorded 22 species (16 macro and 6 micro) and 554 moths (541 macro and 13 micro), which is an excellent effort on everyone's part.
Only one person achieved the macro part of the challenge, with 10 plus species that was myself with 13 species, Chris Williams was next with 7 species, followed by Sue Southam with 5 species. However, no-one managed to get the 5 species of the micro part of the challenge - the best was again myself with 4 species then Paul Roughley with 3 species.

Now for a more in depth breakdown of what was recorded.

Macros - As can be seen in the chart below the species recorded by the most people was the Pale Brindled Beauty (6 people) , this was followed by the Winter Moth and the Spring Usher (4). Across all recorders the most numerous species was the Spring Usher with a massive 244 moths, incredibly most (219 moths) were recorded by Chris Williams on just two nights. The Mottled Umber came second with 109 moths and the Winter Moth third with 76 moths..
The most moths recorded by individual recorders was Chris Williams 315, Peter Williams 194 and Sue Southam 21.
Of the 16 species recorded, none were totally unexpected, although the Engrailed and Spruce Carpet are always a good January records.

Micros - these were particularly thin on the ground this year with only four recorders trapping anything at all, but the species recorded by the most recorders was Agonopterix heracliana (3 people), followed by Acleris notana (2). No unexpected micro species were recorded this year.



The chart below gives a breakdown of the the top five numerous macro species recorded over the past six years. As can be seen, the Winter Moth (normally in the top two species) has been pushed down into third place this year, with the Spring Usher (not unexpectedly) and Mottled Umber coming first and second.  




Key to recorders who took part:-



DG:      Deborah Griffith        
SS:        Simon Spencer           
PRW:   Peter Williams
JP & MTT:    Julie Pearce & Mark Thomas 
PR:       Paul Roughley 
AT:       Alan Tadman * indicates observations rather than trapping 
GBC:    Gavin Chambers        
JH:        Jeny Heard     
SOS:     Sue Southam  
SAS:     Sarah Anstis-Smith    
CW:      Chris Williams * Indicates that the record shown as an Acleris notana is in fact an Acleris notanat/ferrugana Agg.


Many thanks to everyone who took part in this years 'challenge', especially to Deborah, who as last year ran her trap throughout the month and as last year once again recorded nothing at all - now there's dedication (or madness) for you!

Peter.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Final call for 2016 records

We will be doing our annual download to our database very soon, so if anyone has still got any moth records for 2016 that haven't been sent to me, would they please send them to me now, thanks.

Peter.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Mystery minibeast



Just wondering whether anyone recognises this? It's attached to an egg box in my moth trap - may have been there a while as it's only about 6mm long and very well camouflaged, so could easily have been overlooked..

Am guessing it's a pupa in a net-like cocoon, and it has 2 dark stripes on its upper side, and possibly another two below.

There's a picture of a Schreckensteinia festaliella larva ready for pupation in the Field Guide to Micro Moths book (thanks Paul), showing the net-like cocoon, but I can't find a convincingly striped larva/pupa photo.
Plutella xylostella makes a similar net case, but again haven't found any pictures where the stripes are evident - I guess it may change colour during the process - one site (bugguide.net - an American website) stated that a pupa had changed from whitish to very dark overnight.
Guess rearing it on may be the only way, and I'm having a go, but it will be good to get folks' thoughts.

I've no idea how it came to be attached to the egg box!




January Challenge

Hello Moth-ers ,

Could you please now send me your results for the ‘January challenge’? It will be very interesting to see how those who took part got on as it was a very changeable month as regards the weather. Please remember that all lists must come from one trapping site. If you trapped at multiple sites then please send me a list for each site, thanks.

I need just three bits of information from you all:-
1) A full list of macro and micro species you recorded during January.
2) Total number of moths you recorded for each species.
3) How many days did you trap during January? Or if species were sighted other than ‘light trapped’, please state.

Please remember, it doesn’t matter how many species you recorded during the month, even if you caught just a single moth (or indeed nothing), please send me the details as it all goes towards building up the larger picture. Thanks.

Once I’ve gathered in all the data I will post the results on our website blog (address below).

Peter.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Last year's records

If anyone has any 2016 butterfly records for me, please drop me an email (douglas@montgomeryshiremoths.org.uk). It would be great to have these sooner rather than later, if possible please.

And of course, Peter will no doubt appreciate your moth records too (peter@montgomeryshiremoths.org.uk).