Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Public mothing event at Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) 22nd July



Hello All,

This Saturday, 22nd July, the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding a public mothing event at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), situated just north of Machynlleth, in the west of the county. Once again we are trapping above the quarry which has now got walkways throughout, very spectacular. We first trapped at this particular site at CAT two years ago when we found a breeding population of the rare Barred Carpet, so fingers crossed that we’ll do equally as well at this event. So please come along and join us at this very under-recorded site for what promises to be an excellent evening’s mothing.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Centre for Alterative Technology (CAT)
Event Date: Saturday 22nd. July
Meet Time: 8:30pm onwards. Park in car park.
Directions: From Machynlleth head north on the A487 for about three miles: CAT is signposted and the centre is on the right hand side of the road. Once you enter the CAT main car park please drive up to the car park at the top of the North Drive (the North Drive can be found to the left of the ticket office as you enter the main car park), where it will be signposted to the trapping area above the quarry.
Grid Reference: SH754044

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

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Posting on the blog

Just a quick reminder that the blog is for everyone to use. Please feel free to share anything you think may be of note; this might include unusual records, photos, mothing stories, annual reports, etc. The blog can also be a place for discussion if you have an ID query, question or a general point to raise.

If you're not already set up as a blog author, the process is very simple and only requires a Google account (the chances are you already have one). Please just drop me an email - my address on the sidebar.

Douglas.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Hafren Forest - 05/07/17

I went to more under-recorded forestry on Wednesday night; this time to Hafren Forest in the south-west of the county. SN88 has had very little summer trapping so I picked a very warm night (18c for most of the night!) and headed down with 6 traps.

I trapped at 340m in an area of the site that is dominated by broadleaved scrub, with an understory of heathers, bilberry, etc. The scrub is adjacent to large areas of commercial conifers. I caught a large number of species that are meant to only be associated with larch: e.g. Argyresthia laevigatella, Coleophora laricella, Ptycholomoides aeriferanus and Larch Pug (no larch appeared to present). I wonder if these species are utilising non-native conifer species in the county - I have noticed this at a couple of other sites in the county.

Within about an hour of switching the lights on, I noticed a very large pug species sitting on one of the traps. My first thought was Cloaked Pug but dismissed this as I believed it to be extinct. However, upon checking the book and reading that there is evidence of recent breeding in the UK and the foodplants are non-native conifers, I quickly returned to pot the moth. Indeed, it was Cloaked Pug (three were caught in total), representing the first county record since the 80s and strongly suggesting the species is breeding here once again. Who knows how common this moth is in the county - there's certainly enough potential habitat but most of it goes completely untrapped!

I recorded a total of 141 species. Bryotropha boreella was new for the county. Other moths of note included Gold Swift, Exoteleia dodecella, Celypha rivulana, Scoparia ancipitella, Beautiful Carpet, Dotted Carpet, Small Argent & Sable, Red-necked Footman, Clouded Buff, Double Line and Marsh Oblique-barred.

Photos below:
Hafren Forest - 05/07/17

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bryn yr Ysbyty - 03/07/17

Bryn yr Ysbyty is an area of forestry located near Carno and is in one of the most under-recorded parts of the county. Peter and I trapped there last night with the aim of adding some dots to the maps.

The trapping area is located at 315m and the habitat is predominantly broadleaved scrub, with other important features including flower-rich grassy verges and coniferous plantation. Thick cloud meant the temperature didn't drop below 13c, although there was constant drizzle of rain for much of the night.

We recorded a very respectable 138 species across the six traps. The best record was Bucculatrix demaryella, a micro which had not been seen in the county since 1980 (probably common but very under-recorded). Some of the better macros were Plain Wave, Light Brocade, Cloaked Carpet and Double Line. With the warm conditions we did well with pugs, with some of the more notable species including Triple-spotted, Dwarf, Larch and Wormwood. Other moths of note were: Satin Beauty, Scallop Shell, Galium Carpet, Beautiful Carpet, Beautiful Snout, Welsh Wave and Minor-shoulder Knot.

Photos of the site, some of the moths caught and the species list can be seen by following the link below:
Bryn yr Ysbyty - 03/07/17

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Coed Y Dinas event

In the week preceding the event the promise of a dry Saturday night from the weather forecasters did actually materialise; the evening was mild and fairly muggy which pointed towards ideal mothing conditions.



Beautiful Hook-tip
The four of us taking traps had arranged to meet at 8:30 to give us plenty of time to set up a total of seven traps.  We placed them along the main paths of the site which pretty well covered the site and the lights were switched on shortly after 10pm.


Poplar Grey

Acleris Rhombana
While it was still light Gavin caught some micro moths with his net, these included - Eudonia Lacustrata, Ditula angustiorana and Celypha lacunana, the last of which was a new record for the site. In fact it was an excellent evening as far as new site records were concerned; by the end of the event we had bagged no fewer than 34 new site records; the Obscure Wainscot was only the forth county record of this species.

Double Lobed
Once the traps were fired up moths were brought to the table almost immediately and it became very busy at base camp identifying everything as it came in. First up was a Riband Wave, closely followed be a Snout, July Highflyer and a Mid-barred Minor, then a cracking female Ghost Moth which gave rise to stories of this species ‘lekking’ in the grasses on still, warm evenings which is wonderful to observe if you’re ever lucky enough.
Checking the trap

As the evening progressed, potted specimens were flooding into base camp for id – Beautiful Hook-tip, Southern Wainscot, and a stunning Lilac Beauty certainly kept everyone buzzing. Then another Wainscot species was brought in, we couldn’t id it at the time, but later it was confirmed as an Obscure Wainscot; this was definitely our best catch of the night. Other noticeable macro species were – Scallop Shell, Double Lobed, Clay Triple-lines, Dingy Shears, Poplar Grey, and a lovely to see, freshly emerged Garden Tiger.

Scallop Shell

An excellent haul of 41 species of micro moth were recorded, we don’t often get to these numbers at events. Yponomeuta evonymella (Bird-cherry Ermine) was quite numerous and were found in all the traps as the site contains numerous larval webs on the foodplant. Also recorded was one Yponomeuta cagnagella (Spindle Ermine). Other noticeable species were – Acleris xylosteana, Tortrix viridana, Phycita roborella, Monopis laevigella, Prays fraxinella, Hedya ochroleucana, and probably best micro of the night was only the 10th county record of Batrachedra praeangusta.



Yponomeuta evonymella
            Shortly after 2:00am we decided to call it a day and, as usual, as we were emptying out the traps, the last few species of the night were           added to the list – Poplar Hawk-moth, Common Footman, Buff-tip, Rustic, V-pug, Early Thorn a nice Scalloped Oak. I wish we had Rustic earlier in the evening when I could have held a workshop on the differences between this species and the Uncertain, always a talking point – never mind, one to do at another event perhaps. In all, an excellent 108 species were recorded. To see the full list, please click here.
Obscure Wainscot



Many thanks to those who brought along their traps also to those who helped setting up and packing away the kit and, of course, to Sue for bringing along her very scrummy chocolate brownies.

Peter.   




Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Public mothing event at Coed Y Dinas Nature Reserve on Saturday 24th June



Hello Moth-ers,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding a public mothing event at Coed Y Dinas Nature Reserve, situated just south of Welshpool, in the east of the county. This excellent site has proved to be very productive over the past few years, so we are hoping to add more moth species to the site records. So please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing at this superb water and wooded nature reserve.
Full event details are:-

Venue: Coed Y Dinas
Event Date: Saturday 24th June
Meet Time: 9:00pm onwards. Park in reserve car park.
Directions: From Welshpool head south on the A490 for about a mile and a half and the reserve entrance is just before the roundabout on the left.
Grid Reference: SJ220051

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.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Mothing in Montgomeryshire - 2016

Peter's annual report for 2016 has been published and can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Public mothing event at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy



A view across a grey Lake Vyrnwy

With the weeks continuing warm night time temperatures it was looking good for a productive moth event at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy. Temperatures didn’t disappoint, only dropping to 13.6°C, and there was a constant drizzle for most of the night which meant we got a little damp but was also perfect for midges! Peter donned his midge net jumper while the rest of us did the midge dance.

Midge protection


Peppered Moth
5 traps, along with the white sheet, were set up and were illuminating the lakeside by 10pm and soon produced a nice female  Fox Moth and the first of two migrant species of the night in the form of a Silver Y. These were quickly followed by some of the more colourful species such as Ruby Tiger, Peach Blossom and Green Silver-lines. Devon Carpets were numerous early on and gave us a good chance to examine the ID features to separate it from other similar ‘carpets’, including Small Phoenix which appeared later in the night.
A huddle of hawk-moths -Elephant, Small Elephant & Poplar
Green Silver-lines



Other ‘nice to see’ species included Pale Prominent, Miller, Peppered Moth, Alder Moth, Scorched Wing and May Highflyer. For a full species list,
please click here.

One of the wooded tracks
A very active white sheet


The white sheet proved very popular, not just by the many midges but also the 3 species of hawk-moth that were seen. These were the Elephant, Small Elephant and a very large female Poplar Hawk-moth, the biggest Peter had ever seen! It also produced the 2nd migrant species of the night, the micro Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back moth) which was hiding among the midges.
A total of 5 micro species were recorded: Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Syndemis musculana, Nematopogon schwarziellus and Zeiraphera isertana.

A pair of Fox Moths
Though nothing exceptional was caught there a couple of county scarcities in the form of the Welsh Wave and a rather splendid Gold Swift, which given the larvae of Gold Swift feed on bracken should perhaps be commoner than records suggest.

Plutella xylostella



The final species of the night was a shy Small Angle Shades which we discovered hiding behind the white sheet when packing up. This took the total to 58 macro species along with the 5 micros already mentioned. A successful night which was made even more enjoyable with the addition of some of Sue’s cake, delicious as always, thanks Sue!

Gavin.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Public mothing event at lake Vyrnwy on Saturday 27th. May



Hello All,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding a public mothing event at Lake Vyrnwy, west of Llanfyllin. This is the first time that we will trap this particular site, therefore it’s an empty canvas as to what species will be recorded, and so who knows what will turn up! So please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing at this wonderful mixed woodland and lakeside site.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Lake Vyrnwy
Event Date: Saturday 27th May
Event Time: 8:30pm at the road lay-by
Directions: From the main RSPB centre at Llanwddyn head north along the B4393 on the south side of the lake for just over a mile when you will see the lay-by on the right hand side of the road where we will be setting up base camp.
Grid Reference: SJ002202

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, 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.