Monday 30 July 2012

A Moth Marathon at Cors Dyfi

With the weather improving and looking even better for the week ahead I decided to throw caution to the wind and do a 3 nights in a row trapping session at Cors Dyfi.

The techy bit – 4 traps in total. One sheet & 125w MV bulb above the Visitor Centre. One 125w MV Skinner in the carpark. One 125w MV Robinson halfway down the boardwalk. One 40w Actinic Funnel Trap at the end of the boardwalk. Start times around 9.30pm, finish times around 4am – I had to finish this early because the birds have learned quick and come down to peck all the moths off the sheet and from around the traps! Highest temperature recorded was 19.7 at start of trapping. Lowest was 11.1 at end of trapping.

The first night, Tuesday 24th July remained warm and much to my surprise a lot of moths turned up! Just 2 weeks previous I was still getting averages of just 40 to 60 moths in each trap, now they’d shot up to the high hundreds – amazing what a few days of warmth and dry can do!
The second night was even warmer with temperatures out on the reserve staying in the teens, it’s always 2 or 3 degrees cooler out there than up in the carpark so this made a nice change - though of course it did mean that the mozzies were totally merciless and I ended up with several painful and swollen bites. It was worth it though to get over 700 moths recorded in one night, something not achieved since the warm spell at the end of March before temperatures plummeted. Most notable of those caught was a Lime-speck Pug, not seen in the county since 1998, and 2 Clouded Magpies. 

One of the most numerous species caught was the Garden Tiger and, whilst most were the standard dark brown with white patches type, quite a few were mostly white with dark brown, something I'd not personally seen before and which led me to wonder if this species can actually produce a pure white form and what is it that actually distinguishes pigmentation on the wings?

The final night and temperatures dropped considerably, only just over 11 degrees out on the marsh – subsequently moth numbers dropped too, though still very good at around 530 in 4 traps.
Despite the endless mozzie bites, the total exhaustion and the hours spent filling in the spreadsheet afterwards it was a very enjoyable time; over 1700 moths were logged of 134 different species and 11 new species were recorded for the reserve.

Perhaps when I’ve recovered I’ll do it again.....

Friday 20 July 2012

Moth trapping in the Cévennes, South France

For two weeks at the end of June/start of July I was out in France doing some trapping at a field centre. Total macro species for the trip is around 250, which includes some really special things I'll never see in the UK.

I've uploaded summary of the trapping here.

Some people seem to be having some issues with the above link; if you are unable to access the report there, please try here.


Monday 16 July 2012

Hafren Forest 14/7

The full report from last Saturday evenings moth event at Hafren Forest can be found here.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Hafren Forest event Saturday 14 July

Hello all,

Below you will find details of the MMG’s next mothing event, which is on Saturday 14 July at Hafren Forest.
This is a wonderful woodland/river site, situated very near the source of the River Severn. It has had very little moth surveying done there over the years, so it is not known whether the site holds any speciality or unrecorded species, so come along and join us to see what turns up, we may all be very surprised!

The event details are:-

Venue: Hafren Forest.
Meet: 8:45 pm at the car park.
Directions: from the A470 take the B4518 towards Staylittle, as you enter the village you will see a signpost on the right for the Hafren Forest and the car park is 4.7 miles along this road on the right hand side.
Map reference: SN856870

Montgomeryshire Moth Group (MMG) is an independent voluntary group of people interested in moths. All ages are welcome, beginners or experts.
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.
You are welcome to join us for as much of the evening as suits you, we are likely to stay for several hours. However, in case of cancellation, in poor weather or unforeseen circumstances, always ring or e-mail to check the event is on before joining us. Please bring a touch and suitable clothing
Please note that some sites are not easy to find, so please make sure that you know where the venue is before you set off.

Hope to see some of you at the event.