Sunday, 5 April 2015

Llyn Mawr

Just back from a visit to Llyn Mawr, a very boggy (especially at this time of year!) MWT reserve up in the hills. Visiting upland sites outside of summer is always risky (I remember a MMG event at the same site in October 2010 when we nearly froze to death and only caught two moths). Llyn Mawr, a SSSI, had never been trapped in the spring before though so I thought it would be worthwhile to add a few dots to the maps.

Arrived at the site late afternoon. Beautifully sunny with temperatures well into the mid teens. Set up a variety of traps around the site as the sun set.

As soon as the sun was gone, temperatures began to plummet as predicted. A full moon competing with my traps for the moth's attention probably also lowered the catches. With few moths, I was glad of Peter's company who joined me for much of the night.

Mottled Grey - 20
Common Quaker - 4
Early Grey - 4
Red Chestnut - 5
Clouded Drab - 5
Hebrew Character - 3
Red Sword-grass - 1
Water Carpet - 1
Pale Brindled Beauty - 1
Agonopterix heracliana - 1

The site has excellent mobile phone reception so I was even able use the 3G data on my phone to set up a wifi hotspot for my laptop - don't you just love technology! Was even fast enough for video streaming: thought I'd check out ITV's CGI reboot of Thunderbirds to amuse myself for a few minutes - the puppets in the original series seemed more lifelike!

Some of the species: Toad, Mottled Grey and Red Sword-grass

As I was packing up, the thermometer read 1.5c, though it was probably colder at ground-level. Ice was forming on the traps and the sheets had frozen, become stiff. Although nothing too unexpected was caught, 9 new site records and a few them new to the 10km square too, so was certainly a worthwhile trip. Probably about as good as it's going to get at a site like Llyn Mawr at this time of year. The only recapture was Red Sword-grass which had been seen at there in autumn 1977, so it's nice to update that record - Red Sword-grass being a relatively uncommon species.

Arrived home to be find the temperature only a few degrees warmer. A similar number of species in the garden trap with the only moth of note being a Yellow-horned, the first of the year for the garden.

1 comment:

  1. What a cracking sunset!

    Yes, it was a bit cold, but we managed to add several dots on the map which was good. The Red Sword-grass was definately the star of the show.