Friday, 3 April 2015

The Hobbits of Pendugwm ‘Middle Moth’ Woods

Well, what an event this turned out to be! – They said we were going to get stormy weather, and to be fair, that’s exactly what we got. When we arrived on site at 6:00pm conditions weren’t too bad, it was a bit breezy, but that was ok, in fact, in all, conditions looked pretty good for the mothing, but then…….
View of path to the right of car park

We had just finished setting up the traps and white sheet as it was getting dark, so, we settled in for the evening. It wasn’t too long before moths were being brought to the table; in fact, we had ten species in the very first 30 minutes and only a few more within the next hour. Chestnut and Small Quaker were first potted and these were swiftly followed by Twin-spotted Quaker, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Brindled Pug, March Moth, Pale Brindled Beauty, Engrailed and the Satellite. The striking Oak Beauty (the star of the evening) and the remaining species were trapped soon afterwards.

No micro moths or migrant species were recorded at the event.

To see the full species list, please click here.

It all went downhill from thereon. After about an hour and a half or so the wind started to pick up and was gusting quite strongly, the white sheet was billowing out like a sail on a ship, and I could see the support poles breaking at any minute. Therefore, I had to make a quick decision as to whether we could re-site the sheet or needed to take it down completely. We did find a better site for the sheet, so things were temporally better, but then the wind got even stronger and the gazebo tried to ‘take off’, so now we all had to keep a hand on it’s legs to keep it grounded. Someone suggested ‘why don’t we retract the legs which would lower the gazebo, thus making it less susceptible the wind, this did work and was better for a while, in fact it was pointed out that as we were all stooping to be under the gazebo we all took on the guise of ‘Hobbits’ (see image), which was very amusing to all of us. Ultimately however, the weather, soon after, just got too severe for us all and we started to pack the kit away much earlier than we would normally.

Hobbits Peer out from under the lowered gazebo

Many thanks to those few brave souls that did turn up for the evening, but, it has to be said that, on this occasion the weather and perhaps the spirits of the wood certainly had the last laugh and between them, drove us away!


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