Tuesday, 30 June 2015

An evening of bats and moths at Roundton

Our MMG event at Roundton Hill NNR was a joint event; the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and Montgomeryshire Bat Group joining us for a night of nocturnal discovery. A mild, still evening saw around 20 folk gather to learn about bats and moths.

Tammy and Abi from MWT started the evening with a light-hearted quiz on bats and moths, where participates had to decide whether a statement was true or false by gathering in the corresponding area. As well as exercising everyone's brain, the activity resulted in some gentle exercise as people traipsed up and down the slope! The quiz was followed by a brief talk from Tammy and myself on our respective taxon groups, culminating in a bat walk around the site. Six species of bat were recorded around the woodland and stream: Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Lesser Horseshoe, Brown Long-eared Bat, Daubenton’s Bat and Whiskered Bat.

Quiz time!
By the time the bat group returned, the mothing was in full swing. Dave Green who joined us for the night had been busy netting micros and had already amassed about 15 species, including Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, a species rarely recorded in the county.  Between us we had 10 traps, spread across the reserve. The traps were able to cover the main habitats of the site: damp woodland, flowery grassland and gorse scrub. Some of the best micro records of the night were Bryotropha politellaColeophora striatipennella and Elachista albifrontella, the latter having not been seen in the county for over 30 years.  The more notable macro records included Galium Carpet, Cloaked Carpet, Blomer's Rivulet and Campion. These species were joined by a wide range of crowd-pleasers including large numbers of Small Elephant Hawk-moth and Peach Blossom. A excellent total of 165 moth species were seen on night - one of MMG's most successful events. Just as we started packing up, the heavens opened, resulting in a somewhat damp end to the evening. Particular thanks to Paul who stayed to the drippy end lugging the kit down the hill.

Peter was sadly unable to attend this event due to back problems. Peter kindly lent me his kit for the night so many thanks for that, and thanks for Paul and Dave also for bringing along their traps. We all wish Peter a speedy recovery in plenty of time for our next event, on the 18th of July, at Cors Dyfi. 

The event details and full species list are available here.

One of the many Small Elephant Hawk-moths

1 comment:

  1. It sounds as though you all had a great night - it's just a shame that I had to miss it.

    The moth species list of 165 species is a wonderful total and is certainly one of the highest lists we've ever had at an event, I expect you were all kept rather busy throughout the evening.

    Many thanks to Douglas for running the event and to the other helpers who made the evening go so well.