Monday, 14 September 2015

Dolforwyn Woods 'Moth Night' - Event Report

This event was held on National Moth Night, which this year had the theme of’ Migrant Moths’.

The event was also in conjunction with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, who were represented by Tammy, who brought an array of electronic devices for detecting bats and identifying other small creatures.

Base camp, as we were setting up
Sighting of the Robinson trap

A total of 8 traps were used, with a white sheet at ‘base camp’ and 4 MV Skinners, an MV Robinson and 2 Heath Actinics being spaced out along the main track. While these were being setup Tammy, after standing for a long time with her head in the undergrowth, produced the first insect of the evening, a Dark Bush-cricket which she had heard chirping deep in the vegetation.

Dark Bush-cricket
Canary-shouldered Thorn

As the light faded Common and Soprano Pipistrelle bats were heard on the bat detectors, and could be seen flying up and down the track searching for insects. Tammy also recorded other bat calls for later analysis including at least one Myotis species.

The first moth of the evening was a Centre-barred Sallow followed shortly afterwards by a Canary-shouldered Thorn, a new species for this site.

Another early visitor to the traps was a hornet. After everyone had a good look she was released, and promptly went and settled on the white sheet, as close to the warmth from the lamp as possible, where she remained for the rest of the evening.

A cloudless sky giving low temperatures meant the number of moths was quite low, but there was a steady trickle throughout the evening. The most numerous species was Common Marbled Carpet, each of which was checked to see if it was a Dark Marbled Carpet, without success The best macros were Pale Eggar and a couple of Hedge Rustics, both new for species this site.

A male Black Arches

Blastobasis adustella
The only migrant species Silver Y
Just before midnight, with the temperature dropping down to 8.2C and little further moth activity we decided to pack up the traps. Final checks of the traps added Flame Carpet, Spruce Carpet, Flounced Rustic (new for the site) and July Highflyer, bringing the total count of macro species to 20. 8 micro species were recorded, including Agonopterix arenella and Eudonia lacustrata, both new to the site. The only migrant moth found was Silver Y; a warmer evening might have produced a few more. For a full species list please click here.

Thirteen people attended the event, and Peter recruited a couple more recorders to help fill holes in the county records database.

Paul Roughley

1 comment:

  1. Well done Paul - good to see Hedge Rustic - a new one for me.