Wednesday 31 May 2017

Public mothing event at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy

A view across a grey Lake Vyrnwy

With the weeks continuing warm night time temperatures it was looking good for a productive moth event at RSPB Lake Vyrnwy. Temperatures didn’t disappoint, only dropping to 13.6°C, and there was a constant drizzle for most of the night which meant we got a little damp but was also perfect for midges! Peter donned his midge net jumper while the rest of us did the midge dance.

Midge protection

Peppered Moth
5 traps, along with the white sheet, were set up and were illuminating the lakeside by 10pm and soon produced a nice female  Fox Moth and the first of two migrant species of the night in the form of a Silver Y. These were quickly followed by some of the more colourful species such as Ruby Tiger, Peach Blossom and Green Silver-lines. Devon Carpets were numerous early on and gave us a good chance to examine the ID features to separate it from other similar ‘carpets’, including Small Phoenix which appeared later in the night.
A huddle of hawk-moths -Elephant, Small Elephant & Poplar
Green Silver-lines

Other ‘nice to see’ species included Pale Prominent, Miller, Peppered Moth, Alder Moth, Scorched Wing and May Highflyer. For a full species list,
please click here.

One of the wooded tracks
A very active white sheet

The white sheet proved very popular, not just by the many midges but also the 3 species of hawk-moth that were seen. These were the Elephant, Small Elephant and a very large female Poplar Hawk-moth, the biggest Peter had ever seen! It also produced the 2nd migrant species of the night, the micro Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back moth) which was hiding among the midges.
A total of 5 micro species were recorded: Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Syndemis musculana, Nematopogon schwarziellus and Zeiraphera isertana.

A pair of Fox Moths
Though nothing exceptional was caught there a couple of county scarcities in the form of the Welsh Wave and a rather splendid Gold Swift, which given the larvae of Gold Swift feed on bracken should perhaps be commoner than records suggest.

Plutella xylostella

The final species of the night was a shy Small Angle Shades which we discovered hiding behind the white sheet when packing up. This took the total to 58 macro species along with the 5 micros already mentioned. A successful night which was made even more enjoyable with the addition of some of Sue’s cake, delicious as always, thanks Sue!


Wednesday 24 May 2017

Public mothing event at lake Vyrnwy on Saturday 27th. May

Hello All,

This Saturday the MMG (Montgomeryshire Moth Group) is holding a public mothing event at Lake Vyrnwy, west of Llanfyllin. This is the first time that we will trap this particular site, therefore it’s an empty canvas as to what species will be recorded, and so who knows what will turn up! So please come along and join us for what promises to be a terrific evening’s mothing at this wonderful mixed woodland and lakeside site.

Full event details are:-

Venue: Lake Vyrnwy
Event Date: Saturday 27th May
Event Time: 8:30pm at the road lay-by
Directions: From the main RSPB centre at Llanwddyn head north along the B4393 on the south side of the lake for just over a mile when you will see the lay-by on the right hand side of the road where we will be setting up base camp.
Grid Reference: SJ002202

Montgomeryshire Moth Group (MMG) is an independent voluntary group of people interested in moths. All ages are welcome to attend events whether experts or beginners.
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.

As with all our evening events, please bring a torch and wear suitable outdoor clothing.
You are welcome to join us for as much of the evening that suits you, we are likely to stay for several hours. However, in case of cancellation, due to poor weather or unforeseen circumstances, always ring or e-mail to check the event is on before joining us.


Wednesday 3 May 2017

Deri Woods public mothing event

Talk before event

On the preceding days before the Deri Woods event the night time temperatures had fallen to below freezing with the coldest night being -3c on the Thursday so the event didn’t look too promising. Therefore, it was very fortuitous indeed that the temperature picked up on the Friday and all then seemed set fair for Saturday.

A view of River Banwy
Lunar Marbled Brown
This was the first time that the MMG had held an event at this excellent woodland site and on this occasion it was to be a joint event with the MWT (Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust) who were bat recording. This part of the event was lead by Tammy Stretton and Chris Radford.

Doing id at base camp
We were on site by 7:00pm and while we moth-ers were setting up the kit Tammy gave a talk to everyone on bats and bat detecting, she then led a walk across the reserve bat detecting along the way. By 8:30 the moth traps were switched on and after a short talk on things ‘mothy’ the evening’s action got under way.

We started well - the first moth in was a very nice Water Carpet followed by an equally good Purple Thorn. The usual suspects of spring time trapping all made a show and included Common Quaker, Clouded Drab and Hebrew Character and a rather nice Lunar Marbled Brown also put in an appearance. Gavin brought a couple of unusual additions to the table, a vacated leaf mine in bramble of Stigmella aurella and a small larva which was later identified as a Buff Footman.

Clouded Drab
As the evening progressed the skies began to clear so the temperature didn’t hold up as well as I hoped for, but, fortunately the moths were still brought to the table at a steady rate. The rather small but strikingly marked macro moth the Least Black Arches was recorded and also a Grey Birch was potted. The latter moth sparked up an excellent id workshop and it had everyone fingering through the references books. After a while Sarah had the brownie points for identifying it.
Traps illuminating the footpath

Towards the end of the evening, probably, the best species of the event was potted, a rather nice Dwarf Pug a species which most who attended had not seen before, a second one was also potted.  Other notable late arrivals were Shuttle-shaped Dart, Streamer, and Oak-tree Pug.  For a full species list please click here.

Bluebells in a wooded area
Micro moths were definitely thin on the ground with only three species being recorded: Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Gracillaria syringella, and the aforementioned Stigmella aurella. No migrant species were recorded.
Dwarf Pug

As for the bat recording Tammy tells me it was surprisingly good for such a short recording window! Both Common and Soprano Pipistrelle were recorded, also, a brief pass from a Noctule and 2 different Myotis, the species of these three yet to be determined.

The event as a whole was very successful and everyone had a good time. We shall definitely endeavour to hold another event at this site as it holds great promise. Many thanks to Sue for bringing the cake and to Mel for the chocolates.