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.


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