Tuesday 10 December 2019

This Small Phoenix has certainly 'risen from the flames'

With the temperature hovering around 0c. when I went to check my trap last night I wasn't really expecting much (if anything at all), so imagine my surprise when I noticed a Small Phoenix (photo below) on the side of our porch. The latest this species has ever been recorded in Montgomeryshire is the 31st October, so this is nearly six weeks later than that - quite remarkable.


Tuesday 29 October 2019

Pont Llogel Event - Saturday 19 October 2019

Well, the last event of the year, and there was a good turnout - of people anyway.  Traps were turned on at 7pm, and then it was just a case of waiting for the moths to turn up.  It was quite chilly down by the river - and although the thermometer said the lowest temperature of the evening was 7.5 degrees, it felt cooler.
There was a lot of huddling round the white sheet, and it did prove quite productive for moths.  We had a masterclass from Peter on the difference between November Moth, Pale November Moth and Autumnal Moth.  I didn't necessary graduate from that class, but it was good to have the opportunity to see some quite well marked individuals where there was a chance to see the distinguishing features.  It was concluded that the illustrations in the otherwise excellent Waring and Townsend field guide didn't necessarily help. I think I will still be recording them all as November Moth agg.

November Moth

Pale November moth

Other highlights from the night included an early December Moth (perhaps the Christmassy weather confused him), a Red-green Carpet, a Chestnut and Common Marbled Carpet.  A full list is available here. Just 1 moth per attendee!  Thanks to Gavin Chambers for all the photos. 

December Moth

Finally a big thanks to all the events team for making the events possible this year: Phil McGregor, Paul Roughley, Mark Thomas and Gavin Chambers, and to Peter Williams & Douglas Boyes for leading events and being there to help us all identify our moths, and to all those that attended and contributed in whatever way.  We will be starting to think about next year's programme over the winter - and we are planning to concentrate on events as accessible to the public as possible.  We have a few ideas already but feel free to contact us if you have any ideas for events that we could run.

Friday 27 September 2019

Llandinam Gravels Event

Hello all

The weather forecast for tomorrow night is not very good (weather warning for heavy rain from 8pm onwards) so we have reluctantly decided to cancel the event at Llandinam Gravels.

Hopefully we will have more luck for our October event.


Saturday 7 September 2019

Searching for Miners - Wern Claypits Nature Reserve Saturday 31 August

This was a training session that opened up a whole new world to some of us attending this daytime event. Douglas Boyes led the event and provided us with copies of: “The Identification of Leaf-mining Lepidoptera” (available on the website www.leafmines.co.uk ) which provides a key to leaf mines by food plant, so if you can identify plants and trees you stand a chance of finding the relevant leaf miner. Armed with the knowledge that there is only one leaf mine that feeds on Meadowsweet, I proceeded to present countless mines to Douglas only to learn the hard way that Lepidoptera are not the only miners!  Apparently flies do it too.  And the mines look pretty convincing until you get your eye in with the frass (their poo).  Yes, we learnt a whole new vocabulary too.
Sue, Tim, Douglas and Peter considering the options

Once Douglas had given us the basics, off we all went searching each tree and plant around the nature reserve for what we hoped would be Lepidoptera.  The weather was fairly kind to us, and the site excellent.  

The leaf miners fall into a number of families with different mining characteristics, so some of them tunnel in the leaf causing gallery mines and occasionally leading to blotches (the Nepticulidae) and some make folds or blisters or blotches, or even cones (Gracillariidae). Some mines are found in the leaves, but some are found in the seeds – for example Field Maple. 

We targeted certain “easier” trees: Field Maple, Alder, Ash,  Blackthorn & Hazel, and with Douglas’ help we were able to identify a number of species. For example on Hazel we found all three gracillariid species – one which causes a blister on top of the leaf (Phyllonorycter coryli), one where the larva feeds in a rolled leaf edge (Parornix devoniella) and one a long mine with a strong central fold (Phyllonorycter nicellii). 

Phyllonorycter rajella on Alder
Some species are not identifiable from the mine alone, and you need the larva or to rear to be certain. And some trees are more challenging – for example Oak, which has many species living on it.  This didn’t stop Gavin searching every Oak tree!

We didn’t spot many flying moths – just a Nettle-tap ably netted by Gavin and a Brown China Mark seen by the canal and captured by the swift camera of Sue.  We also found the larva of a Mother of Pearl wrapped up in a nettle leaf and a Yellow-tail larva in an Oak tree.  
Among the highlights of the day were the breeding record of Caloptilia falconipella, found on Alder.

Altogether we totalled 32 records – mostly leaf miners – so it just shows that it is worth taking time to look at the little things – and it is something you can do all year round and really add to the records.  There is a book: “Micro-moth Field Tips” by Ben Smart, which is a guide to finding the early stages of micro moths (not just miners) by every month of the year.  Worth a look.  It means we can keep moth-ing right through the year. For full species list click here.

 Many thanks to Douglas for a really interesting session (and for making sure I got this report right!), and to Sue for taking photos and keeping the list of records on the day, and to everyone that turned up (even Peter found us eventually!).

Brown China Mark
Caloptilia Stigmatella on Willow

Caloptilia semifascia - the larva feeds in a cone
 formed from the leaf of a Field Maple.

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Wern Claypits - Daytime Event Saturday 31 August

Don't forget it is our daytime event at Wern Claypits on Saturday 31 August, starting at 1pm.  Douglas Boyes will be leading a leaf mine workshop and we will be looking for day flying moths as well.  Hope to see you there.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve - 3rd Aug 19 - Coming up roses!

Well, where to begin.... The forecast for once was looking extremely favourable and there was a crowd of 26 people eagerly anticipating some moth action even before the traps were switched on. Though before they'd arrived a July Highflyer had already been found on the visitor centre wall.

Common Rustic agg. feeding on Molinia - Gavin Chambers

With Tom's help from the Cors Dyfi Osprey project we had traps up and running from about 9.30pm, with 7 traps and a white sheet. Peter gave a short talk about the moths and then we were all set free to hunt out the moths. It wasn't long before moths started to be potted and ID'd with Small Rufous, Smoky Wainscot and the first rosy of the night in the form of a Rosy Rustic. Along the boardwalk it was interesting to note numerous moths, including the Bordered Beauty, seemingly feeding/nectaring on molinia seed heads which must have just bloomed, as much as grass does!

Scarce Silver-lines - Gavin Chambers

More colourful moths then appeared with Orange Swift, Ruby Tiger and the intricately marked Antler Moth wowing the crowd of 'mothers'. As often is the case, the white sheet was a great spectacle (we caught one of these too) for the public with a great variety posing nicely, such as the striking Black Arches, stunning green Scarce Silver-lines (bigger than I'd imagined!) and mezmerising Gold Spots.

Webb's Wainscot - Greg Osborn
It was extremely useful having numerous footmen on site, despite just lingering around the moth traps. We ended up with a few types; Common, Scarce, Dingy, Buff and the superb Rosy Footman (the second and probably best looking rosy of the night). With the reedbed on site it was no surprise to catch numerous Wainscots. The stand out of these was a subtly but destinctly marked Webb's Wainscot which is only the 2nd county record after one caught at Cors Dyfi in 2015.

There were plenty of micro moths around, including the large Patania ruralis (Mother of Pearl) and gold spangled Argyresthia goedartella. However, there were also plenty of tiny apparently non-descript species which were quickly put in front of the experts, it was a great relief to see Douglas turn up to keep us right! One of only a couple of migrant species was the small Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth) which was dwarfed by the other common migrant of the Silver Y.

Rosy Marsh Moth - Ben Porter (https://benporterwildlife.co.uk)
We got to midnight with most people having left for home, but the moths were going strong with 100's now swarming around traps. Clouds of Large Yellow Underwing made it trickier to pick out something different but a quick look through some of the egg boxes revealed one of the specialities for the reserve, the rarest rosy of the night and perhaps most sort after amongst most of the nights 'mothers', the Rosy Marsh Moth. A Red Data Book species restricted to only a handful of sites in the UK, with larvae feeding on bog myrtle. They are so rare that even the police had to drop by to check them out, at least that's our story...

A heavy rain show around 1am had us sheltering for a short time before starting to pack up around 1.30am. As always more species were discovered as we emptied the traps such as both the Copper Underwing and Svensson's Copper Underwing, Miller and Tawny Speckled Pug along with the more unusual Dotted Carpet, Clouded Magpie and Small Argent and Sable. There was also a couple of hitch-hikings with a Cloaked Minor (arguably the moth of the night 😉) on my head and a Slender Brindle on Mel's shirt. Surprisingly the elephant in the room was missed by all white sheet onlookers all night, as an Elephant Hawk-moth larvae was found munching on willowherb below the sheet not long before packing up, the adult having been found earlier in the night.

Elephant Hawk-moth Larvae (left) and Adult (right) - Mel Jones

In total we finished with a mammoth 114 macro species and 58 micros totalling the highest ever catch during a moth event and we still managed to leave at 2am! For a full list of species please click here.

Thank you to everyone for coming along and to Tom for being on site to keep us under control on what turned out to be a great night for moths. Thanks also to the photographers for making it hard for me to pick which ones to use, they were all great. Fingers crossed the weather is turning in our favour for moth events this year and we get a warm, dry day for the next event at Wern Claypits, a daytime event (more details here).

Friday 2 August 2019

Butterflies to look-out for - plus two exotic records

Thought I'd share some info on a couple of native species to be on the look-out for, plus some news of some exotic sightings...

Essex Skipper
Since being added to the county list in 2017, this species is now established in the north-eastern corner of the county. Multiple records now from the Welshpool and Llanymynech areas (and one from near Newtown). This butterfly will spread further into the county so do please check those Small Skippers! Check out the 'Similar species' section on the UK butterflies website for some excellent ID pointers here.

Marbled White (Oxfordshire)
Marbled White
Recorded on a BMS transect at Roundton Hill in mid-July this year: only the second county record (and first since 1999). Seen during a period of very hot weather, this probably represents a dispersing individual. Marbled White probably isn't breeding in the county yet, but is expanding its range and may well become established in the coming years.

Scarce Swallowtail
New county record from mid-June. Two reports from a plant nursery near Welshpool. This species is a very rare migrant to the UK and the individual seen is highly unlikely to have arrived of its own volition (probably imported as a pupa among plants grown in continental Europe).

Two reports from Powis Castle gardens last week (3rd and 4th county records). This species is a rare vagrant from across the Atlantic and these sightings undoubtedly represent the release of captively-bred individuals (apparently for a wedding). Pictures of one sighting here.

Monday 22 July 2019

New sightings of Welsh Clearwing and Ashworth's Rustic at Lake Vyrnwy

Gavin Chambers has been doing some fine work in Montgomeryshire on luring Welsh Clearwings to pheromones and trapping Ashworth's Rustic at lake Vyrnwy. To read his report please click on the following link. https://community.rspb.org.uk/placestovisit/lakevyrnwy/b/lakevyrnwy-blog/posts/a-clear-success?fbclid=IwAR1N4IfLGtDDwd_PJyCrp_s-Otfd1jgk9u5V61QS8eHyyBh0ldfuamd8iWc


Tuesday 9 July 2019

Llanymynech Rocks daytime event - A silver lining to a cloudy day with a new county record

Wouldn’t you just believe it, prior to this event we had a week or more of sunny weather, but come Saturday the weather was overcast and drizzling, not good conditions for butterflies and day flying moth species. However, we had to work with what had and we did our best to make the most of things - and in fact it turned out to be an excellent day.
The trapping site

After meeting in the carpark, we hiked up to the trapping area by about 1:30 to get set up. On reaching our desired trapping site, even before we got setup we more or less walked into a Small Eggar Larval nest (an uncommon species in the county and a Nationally scarce B species throughout the UK), which was a real treat for us all to see and, furthermore, throughout the afternoon three more larval nests were discovered making four in all, a great record for the site. 
Small Eggar larval nest

After marvelling over the Small Eggar larval nests we set up our two pheromone traps. One pheromone trap was for our target species, the Six-belted Clearwing and we were trying another pheromone for the Yellow-legged clearwing just on the off-chance one was in the vicinity. We all gazed at these pheromone traps for a while until we got goggle-eyed then we started to fan out, searching for other day-flying moths and butterflies.
Checking the net

Butterflies, it has to be said, were very thin on the ground and during the afternoon we only saw three species which braved the gloomy conditions; Small Heath, Ringlet and Meadow Brown.
Small Heath and Ringlet

We did slightly better for moths, recording 3 macro species (including the Small Eggar) and 9 micro species, which included 3 plume species, one of which was a new county record for Montgomeryshire; the rare migrant plume species Oxyptilus laetus---for a full species list please click here.
Yellow Shell

Merrifieldia leucodactyla

Oxypilus laetus

At 4:30pm we decided to call it a day and stated to pack up and wouldn’t you just know it - in the best manor of most mothing events there was a moth, on this occasion a Clay, underneath a bit of kit, there’s always one last moth, isn’t there - somethings never change! To sum up, I think we had a pretty good day, what with the Small Eggar larval nests and the new county record micro species Oxyptilus laetus.
Many thanks to those who turned out on a pretty gloomy day, (those clearwing species are still eluding us), and to Mel for taking the photos.
Our next event will be at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve on Saturday 3rd August, full details can be seen on the events area of our website.



As a post script to this event it was rather good to hear that two members of our group; Sue Southam and Paul Roughley went back to Llanymynech Rocks the following week and this time they were successful and did indeed manage to lure the six-belted Clearwing to the pheromones. Up to six individuals arrived at any one time - photos below.

Six belted Clearwing at the pheromone

Six-belted Clearwing


Sunday 16 June 2019

Bat and Moth night, Deri Woods. Saturday 8th June.

This event was at a community owned woodland situated just outside Llanfair Caerinion. It was an open to the public joint venture between Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and Montgomeryshire Moth Group.

Under what appeared to be (oh no, not again) a clearing sky, the event started a little after 8.30pm.  Tammy Stretton from the Trust was present to give a very interesting and informative talk and tour (with Bat detectors to hand) around the woodland, investigating which species of Bat were present.

Meanwhile, some of the moth group members were setting up base, to include 5 Skinner's traps and the perennial white sheet. Due to a cool breeze and dropping temperature it was decided to only place one trap at the lowest part of the wood on the river bank as on a previous cold event 3 traps placed there had caught nothing.

10pm was switch on time for the traps, handily, just as the group of Myotis chasers returned. The temperature at this point was around 11 Celsius.  Peter Williams was our welcome expert for the night to sort out the dreaded micros!

Tammy reported that it was a rather quiet night with only the usual suspects, Common and Soprano Pipistrelle and one unidentified fly-by.

Gavin produced the first two moths from the traps,  a Common Carpet, whose thunder was rapidly stolen by a cracking male Lime Hawkmoth...and then five more male Lime Hawkmoths.

Male Lime Hawkmoth

Amongst the regular moths trapped at this site (for full species list click here)
were the remarkably shaped Pale Prominent,

Side profile of Pale Prominent

and a rather lovely, fresh Scorched Wing.

Scorched Wing settled on the sheet

Midway through the event Sue produced a tin of delicious Shortbread which revived our enthusiasm no end. A fresh push on the potting front produced amongst others, another five male Lime Hawkmoths, Shoulder-striped Wainscot and to round off the event,

A variation of  Ingrailed Clay

 a very fresh example of Ingrailed Clay. With very little moth activity we turned the traps off around 1.30am.

(A selection of very well drilled moths from release at the end of the night)

Peter declared that in all his time with the moth group he has never witnessed so many Lime Hawkmoths in one trapping - apparently they were all males (their up-curved abdomens indicating this). 

Happily, the night temperature for this event had steadied around 10 Celcius and so we totalled 30 Macros species by the end. We also had a showing of four micro's, the low number perhaps reflecting what was still a relatively cool night. Oh, yes and quite a few of those unavoidable Cockchafer's as would be expected at this time of year!

15 people in total attended the evening. Thanks again to the collaborative efforts of Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust staff, members of Montgomeryshire Moth Group (particularly Sue with that Shortbread and Mel for the photographs) for making the event possible and of course the attending members of the public.

Next event is a daytime activity targeting Clearwing moths and other day-fliers at Llanymynech Rocks nature reserve on Saturday 6th July at 1pm.

Phil McGregor

Sunday 19 May 2019

Dolforwyn Wood Event 11th May 2019

Another chilly Saturday night to report, but great to see so many enthusiastic moth-ers attracted to the lights. Unfortunately Peter Williams couldn't attend, but we did our best to set up as per his exacting standards, and Gavin Chambers stepped up to the mark as our expert. He was a tough task master - making us identify each moth that came in.

Gavin attracting a Waved Umber
 There were 7 of us attending, and we managed to attract 7 brave moths.  We had quite a lot of action at the white sheet this time, which kept us on our toes.  First in was a Waved Umber, ably netted by Gavin, and which refused to leave the warmth of our head-quarters thereafter. Second in was a lovely furry Pale Tussock, which made us wonder if the falling temperatures would mean we only saw the more robust moths.
Nut Tree Tussock
The Pale Tussock was followed by a Nut Tree Tussock, and then a moth that most of us hadn't seen before - a Great Prominent.  This caused a great flurry of flicking through the ID books, and identification was made harder as the moth wasn't in the tented position familiar with prominents. We got there in the end, and many photos were taken.

Great Prominent
Then to disprove our theory about only robust moths appearing we had an Early Thorn and a Scalloped Hazel, which looked too delicate to be out in the plunging temperatures.  Mel also managed to net a micro moth - Adela reaumurella - a longhorn that didn't have particularly long antennae and therefore a female of the species.  

Great Prominent - Head-on
Adela reaumurella

It was interesting to note that it was several degrees colder at our headquarters than higher up in the woodland, so there was an added incentive to check the traps up in the woods.  Sue provided some lovely cake, and once the temperature got down to 2C at about 11.30pm we decided it was time to call it a night.  Many thanks to Mel Jones for all the photos in this blog.

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Montgomery Moth Group 2019 Events

Saturday 11th May - Dolforwyn Woods Nature Reserve

Don't forget - it's the second event of the year on Saturday night.  All ages are welcome, beginners or experts, and all events are free.  We will light up at dusk (about 9.30pm) to attract moths and then release them after identifying and recording them.  Events are likely to go ahead as planned unless there is exceptionally bad weather.  News of any cancellation will be disseminated by email, facebook and the blog - please check before setting off.  See the events list for directions & Grid Reference.

Please bring a torch and wear suitable clothes. You are welcome to join us for as much of the evening as suits you - we are likely to stay a few hours.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

More of a Chiller than a Thriller: 13 April at Coed y Dinas Nature Reserve

Well, it was a brave crew that ventured out on Saturday night to trap at Coed y Dinas Nature Reserve, and we definitely outnumbered the moths!  We lit up the traps at about 8pm, having enjoyed an acrobatic display by the Swallows and House Martins over the reserve while we were setting up.

Fair play to Gavin - he made an early sweep with his net, and managed to catch an unidentifiable micro.  From there on it was a slow night, with just the occasional find in the traps - and we were running 7 plus the white sheet.  The Hebrew Character was the most "numerous" find of the night, and so we assume the hardiest, and the Lunar Marbled Brown was the most exotic.  The first one I have seen this year anyway. Other than that it was Small Quaker, Common Quaker and Clouded Drab.

Unfortunately, the cold dampened our enthusiasm for taking photos, otherwise I would include pictures of the splendid home-made biscuits from Sue.  They were thoroughly tested for quality and none were found wanting.

On one of our later forays around the reserve we were treated to the sight of hundreds of gulls (black-headed?) swirling overhead, lit up from beneath by our traps.  But we couldn't get one into our pots as a surprise for Peter.

By the time the temperature plunged to 3C, we decided it was time to call it a night, and so it was with frozen fingers that we packed up at 11pm and vowed that it was sure to go better next month in Dolforwyn Woods Nature Reserve.  Don't forget your hot chocolate!

Tuesday 12 February 2019

January Moth Challenge 2019

Hello Moth-ers,

The January challenge has now finished, the data is all in and has been collated in the two charts below.

This year only nine mothers took part, which considering the mild January we had is a little disappointing, but between us we did manage to record 30 species, the highest figure ever for the challenge (19 macro and 11 micro) and 643 moths (607 macro and 36 micro), which is an excellent effort on everyone's part. Because of the mild weather, (apart from the last few days of the month when it turned quite a bit colder) moth numbers were well up on last year.
Only one person achieved the macro part of the challenge, with 10 plus species that was myself with 14 species. Sue Southam was very unlucky, just missing the target with 9 species, followed closely by Julie Pearce/Mark Thomas who recorded 8 species. I also managed to achieve the micro part of the challenge with 9 species (the most micro species ever recorded for the challenge).

The recorders who have shared this year's coveted ‘wooden MV bulb’ award (formally the ‘wooden spoon’ award), are; Deborah Griffiths, Clare Boyes and Paul Roughley, but well done for having a go.

Recorder BP TS DG SOS PR CBo JP & MTT JeH PRW Count of species Count of moths
Species: Macro moths Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count Count
Log No. Days Trapped/recorded 6 1 7 17 3 1 12 4 30
1769 Spruce Carpet - - - - - - - - 2 1 2
1775 Mottled Grey 3 - - - - - - - 177 2 180
1799 Winter Moth - - - 4 - - - - 104 2 108
1925 Small Brindled Beauty - - - - - - 1 - - 1 1
1926 Pale Brindled Beauty - 1 - 22 - - 11 1 52 5 87
1932 Spring Usher - - - 12 - - 4 - 20 3 36
1934 Dotted Border - - - - - - - - 4 1 4
1935 Mottled Umber 3 - - 3 - - 5 - 82 4 93
1947 Engrailed - - - - - - - - 2 1 2
1960 Early Moth 1 - - 6 - - 3 - 6 4 16
2187 Common Quaker - - - 1 - - - - - 1 1
2188 Clouded Drab - - - - - - - - 3 1 3
2190 Hebrew Character - - - 1 - - - - - 1 1
2241 Red Sword-grass - - - - - - - - 3 1 3
2243 Early Grey - - - - - - 1 - - 1 1
2256 Satellite 2 - - - - - - - - 1 2
2258 Chestnut 3 - - 26 - - 1 1 30 5 61
2259 Dark Chestnut - - - 2 - - 1 - 2 3 5
2321 Dark Arches - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
Macro species recorded 5 1 0 9 0 0 8 2 14 19
Macro moths recorded 12 1 0 77 0 0 27 2 488 607
Log No. Species: Micro moths
461 Ypsolopha ustella - - - - - - - - 3 1 3
464 Plutella xylostella - - - - - - - - 12 1 12
647 Hofmannophila pseudospretella - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
688 Agonopterix heracliana - - - 1 - - - - - 1 1
688 Agonopterix heracliana - - - - - - - - 2 1 2
1025 Tortricodes  alternella  - - - 1 - - 3 - 2 3 6
1045 Acleris notana - - - - - - - - 6 1 6
1054 Acleris cristana - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
1057 Acleris hastiana - - - - - - - - 1 1 1
1288 Alucita hexadactyla - - - 1 - - - - 1 2 2
1398 Nomophila noctuella 1 - - - - - - - - 1 1
Micro species/moths recorded 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 9 11
Micro moths recorded 1 0 0 3 0 0 3 0 29 36
Total species macro + micro 6 1 0 12 0 0 9 2 23 30
Total count macro + micro 13 1 0 80 0 0 30 2 517 643

Now for a more in depth breakdown of what was recorded.

Macros - As can be seen in the chart above several people managed to record 4+ species. Across all recorders the most numerous species was the Mottled Grey (180 moths), pushing last year's species with top spot the Winter moth (108) into second place and the Mottled Umber (93) took the third spot.
The most moths recorded by individual recorders was 488 by myself, Sue 77 and Julie/Mark 27.

Of the 19 species recorded, those worthy of a special mention are, Dark Arches - which is the first January record for Montgomeryshire, which resulted from a partial very late second brood; Red Sword-grass - an overwintering species brought out by the mild weather. And an slightly early Small Brindled Beauty, which aren't usually on the wing until February.

Micros - Once again there were 11 micro species recorded, which matched last year's record number, so that was a particularly good effort on the part of the four recorders who recorded any micro species. The species recorded by the most recorders was Tortricodes alternella (3 people). Only one person achieved the target figure of five species, that was myself with 9 species. There weren't really any unexpected micro species recorded this year although the autumn/winter influx of Plutella xylostella was still quite apparent.

The chart below shows the top five macro species recorded (along with the total of moths) in the last eight years. 2019 was certainly one of the better years.

January moth challenge - Top five recorded macro species for the last eight years
Year 2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019  
  Species Total Species Total Species Total Species Total Species Total Species Total Species Total Species Total
1 Winter Moth 131 Winter Moth 229 Winter Moth 169 Winter Moth 64 Chestnut 64 Spring Usher 244 Winter Moth 47 Mottled Grey 180
2 Mottled Grey 59 Mottled Umber 157 Mottled Grey 69 Mottled Umber 19 Winter Moth 30 Mottled Umber 109 Mottled Umber 31 Winter Moth 108
3 Mottled Umber 24 Mottled Grey 147 Mottled Umber 54 Early Moth 14 Mottled Umber 29 Winter Moth 76 Mottled Grey 26 Mottled Umber 93
4 Chestnut 20 Pale Brindled Beauty 61 Early Moth 22 Spring Usher 13 Pale Brindled Beauty 28 Pale Brindled Beauty 45 Early Moth 22 Pale Brindled Beauty 87
5 Spring Usher 13 Early Moth 16 Herald 15 Chestnut 13 Mottled Grey 21 Mottled Grey 23 Chestnut 18 Chestnut 61
Tot   247   610   329   123   172   497   144   529

Key to the recorders who took part in this year's challenge are:-

BP       Ben Porter, Machynlleth
TS        Tammy Stretton, Welshpool
DG      Deborah Griffith, Welshpool
SOS     Sue Southam, Guilsfield
PR       Paul Roughly, Abermule
CBo     Clare Boyes, Middletown
JP&MTT    Julie Pearce & Mark Thomas, Aberbechan
JeH      Jeny Heard, Montgomery
PRW   Peter Williams, Commins Coch
Thanks once again to all those who took part.

Happy mothing to all in 2019.