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