Monday 30 May 2022

National Moth Night at Gregynog - Saturday 21 May

It was lovely to see many people at our joint Moth & Bat night at Gregynog, held on National Moth Night in memory of Douglas Boyes.  Peter counted over 40 adults and children at the event, which was a real result.  Nice to see old friends and new faces.  We also raised more than £180 from the raffle for the Butterfly Conservation Fund set up in Douglas' memory.  Many thanks to Butterfly Conservation, Atropos Books, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, Clare Boyes and Phil McGregor for donating prizes, and everyone for buying tickets.  At least 2 of the winners were children, so hopefully they will be inspired by their prizes (Iolo's book on wildlife, and books from Douglas' collection) to have a lifelong interest in nature. Having said that, one of the young winners explained to us all about the evolutionary importance of the Peppered Moth, so is well on the way already!

And the moths didn't disappoint us either.  As regulars know, I do like to record more moths than people at our events, which can sometimes be a challenge!  However, despite the challenge, the moths just delivered, with 47 species recorded.  Thanks to Gregynog for allowing us to run an event there - it was a great location with lots of excellent habitat. 

Good use of swing frame for white sheet!
And Peter doing his party trick of identifying everything in a pot. 

The night was note-worthy for lots of reasons - one of them being traps full of Cockchafer beetles!  They were everywhere, and at the end of the night we had great difficulty persuading them to stay behind. We weren't totally successful.  At least one experienced a relocation, and Phil's description of Chafer Crawly skin still brings back memories.

We only recorded one micro moth, and that was mostly down to Phil's determination.  But we had a very good range of macro moths.  One of the most frequent to the table was the Pale Tussock & there seemed to be a good range of pugs including Dwarf, Mottled, Golden Rod & Common.  The "moth of the night" was either the Orange Footman, or for me personally, the Great Prominent, which truly was magnificent in scale. 

                Orange Footman.  In the excitement on the night no-one
                    took a photo, but this is a recent one from Daisy Dunn

Great Prominent (photo Sue Southam)

Green Silver-Lines (photo Sue Southam)

On the bat front Tammy, from Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, recorded 

  • Common Pipistrelle
  • Soprano Pipistrelle
  • Noctule
  • Brown Long-eared
  • Unidentified Myotis, possibly Whiskered/Brandt’s

As ever we recorded a few extra moths as we were packing away, including the fabled Peppered Moth.  Shame it was 1am by then, and all the children were safely tucked up at home.  The full list of moths recorded can be see on the website here

Thursday 5 May 2022

Saturday 23 April - Llandinam Gravels

It was lovely to get going with events again this year and we started at Llandinam Gravels.  Not a site that I had been able to find before (!) but fortunately a number of brave souls found us at the end of a long muddy track.  It is an interesting site as there is the river Severn along one side, with a field planted with young trees and then older woodland running behind us, so it was possible to put the traps in varied locations, and there was even a handy pheasant cage to set the white sheet up on.

Phil managed to catch a moth just as we were setting up.  A lovely little Adela reaumurella, which was a good start.  

Adela reaumurella

Peter Williams arrived just as the moths were coming in from the traps, and as ever treated us to some master classes in the differences between Lunar Marbled Brown and Marbled Brown (time of year), the Quakers, the Pugs and the Thorns.  We were fortunate enough to have a good variety so it was possible to compare directly.  

White-Spotted Pinion

Purple Thorn

Pale Prominent

The moths slowed down by about 11:30pm, and it felt quite chilly, so we potted up the stragglers and packed up.  The mystery micro which turned up at the end of the night was later identified as Dyseriocrania subpurpurella.  

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella

A total of 3 micros and 27 macros were recorded.  The full list is available here.  Thanks to the Dunn family for most of the above photos.  It was really good to see some new faces at the event, and hopefully we will see them again! Many thanks to Peter as well for braving the cold.  Don't forget our next event is at Gregynog on Saturday 21 May, and it's in memory of Douglas Boyes, so do come along to support us.