Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Orange Underwing in Swansea

The recent Butterfly Conservation office move has given me some welcome new options for a lunchtime stroll. Yesterday I had a wander down to the old Hafod-Morfa Copperworks by the River Tawe, and saw a single Orange Underwing fluttering around one of the many young birches which have colonised the site. Grid ref: SS661950.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Creigiau - 25 March

Put the GMS box out on Saturday night - a cold northerly wind but the minimum temperature wasn't too bad at 5,8C. The result was 36 moths of 11 species - 15 of those being Hebrew Character. Highlights were the first appearance of the year for Early Thorn (2), Early Tooth-striped (3) and Oak Nycteoline (1) and a second visit from Diurnea fagella.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Parc Slip

I put the trap out without too many expectations last night as it was both cold and windy. I just about had my biggest (if not most diverse) catch of the year so far with 31 moths of 8 species. Highlights were the first early tooth-striped of the year and a satellite, which is a new moth for the site so made it worthwhile getting up early in the freezing cold for...
The majority of the catch was hebrew characters, clouded drabs and common quakers.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Creigiau - GMS Saturday 18 March

The weather was pretty awful but the box went out, and surprisingly attracted 6 moths of 4 species. The foolhardy moths braving the wet, windy weather were - Common Quaker (2), Hebrew Character (1), March Moth (1) and Oak Beauty (2).

The March Moth had managed to find a spider and all that was left in the web was the two forewings, and one of the two Oak Beauty looked as though it had been having a rough time ...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Creigiau - Tuesday night

Conditions looked promising so out went the first mid-week box of the year. 8.2C minimum and mist rather than rain.

Ended up with 9 species (41 moths) in/around the box. Totally dominated by Common Quaker (17), but Oak Beauty (6)  made a first appearance of the year, as did Clouded Drab (4), Twin-spotted Quaker (1) and Double-striped Pug (1). The rest of the catch comprised Early Grey (5), Hebrew Character (5), Engrailed (1) and Small Quaker (1).

Oak Beauty

Clouded Drab

Double-striped Pug

Twin-spotted Quaker


I've had similar results to Barry whilst staying in my garden.
On Monday night, with 8.3 degrees min temp I had only 3 species, 6 moths.
Last night, Wednesday, with 8.1 min and some early morning drizzle
there were 14 species with 39 moths, including the first migrant of the year, Nomophila noctuella.

Nomophila noctuella

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Last night produced pretty much identical conditions to the previous evening enabling a comparison of results between our garden and Sandra's aunt and uncle's place just outside Pontarddulais. In contrast to our urban garden, with annoying bright new cut-off street lights nearby, her relative's place not only has lovely dark skies, but is situated amongst some interesting habitats including woodland, valley mire, dry heath and colliery spoil, not to mention a dense forest on Rhododendron!
Although the differences aren't outrageously different, they do highlight the benefits of asking if relatives living in good sites fancy letting you run your trap every now and then...particularly if your home site is ordinary.
Gorseinon: 5 spp. 9 individuals
Cwmdulais: 17 spp. 36 individuals
The moth highlights at the latter site were Pine Beauty and Pale Pinion, but a male Minotaur Beetle stole the limelight - it's the first time I've ever encountered on in a moth trap before.