Friday 9 November 2012

Cwmbach, Last Night

I ran my garden trap through the mild (7.00C), damp night and recorded seven moths of four species. As the minimum temperature was over a degree warmer than the 6th, I'd expected more, but it only goes to illustrate the unpredictable nature of things, particularly at this time of year.

The list is as follows:

Epiphyas postvittana x 1
Red-green Carpet x 3
Spruce Carpet x 2
Turnip Moth x 1

Turnip Moth


  1. 3 woodlice and 1 millipede in my trap this morning!

  2. Did you get their names? ;¬)
    It's perhaps not surprising that moth recording is just as prone to "greener grass" syndrome as any other interest. Ever since starting trapping, in the mid nineties, I have thought that people at the coast had the best of it and in certain ways this might be true, but I have to say that you've really opened my eyes to the truth that all is not as rosy as I thought with coastal moth trapping.
    As is often the case, it's a case of swings and roundabouts. Apart from the depths of winter, mothing involving resident species is perhaps more reliable up here, but when things get interesting, with migrants arriving, I usually find myself reading the reports with envy. Although I've had a few nice migrants over the years, I always think you have to be fighting them off down there for me to get a sniff of them up here... and, of course, you've got Cream-spot Tiger!

  3. I think the problem was the wind again. About half an hour after the trap went out the wind really picked up to the point where I don't think there was much chance of catching anything to be honest!

    I wouldn't say I'm overrun with migrants, the only thing I see lots of are Silver Y. The occassional oddities like the Jersey Tiger and the Acleris logiana are fantastic when they turn up, but they pretty few and far between, even here!

    The other thing I am starting to think I do get here that others may not are species at the very western and northern edge of their distribution like the pair of Deep Brown Dart, the Figure of Eight, and a solitary Lappet which was apparently the first Glam record in 50years (which I totally failed to spot the significance of - Dave sent an email after receiving my mapmate return!). I think it has something to do with the mild, comparatively dry (for Wales!) micro-climate, and crucially the steep south facing sparsely vegetated slopes that we have locally. it appears there are a lot of Cream-spot Tigers living in amongst the scree on those slopes which kind of supports that theory.

    I haven't done much on butterflies here, but come May I will be out with the net looking for Dingy Skippers and other species which ought to find the conditions here to their liking. We'll see what turns up!

  4. Yes, what a distortion of reality perception can be. I suppose, when you are at the coast, then the location of the trap is everything.
    Up here, in my experience, apart from Hummingbird Hawk-moths, you are more likely to encounter migrants if you trap a high up on the hillsides, rather than on the valley bottom, even though it is obviously far more sheltered down there.
    I guess that shelter is the key at the coast. I recall a GMRG field meeting at Pothkerry, on a warm but very windy evening. Two traps were run. Mike and Jake were in a glade sheltered from the worst of the wind and I was in a wood, with half a gale blowing through it from the sea. Mike and Jake had a few moths, while I had none in the trap, but saw a couple shoot past like bullets, in the wind.