Sunday, 27 May 2012

End of week catch up - Part 1

Phew! What a manic few days. A trap every night (Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun) and some bits of nature thrown into the weekend have meant that I have a lot to say, but don't want to bore you too much. So I'll give a summary of what I've caught/seen and hope you enjoy it!
Thursday 24th May

Thursdays trap was good (21 moths of 14 species) with a few more macros turning up, but still dominated by micros. One of the macros was one of my favourite moths - The Chinese Character. I love these guys as they fly in totally unassuming, white with a couple of dark patches but then once the land - boom - they transform into a bird-dropping!! It's amazing! True evolutionary camouflage at its best surely? I tried to get a photo of it with wings outstretched but it wouldn't co-operate, so I took this pot shot instead.

A few other macros from the list included this Common Swift (left) and Small Rivulet (right). Both of these are regular on the garden but it's great to see them after all this horrid weather!
The only new species (I'm hoping!) is this bromzy coloured micro which I have my fingers crossed is Emmetia marginea. If anyone can offer any advise I'd be much appreciated, I'm waiting on a reply from the smart-mothers at Back Garden Moths. (EDIT: I was correct with my id, so that's another new moth for the garden list!)
Friday 25th May

The weekly Scouts drop-off left me with a couple of hours to kill, and the choice between Garganey at Attenborough Nature Reserve or two Black Terns at Branston Gravel Pits. Both birds are desirable but I decided to go for the Black Tern simply due to the location. Now I've tried to find other birds at BGP but the closest I've ever got it Branston Water Park. And this is clearly not the same place (or even anywhere near?) I wandered round the Water Park and down the canal to Tatenhill Lock and then walked west between two pools and came to a load of fields. No more water! And defintely not even a sniff of Black Terns. I did however see a few moths, and the Carpets were out in force. Green Carpet, Common and Silver-ground Carpet (both new for the year) were along the hawthorn hedges along with this suspected Water Carpet (it will be my first, so if anyone can confirm then I'd be eternally in debt - in a moth-sense. EDIT: Again the nice folk at BGM have confirmed my id. We're doing well this year!!).

Friday night saw more good conditions for the moths (although if I dare to say this it could do with being a bit cloudy, sharp intake of breath from the audience!) so I put the trap out again. A bit of an experiment ensued when I used the 80W MBF bulb with the Skinner trap but the results weren't quite as I'd expected them (14 moths of 11 species) but then the cooler night time temperatures probably lead to the smaller catch. The highlights were this Muslin Moth (left) and another Mompha subbistrigella (right) a tiny little micro that I've caught three out of last three traps.

Part Two to follow - with news of a much more successful trapping session at Carr Wood and a surprise find in a friends backgarden!

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