Monday, 9 December 2013

Plumed Prominent 2013

Finally caught up with Plumed Prominent at BBOWT's Warburg reserve on 29th November. I had tried for it a couple of weeks earlier, but to no avail as Warburg received its first autumnal frost of 2013. However, I only caught one individual (male) in comparison to the 20 caught on the 9th November in exactly the same spot in 2012, and six on the 11th November in 2011. I survey at Warburg for two reasons: firstly, to keep an eye on the population there, and secondly to make sure the moth is on the wing so I can 'try' and search for other locations where it has not been recorded before. The weather and injury has largely prevented me from doing any extra trapping this autumn/winter so far, but I did trap with 2 MV Robinson traps and 1 8W Actinic Heath trap at Braziers Park on 27th November, and also tried with a 6W blacklight in a field surrounded by fairly mature Field Maple on chalk downland in between Brazier's Park and Checkendon on 28th November. Plenty of December Moths (36) around at Braziers Park and a total species list of 16, but no moths at all in the blacklight trap.At Braziers Park the MV traps were not that close to Field Maple, but the 15W Actinic trap was placed alongside an area with quite a few mature Field Maples. The area I trapped with a blacklight looks fantastic and would be worth further attention on a milder night and with more attractive lights.  Marc Botham


  1. I didn't make the effort at all this year as the weather was quite chilly around the 'usual' time (Bonfire Night is the prompt to think about this species). Since the 1980s all except one of the Bucks records of adult Plumed Prominent have been within November, earliest 1st Nov 2004 at Turville Heath and latest 27th Nov 1993 at Homefield Wood, but very few recorders have been out looking for it. The exception was 7th Dec 1985 when 91 were recorded in a private wood near Hambleden, so maybe we shouldn't rule out searching later! DAVE WILTON

  2. I'm certainly up for it if you are. There's some relatively mild weather at the moment and I'm sure that cold blast in November has made things a bit later. My first Winter Moths were much later this year than I remember in previous years and I'm still catching Angle Shades, Dark Sword-grass and Scarce Umber at the moment. MARC BOTHAM


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