Sunday, 18 May 2014

A Good Night in the Hills

Marc Botham joined me on Pitstone Hill, Bucks for three hours yesterday evening as part of an on-going survey for the National Trust.  For mid-May it was certainly a busy night and our four MV lights brought in just short of 400 moths of 80 species.  The targets were Light Feathered Rustic and Broom Moth, both of which turned up as expected (21 of the former, three of the latter).  Light Feathered Rustic was actually the third most numerous moth of the night behind Light Brocade (47) and Rustic Shoulder-knot (22).  Other species new for the year included Barred Hook-tip, Figure of Eighty, Sandy Carpet, Shaded Pug & Peppered Moth, while Puss Moth, Sallow Kitten & Alder Moth were also nice to see.  There was a good selection of micros, with Micropterix tunbergella, Mompha miscella & Rhopobota stagnana being the pick of the bunch.  The picture of M.tunbergella below was the best I could manage because, despite a good deal of patience and all the usual tricks, it simply refused to sit still!  However, it gives an indication of what a stunning little creature this is.  It is Moth Number 1 on the old Bradley and Fletcher catalogue listing and has even managed to keep pole position on the new check-list.       

In contrast the overnight actinic trap here at Westcott, Bucks managed only 22 species but they did include Celypha lacunana, Epiblema cynosbatella, Scorched Wing, Small Square-spot & Brown Rustic which were new for the garden year list.  Even though we've had such good weather over the past few days, the numbers of moths have not been increasing in the garden at quite the same rate as they have in good habitat elsewhere.

Dave Wilton  

Light Feathered Rustic, Pitstone Hill 17th May

Micropterix tunbergella, Pitstone Hill 17th May

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.