Friday, 5 September 2014

Definitely better results last night

I ran two MV lights at our Holtspur Bottom reserve near Beaconsfield, Bucks for three hours last night and managed to pick up more than 90 species, far exceeding my expectations.  There was nothing all that exciting but it was nice to see Mocha yet again, an Old Lady put in an appearance and White-point is obviously resident here (as it is elsewhere in the county now) because 24 of them were trapped.  Square-spot Rustic was busiest at both traps with 243 caught.  Second place went to Feathered Gothic with 94 and third to Brimstone Moth with 64, relegating Large Yellow Underwing to fourth place with a mere 55.  Copper Underwing appeared in surprising numbers with 17 caught; ten of these slippery critters had their hind-wings checked and all of them were indeed Copper Underwing (I've not personally seen Svensson's anywhere yet this year).  The signboard by the gate above Triangle Bank was seen to have three cases of Psyche casta under its roof (quick work by the moth as the boards haven't been there all that long).  If I'd thought to take my camera with me I would have photographed a female of the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi which had a web right next to where I'd placed one of the traps.  Slowly spreading northwards, the species has been a Holtspur resident for at least the last couple of years but this was my first sighting.  I hadn't appreciated just how impressively large it is - it puts our Tegenaria house spiders to shame!         
For 66 species to appear in the garden trap at Westcott, Bucks last night was also quite pleasing after the depressing catches here during August.  42 of them were macros and, while there was nothing new for the year (having had Sallow and Pink-barred Sallow the previous night), the catch included another Pale Eggar, second-brood examples of Oak Hook-tip, Small Dusty Wave, Heart & Dart, Nutmeg and Poplar Grey and my second Pinion-streaked Snout of the year.  Amongst the micros was a garden first-timer in the shape of Pandemis cinnamomeana with its distinctive white head, while singletons of Plutella xylostella, Udea ferrugalis & Nephopterix angustella also appeared (the first two are "migrants" but both have been regulars here for some weeks now).  Square-spot Rustic numbers rose to 379 (I must remember to throw in a few more egg-boxes tonight!) but there were only 37 Large Yellow Underwings which, unlike Marc's garden results, is about the highest nightly total I've had so far this year.  The other abundant species here at the moment are Brimstone Moth, Common Wainscot and Setaceous Hebrew Character, with Feathered Gothic numbers also starting to build, while Flame Shoulder, Small Square-spot and Flounced Rustic are winding down already.
Dave Wilton

Pandemis cinnamomeana, Westcott 4th September

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