Saturday, 21 March 2015

Not the post I was hoping to give

Despite still recovering from what seems like an eternal virus I ventured out to Chimney Meadows again last night to try again for Small Eggar. I got there a bit earlier this time and had a potter around to locate some better sites with gently trimmed and rather fantastic looking mixed hedgerows dominated by Blackthorn and Hawthorn. I put out five Actinics (would've been six but a battery failed) and sat with 2 MV traps until 10:30pm. Unfortunately the cloud cover that meant seeing the solar eclipse earlier in the day was not possible had disappeared and the temperature was not great, though considerably warmer than last time I trapped there. This was reflected with much greater activity at the MV's though it was still fairly quiet with just over 100 individuals of 16 species. None of these were Small Eggar. Best of the bunch was my first Lead-coloured Drab of the year and three Grey Shoulder-knots. Of the five actinics, I placed one of them under the same Sallow as last time, still very much in flower although a lot of the flowers have started to go over. The other four actinics were left overnight along the best hedgerows and really didn't catch much at all. The trap by the Sallow was once again extremely impressive. What looks like a small blue glow-stick drew in over 320 moths of 14 species, led by an impressive 133 Hebrew Character, 111 Common Quaker and 61 Clouded Drab. Pale Pinion was the best moth along with a further six Lead-coloured Drabs. The total species count across all traps was 21 listed by most abundant species first:
Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Shoulder Stripe, Lead-coloured Drab, Small Quaker, Satellite, Engrailed, March Moth, Oak Beauty, Grey Shoulder-knot, Dotted Border, Twin-spotted Quaker, Agonopterix heracliana, Diurnea fagella, Agonopterix alstromeriana, Emmelina monodactyla, Chestnut, Red Chestnut, Pale Pinion and Red-green Carpet. As you can see, NO Small Eggar sadly and thus not the post I was hoping to give. March is almost over and the weather forecast is not brilliant for the next week or so. However, it might be late this year with it being such a cold start and I intend, weather permitting to give it one last go, otherwise next effort will be to search for larval webs later in the year. Marc Botham, Didcot

A smart Hebrew Character that got my attention - Chimney Meadows 20/03/15

Lead-coloured Drab - Chimney Meadows 20/03/15

Pale Pinion - Chimney Meadows 20/03/15

1 comment:

  1. Full marks for trying! Good to know that Lead-coloured Drab is starting to appear because, having had a February record last year, I was beginning to wonder what had happened to it. I ran a couple of traps in Bernwood Forest last night thinking that I might get an early Blossom Underwing too but there was no sign of that species either. The traps produced just short of 400 moths but it was more of the same with the exception of a couple of Brindled Pugs.


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