Thursday, 18 June 2015

Why do we fund the Met Office?

It looked good for trapping last night, with the local Met Office forecast up to early evening showing perhaps a little light drizzle at setting-up time but no rain after that.  So how come they didn't know it would absolutely chuck it down at midnight?  I'm sure I could do a better forecasting job with a bit of seaweed.  Anyway, Martin Albertini and I ran five MV traps on the Grangelands SSSI near Princes Risborough, Bucks and the weather didn't stop it being a good night for moths even though we had the problem of trying to identify and then release those stuck upside-down to the sheets followed by the packing up of sopping wet equipment!  I haven't sorted out a species total but one of the five traps managed more than 100 on its own (71 of them macros).  Shears and Small Elephant Hawk-moth were out in some numbers - more than 100 of each - while other Hawk-moths seen included Privet, Pine, Lime, Poplar and Elephant.  Gold Swift, Little Emerald, Royal Mantle, Fern, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Maple Prominent, White-point, Grey Arches, Shark, Marbled Coronet, Gold Spot & Plain Golden Y also put in appearances, as did a migrant Small Mottled Willow.

Marbled Coronet, Grangelands 17th June

The previous night I ran three MV lights in Homefield Wood near Marlow, Bucks for the usual three-hour session.  Map-winged Swift was the most abundant moth there (45 seen) but the majority of species came in ones and twos and included Blotched Emerald, Netted Pug, Small White Wave, Barred Red, Red-necked Footman, Green Arches, Double Lobed, Small Angle Shades & Beautiful Golden Y which were new to me for the year. 

Netted Pug, Homefield Wood 16th June
Dave Wilton



  1. Get a modern phone and download a rainfall radar app and come into the 21st century.

  2. Wow, 100 Small Elephant Hakmoths, I've only ever seen one in my MK garden 3 years ago. Shears I've only seen a few in Scotland, flying mid afternoon feeding on bedstraws.

    1. Small Elephant Hawk-moths can be really numerous at sites in the Chilterns, as can Shears, but I'm sure both are just as likely to turn up as singletons in your garden, Darren. I'm on the Aylesbury Vale clay flatlands, similar to your territory, and I've already had 23 Small Elephants and a couple of Shears to the garden trap so far this year.


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