Sunday, 8 May 2016

Good night on the Chalk

I ran two MV lights on chalk grassland at a site not far from Stokenchurch, Bucks for three hours last night and came away with a pleasing 47 species.  Winner of the "most numerous moth" category was Green Carpet (39) although that total was beaten by the 50+ Common Cockchafers which invaded the traps.  Waved Umber and Nut-tree Tussock got into double figures but most of the other moths only appeared in ones and twos.  Species new for me for this year included Agonopterix purpurea, Crambus lathoniellus, Aphomia sociella/Bee Moth, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Lime Hawk-moth, Coxcomb Prominent, Marbled Brown, Shuttle-shaped Dart & Light Brocade. 

Pretty Chalk Carpet, 7th May

Marbled Brown, 7th May

Light Brocade, 7th May

Back home at Westcott, Bucks I did get five species new for this year's garden list but three of them (Brindled Pug, Oak-tree Pug and Brindled Beauty) were moths I'd given up on seeing here this year!  The other two were Aphomia sociella/Bee Moth and Red Twin-spot Carpet out of a dismal total of 16 moths of 12 species.  The only highlight was a second Early Tooth-striped, a moth that doesn't appear in the garden all that often.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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