Thursday, 23 June 2016

Away Trapping

On Tuesday night I ran a couple of MV lights at Walton Lake, Milton Keynes which is a reed-bed nature reserve managed by the Parks Trust.  There wasn't a great deal of note amongst the 80 species recorded because it is a little early yet for many of the interesting reed specialists, but a selection of China-marks and singletons of Donacaula forficella, Schoenobius gigantella, Obscure Wainscot and Silky Wainscot did put in an appearance.  It was also nice to see examples of Stathmopoda pedella (rarely recorded in Bucks) and Maple Prominent (the first I've seen this year).

Silky Wainscot, Walton Lake 21st June

Last night was spent at BBOWT's College Lake, Bucks where I had an excellent view of the impressive thunderstorms further south (luckily the rain held off until I was going out the gate at 3am this morning!).  The two MV lights on the chalk produced 130 species while the two in amongst the reeds managed about 90 of which around half were different.  The highlight for me was Tawny Shears which is a rare moth in Bucks these days with only about a dozen post-millennium records.  College Lake seems to be one of its last remaining strongholds (Ched George had another specimen there during the BC/BIG trapping for National Moth Night).  A handful of Obscure Wainscots and two Marbled Coronets were also good to see, as was a rather confused day-flying Chimney Sweeper which had been disturbed from its slumbers and ended up in the Skinner, but otherwise the macros were almost all widespread species.  There were a few nice micros, including Elachista bisulcella, Metzneria aprilella, Phtheochroa sodaliana, Spatalistis bifasciana, Rhodophaea formosa and probably the largest male Schoenobius gigantella I've ever seen (wing length 24mm).

Chimney Sweeper, College Lake 22nd June

Tawny Shears, College Lake 22nd June

Gigantic Schoenobius gigantella, College Lake 22nd June

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks      


  1. You were doing well with your moths (the wainscots, the pedella and the Tawny Shears and the numbers of them) and also with avoiding the rain last night! My garden trap,(Chorleywood, Bucks) proudly sporting a new 'blacklight' bulb, managed 17 moths last night. Well, more, actually, but the ones on the outside had been obliterated by rain and, unfortunately, the design of the trap is such that a lot of moths don't go inside it. Perhaps interestingly there was only one macro - all the rest were micros, when usually it's the other way round. Included were Tachystola acroxantha and Psyche casta.
    Andy King.

    1. What trap are you using Andy?

    2. I was using my 'third-in-line' plastic box with a hole and funnel in the top and the bulb just laid across it. It's translucent and the light shines out of all of it, so a lot of moths just go to the outside. It's really a trap for watching rather than leaving. Having smashed the other bulb I was trying out a brand new blacklight; these lamps do work; I've been trying them out for the past year. The great thing is it is very light and compact - no choke, etc. Although they do work only on 240v. The lights are used in the commercial insect-trapping 'Insectocuters' and so forth. Only 20/25W. I'm setting up a second 125W mv light at the moment - what a palaver wiring it yourself. I think the preponderance of micros inside was because the lamp was right inside the funnel last night, which has given me some food for thought.


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