Sunday, 10 July 2016

Bernwood Forest, Bucks

After much deliberation over whether the warm and humid but very windy weather would be suitable even for woodland trapping (particularly as Peter was looking at a long trek across from Herefordshire), Messrs Albertini, Hall and Wilton ran six MV lights in different areas of Bernwood Forest last night.  The current combined species total of 162 (with others still needing dissection to confirm) suggests that we made the correct decision.  It was certainly a worthwhile three-hour session and some of the species caught made it quite a memorable evening.

The early arrival of a female Triangle at one of Peter's traps in York's Wood set the scene.  The capture of three examples of this diminutive Red Data Book macro-moth in different areas of Bernwood on two different dates in July 2010 proved to be the first Bucks records for 54 years.  Despite much effort each July since then, we had been unable to replicate those sightings until last night so it is brilliant news to find out that the moth is still present.  Triangle appears to be a canopy dweller which is only rarely tempted down to ground level, so maybe the strong winds were a godsend.  Dave's traps were run in Oakley Wood where a male was also found while he packed up, having crawled under the sheet to hide from the light.  Checking carefully underneath the sheet often produces that final surprise for the night!

Triangle, Bernwood Forest 9th July

At the very end of their normal flight period, a couple of very worn and battered examples of the nationally scarce Common Fan-foot also appeared at the traps, this being another species restricted in Bucks to Bernwood Forest.  The same is true of Small Black Arches, yet another moth on the nationally scarce list which is on the wing now.  Last night at least one example put in an appearance at every trap.

Small Black Arches, Bernwood Forest 9th July

Lackey , Bernwood Forest 9th July

Minor Shoulder-knot, Bernwood Forest 9th July

Rosy Footman, Bernwood Forest 9th July

Martin's lights were run in Shabbington Wood where he was lucky enough to catch examples of Kent Black Arches and Dotted Fan-foot which are both completely new to the already very extensive list of moths known from the site.  750 species have been seen at Bernwood between 2009 and 2015, while records of another 112 appear on the Bucks database, so it is one of the better-recorded sites in the county.

Other macro-moths seen included Leopard Moth, Poplar Lutestring, Common Lutestring, Satin Beauty, Rosy Footman, Red-necked Footman, Minor Shoulder-knot, Mere Wainscot and Scarce Silver-lines.  However it was the micros which accounted for more than half the species total, the most numerous example being Archips xylosteana with more than 200 counted at Dave's traps alone.  In fact members of the tortricidae provided most of the colourful interest with other species seen including Phtheochroa inopiana, Cochylis nana, Spatalistis bifasciana, Archips crataegana, Choristoneura hebenstreitella, Epagoge grotiana, Lozotaeniodes formosanus, Pseudosciaphila branderiana, Piniphila bifasciana, Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana, Rhyacionia pinicolana and Pammene fasciana. Martin Albertini, Peter Hall & Dave Wilton

No comments:

Post a Comment

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