Friday, 16 September 2016

Rain, what rain?

Having run three lights at BBOWT's College Lake reserve on the Bucks/Herts border last night, I got an e-mail from one of their staff today asking how wet I got because by this morning they'd had a power cut and the car-park had become a lake.  Well, I did have a good view of thunderstorm activity all around but no rain fell on College Lake while I was there, nor did we get any rain at home until dawn, so it seems I was rather lucky! 

It was perfect mothing weather, warm and still with the full moon well hidden behind clouds, but there actually wasn't a vast amount of activity around the traps although the list for the usual three hours eventually came to an acceptable 53 species.  Autumn moths predominated, including Black Rustic, Deep-brown Dart, Brown-spot Pinion, Sallow, Centre-barred Sallow and my first Barred Sallow of the season, but most pleasing of all was to find a handful of the smart Autumnal Rustic (give me a grey moth over yellow and pink ones any day!).

Autumnal Rustic, College Lake 15th September

Amongst the 20 micro species was a stunningly fresh specimen of Oncocera semirubella which, contrary to the books, at this time of year must surely be a second brood example.

Oncocera semirubella, College Lake 15th September

On a hawthorn bush next to one of the traps I found a final instar Pale Tussock larva, in my opinion one of our prettiest caterpillars.

Pale Tussock caterpillar, College Lake 15th September

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 

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