Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Return of the Prodigal Carpet

Well, that was unexpected!  32 moths of nine species in last night's trap at Westcott despite the very cold, windy conditions and one of them was my first garden year-list addition since a Pale Pinion on the 15th.  In fact it was a species that wasn't even on my home moth radar, having last been seen here in 2005:  a smart Water Carpet:

Water Carpet, Westcott 20th March

This is actually my earliest ever sighting for Water Carpet by about a week but I note that there are some half a dozen earlier records for Bucks going back to 9th March.

The conditions were such that I wouldn't normally have bothered running traps elsewhere, but with a need to check on whether Small Quaker had reached its peak yet I took two 125wt MV Robinsons and a single 15wt Heath trap to Bernwood Forest.  I might as well not have bothered with the actinic as it brought in a grand total of 14 moths of seven species, but the two Robinsons performed exceptionally well considering how windy and chilly it became.  Small Quaker is a hardy little beast and I'd counted 347 (130 in one trap, 217 in the other) by the time I packed up at 11pm and they were still arriving in numbers.  Common Quaker (53) and Oak Beauty (21) were the only other species to give a double-digit count but amongst the remainder were my first Brindled Pugs (3), Early Tooth-striped (1), Pine Beauty (1) & Blossom Underwings (5) of the season.  Definitely a worthwhile visit.

Early Tooth-striped, Bernwood Forest 20th March

Pine Beauty, Bernwood Forest 20th March

Blossom Underwing, Bernwood Forest 20th March

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks  

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