Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Bernwood Forest, Bucks

Last night I took a couple of MV traps to Shabbington Wood in Bernwood Forest, more to celebrate the lifting of restrictions than because I was expecting much, especially as the forecast low temperature was very optimistic under that clear sky with a full moon (at home it was only just above freezing by 6am).  The traps were run for the usual three hours and were busy at first but the arrivals soon tailed off as the temperature plummeted.  The combined final score was 190 moths of 16 species, of which Diurnea fagella (18), Oak Beauty (26), Red Chestnut (15) & Small Quaker (94) were the most numerous.  Of interest were my first Frosted Green, Brindled Pugs and Pine Beauty of the season, while just a single Blossom Underwing suggests that their main emergence is still to come. 

Frosted Green, Bernwood 29th March

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks


  1. A good post lockdown start Dave. What’s the timing of your 3hour stint? And do you remove the moths that get trapped as you go along or wait till you get home? The reason I ask is I’m heading out for my first mobile mothing tonight with the trap I built over the winter. Looks like a good night tonight. Fingers crossed.

  2. That's three hours from when it is just about dark (so roughly 8pm onwards tonight) but it is an approximation and the length of time you stay out is all down to personal preference. I do keep a rough species list going during busier times of the year in case something has disappeared by the end, but at the moment I wait for the three hours then go through each trap to identify/count everything before releasing on site, apart from anything that might need the chop or is worthy of a decent photo. Each trap probably takes 20-30 minutes to process and then pack away at the moment, so the second one will actually have run closer to four hours by the time it is turned off. I'll be out again tonight and tomorrow night while we hang on to this good weather - good luck wherever you go!

    1. Thank you Dave, helpful advice. We had a great first night out yesterday, several moths and plenty of learning points. i'll post up a full account tomorrow.


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