Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Bernwood Forest, Bucks

With us set to keep winds from the north-eastern quadrant for the remainder of April, it is going to get very cold after dark whatever the daytime temperature so the unexpectedly mild forecast (relatively speaking) for last night looked as though it could provide my only opportunity this month for some successful away trapping.  The suggested temperature of 10C at midnight did prove to be correct for once although, as usual, the promised cloud cover to hide the moon failed to materialise.  Three traps were taken to Bernwood Forest, one actinic being run in Oakley Wood and the other two MVs in Shabbington Wood.  The combined total came to only 23 species of which Frosted Green (41) was the most abundant.  Proving that Pammene giganteana does come to light as well as pheromone lures, each of the MV lights brought in that species.  Of the others, the only ones which I hadn't yet seen this year were Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Early Tooth-striped, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Great Prominent (six of them) and Lunar Marbled Brown, so not a particularly good return for the usual three-hour stint. 

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Bernwood 20th April

Lesser Swallow Prominent, Bernwood 20th April

Great Prominent, Bernwood 20th April

Lunar Marbled Brown, Bernwood 20th April

The actinic amongst birches in Oakley Wood was targeting Scarce Prominent, one of my favourites from that group and a moth that isn't all that common locally although Bernwood is a stronghold.  It only flies in April and the first half of May and doesn't come back with a second brood like many of its relatives.  Almost all of the 60+ individuals I've seen have been in April, many of them from the first half of the month, so I was rather disappointed not to record it last night.

Dave Wilton Westcott, Bucks    

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