11 moth-ers met up for this meeting, the last night-time field event for the year. The target was to try and see if Clifden Nonpareil would put in another appearance after it was seen last year at the site. Before setting up some recorders had a search around for larvae and leaf mines, this getting the list off to a good start with 50 species noted. Best of these were a larva of Iron prominent found on Alder and the mines of Stigmella aceris on Field maple, probably the most northerly Suffolk record to date.
11 traps using a mixture of light sources were deployed both sides of the road, as well as a plethora of wine ropes and sugar to try and tempt any fraxini!
There were a few generator issues at the start but soon all lights were up and running. A steady trickle of species started to appear at light, unfortunately along with a number of Hornets. People then tried to keep a healthy distance away from the light to try and avoid them but sadly a few recorders were unlucky enough to get stung.
Some of the moths seen were distinctly autumnal species, including Black rustic, Sallow, Pink-barred sallow, Lunar underwing, Brick and Brown-spot pinion. Some of these were seen both at light and at wine ropes.
Moths of interest seen included: Small wainscot, Webb’s wainscot, Ancylosis oblitella (a few), Gold spot, Lunar yellow underwing (10), Monopis monachella, Cochylidia implicitana and a Square-spotted clay (very worn). We waited until midnight to see if any Clifdens would come in to the lights then decided to pack up as the number of moths had dropped right off under the clear sky. It was whilst packing away my trap the moth of the night was discovered – a Blair’s wainscot. Quite an unexpected record as it is early – normally it is found around the end of September and the begining of October at its known sites in Dorset – and also there have only been a handful Suffolk records. Some of the more recent ones have been in the Dunwich and Blythburgh areas hinting at the possiblity that the moth has established colonies in the county. Several searches by the group in these areas have failed to turn up the moth however. The fact that this moth turned up in fresh condition in a wetland habitat when there has been little moth immigration coming in to the UK is surely strong evidence for breeding. So another good record from this great Suffolk Wildlife trust reserve!
Final total for the night including the 50 species of leaf mine was 136, an excellent total given the conditions and a great way to end the evening field meeting programme for the year.