As the group has already surveyed at Knettishall heath this month, it has been decided not to go there this weekend but instead to bring forward the Redgrave fen meeting. So meet in the reserve car park for 9pm on Saturday (23rd – this is looking the slightly warmer night). From there we will drive to the Suffolk side of the reserve to do our recording, so don’t be late as we will have moved off!
I’ve been asked to forward on details of this course that may be of interest for some.
The SWT have organised a Summer Moth course at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Foxburrow Farm reserve for Saturday, July 1st with Edward Jackson, who will be trapping the night before and helping both beginners and improvers to ID moths and understand more about them.
The following link gives more information about the course and how to book:
A great weekend for mothing at Bawdsey Hall for the Moth Nights. The highlight of the 210+ species recorded on the night of 15 June, was the Obscure Wainscot which was in one of John Chainey’s traps.
I trapped two examples at nearby Bawdsey Manor in 2006, with a further moth in 2007.
I have not seen this moth since 2007 in Suffolk and would be most interested to hear if anyone else has seen it?
Moth Night (Part 1) – 14 June 2018 – was spectacular with a huge catch at Bawdsey Hall.
The highlight was the fifth Bawdsey record of the Beautiful Marbled – always a stunning moth to see.
We still have some availability to come along to Bawdsey Hall and enjoy Moth Night tonight (15th June) and tomorrow night (16th June).
The SWT reserve at Gunton Meadows is small compared to their marshland sites the other side of Lowestoft. But this small area is rich in its variety of species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers and as we walked round on Friday evening picking the spots for our 9 traps we were admiring the fine show of wild orchids in full bloom.
Good management is encouraging plants such as Yellow Rattle to thrive and in time hopefully this could encourage some of the less common species such as Grass Rivulet to move into the site.
Four recorders and the assistant warden assembled for the evening and we had the luxury of four generators between us. There was no specific target moth as this was a first occasion trapping at the site so none of us knew what to expect.
However it wasn’t long before we agreed which moth was to be the most abundant of the night. Common Swifts started to arrive in great abundance with several pairs using our traps to spend the evening in their mating activities.
It was quite a pleasant night for recording, with good cloud cover, calm conditions and a temperature of 14 deg. and easy access to the site was a bonus. Just short of 100 species recorded including a few that Stewart Wright found in a before-dusk search that produced Dusky Plume larva and case bearers Coleophora follicularis and paripennella. The traps produced good numbers of moths. I lost count of how many Common Swift but there were at least 40 in one trap and most of them had similar numbers. Ghost Moth and Waved Umber were unusual to record on the same night and a couple of Seraphim off the poplars were probably the least common of the mainly typical time-of-the year species. But we did get a few hawks including Eyed, Poplar and Elephant that were kept with a few other colourful species overnight in my fridge to show visitors to the wildlife event on Saturday. One of the traps was also retained (not in my fridge) with its contents and provided great interest to the visitors.
Further visits in the future could turn up something unusual.
Not a lot to shout about. Abysmal weather environmentally for much of the first 5 months of this year which along with the now predominantly north east winds has not induced the moths to fly, makes coastal areas cooler and brings in sea fog. However towards the end of May a few warmer days seemed to concertina the seasonal succession of appearance into a few days. Additionally I have had an unexpected illness that reduced my versatility to trapping off site. That problem appears to have receded.
I took the opportunity to trap at The Patch on 31st June which was one of the better mothing nights. I picked up a Nascia cilialis there which was a first for me, though one then turned up the following day at Snape. Also in the catch was a pristine Clouded Drab which took me very much by surprise, having watch the seasonal demise of the Orthosias at home and only seeing worn gothicas for some time.
Hawk Moths have been doing well with me as too has the Cream-spot Tiger Moth and Tortrix viridana. Pseudococcyx turionella was new for my home site on 23rd.
I have captured moths at an additional site for me during the day. I have become a PoMS volunteer. PoMS is the Pollinator Monitoring Scheme run by CEH and partnered by Butterfly Conservation, www.ceh.ac.uk/pollinator-monitoring. There is a currently vacant 1 km location in south Norfolk’s Reedham Marshes TG4403. If anyone knows of a naturalist living in that area who may be interested in the project please draw their attention to the link. My 1 km square which I share with a naturalist living in Boyton is alongside the Butley Estuary and enables me to net moths etc during the visits that are 4 times a year. During May I picked up 12 species of moth. These were mostly common species and included the day flying Mother Shipton. Also of interest were a number of Cydia nigricana, presumed to be feeding on the vetch seeds as larvae and a first for me of the attractive day flying Grapholita compositella.
Currant clearwing is now out on the wing. Put the pheromone out in the garden near my Currant bushes this afternoon and 7 came in, the most I’ve ever seen here at one time. Even after putting the pheromone away they still buzzed round the area for ages.
No sign of either Red-belted clearwing or Yellow-legged clearwing that I tried for as well.
Apologies for the late report on this event. I’ve been very busy recently and haven’t had much time to catch up on report writing.
7 moth-ers met up for this meeting, at another of the Suffolk Wildlife trust’s woodland reserves. The hope was to try and see both Mocha and Pauper pug, both previously recorded at the site.
On arrival at the site, it could be seen that it was wetter than back in Ipswich – more rain must have fallen during the day, unlike back home where it stopped quite quickly in the morning. Still, didn’t stop some of us from having a stroll round before setting up searching for moths and larvae. 20sp were noted, best of which were Alabonia geoffrella (adult) and a Plumed prominent larva tapped from Field maple just outside the wood (this is a known site for the moth).
7 traps were operated in the wood along the rides, some up near the Small-leaved lime to try and see the Pauper pug. First moth in was a Lime hawk, which boded well. Unfortunately the damp conditions coupled with a clear sky meant it was a bit of a struggle, with low numbers of moths seen. Species of interest seen from the total of 59 included: Brindled white-spot, Incurvaria oehlmanniella, Pretty chalk carpet, Bucculatrix nigricomella and Poplar lutestring. Neither of the 2 target species were seen sadly. We packed up around 1.30am with distant lightning lighting up the sky. In the morning however it appeared that no rain had fallen at all (at home anyway).
Plumed prominent larva
Pretty chalk carpet
Just a reminder that our arranged SMG venue for this weekend is on Friday evening 8th June at the SWT reserve Gunton Meadows, Lowestoft. Meet up at 9pm at the gate which is on the right about 100 yards past the Tesco filling station on the road that leads to Pleasurewood Hills theme park (turn off the A12 Yarmouth Road at the roundabout). This is a new site that we have not recorded before and will co-inside with an event SWT have organized for the following day (Saturday) to encourage interest in wildlife in the area. So the plan is to retain some specimens for visitors to look at and also a moth trap with its contents from our recording session. Be good if we can run 6 or 7 traps around the reserve. Plenty of room on the road for parking .
Brian and I ran 9 traps in light fog conditions from the start. My target of 130 species proved to be wildly optimistic, although it had some foundation with past years, even then there had also been much poorer results for the time of the season too!
100 species recorded with the trap on the marshes being very busy, woodland traps pretty quiet. E. demarniana, Water Ermine, Gold spot seen, with several first for year recorded. Highlight for me was Green Arches. My first record in the entire Lothingland area and first for the Somerleyton Estate. Surprise was no Flame Wainscot, which according to Brian hasn’t showed up at several known sites for the species so far this year.