Rose Gold

Prospects were looking good Thursday evening when I arrived in perfect conditions at the old Brickworks site at Somerleyton. It sits on top of what would have been a former cliff I suppose and it now towers over Somerleyton marina.  I have passed by on numerous occasions thinking I must give it a go here someday. The part of the site of particular interest is very small but consists of a group of specialist plants that thrive on what I guess was once the concrete floor of part of the factory, plants of very poor chalky soil which are very rare in my area. Surrounding this some scrub, poor grassland and some Tansy, not a huge amount of it but it is scattered around the Somerleyton area. I was hoping at best for perhaps a few micros on the (special plants) and therefore focused on just a small patch of the site measuring around 50 x 50m.

Setting up the three traps including one actinic, switch on was at 21.55. By 22.10 I knew it was going to be a memorable night as there were already two Oncocera semirubella in the trap I was sitting by. I have never seen the moth before and on other occasions have set up hoping for it elsewhere on the Estate as there is a lot of these sandy hills which I believe were ideal habitats for it making up the edge of the Waveney Valley just here. But tonight they came as a complete surprise. I have always believed it to be a resident in Suffolk while some think a migrant but for those who believe the latter then I can reveal I was very happy to have captured 13 specimens of O. semirubella by 1am. Possibly an even better record a single Tansy Plume Gillmeria ochrodactyla confirmed by Tony P. These were to be the two highlights of 128 species which included. G. alismana which seems to be a local speciality as we see it every year, despite the seeming lack of Water Plantain. Pretty Chalk Carpet. Juniper Webber, Blastodacna hellerella, E hohenwartiana and several Rufous Minor. A Purple Hairstreak butterfly also recorded. Best migrant a Dark Sword-grass.

Gillmeria ochrodactyla Somerleyton Suffolk 29-vi-2017         Oncocera semirubella Somerleyton Suffolk 29-vi-2017

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2 Responses to Rose Gold

  1. Raymond Watson says:

    Well done on the Oncocera semirubella Keith. I think there are a lot of moths that are migrants (I prefer to say immigrants) that are also resident at suitable locations. With the global warming too I think we shall be seeing even more species coming in to the coastal areas and establishing population. I have one or two of my own.

  2. Neil says:

    Oncocera semirubella is almost certainly a breeding species in Suffolk now. I found a substantial colony at a chalk grassland site in the Gipping valley last summer. Easily disturbed from the sward in the daytime.

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