Fourth of July Celebrations at Somerleyton

On the 4th July, Keith invited Alan and me to join him to record an area on the Somerleyton Estate that had not been surveyed before. This is the area next to the Hall and gardens. So we were all keen to see what would turn up on a night when the weather was kind to us and conditions were what you dream of for good recording. The habitat is a mixture of really mature parkland trees mostly Oak and Lime, a lot of grassland and a good selection of wildflowers plus the formal ones from the nearby gardens.
It wasn’t long before we could see what would be the most abundant species. C culmella arrived in swarms and in no time every one of the 9 traps was heaving with them. But there were many others of much more interest among the catch of 202 species of which 92 were micros. The many very good micros included Monochroa pallustrellus, Phtheochroa inopiana, Epagoge grotiana, Acleris holmiana, Hedya ochroleucana, Epinotia tenerana, Sitochroa verticalis (not many records for this area), Evergestis limbata (a new local site for this one), Pempelia plumbella plus two that will have to be checked before accepted Endothenia gentianaeana and Monochroa lucidella.
The macros were slower to arrive but one that we were hoping to get because of the mature Limes on the site, eventually turned up. Pauper Pug topped our list of macros along with Shaded Fan-foot, Dotted fan-foot, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Scarce Silver lines, Coronet, Purple Clay, Triple-spotted Clay, Least Carpet and several pristine Privet Hawk-moths. The rest were typical for the habitat at this time of year but it was good to see all the traps brimming with moths with many Large Yellow Underwings causing their usual chaos that seemed to be missing from last years sessions.
A number of bats were also on the wing including some large slow-flying examples. There were so many moths that after doing the final check I switched my lights off and left them for half an hour hoping that the moths would disperse, but I still had to shake out large numbers before I could pack away. We hope for a few more evenings like this during the rest of July.

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