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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Famine to feast...

They say to make hay while the sun shines, so with four days of muggy but dry weather, meant four consecutive nights of trapping out and about.  The first night  was Saturday where I chose the open moorland site at Dallowgill due light wind forecast.  Sunday night was Sessay Wood at Pilmoor which offered shelter from quite a stiff breeze.  Monday night was a joint effort with Charlie, Jill and Bob at Staveley, where I left an MV out overnight and returned next morning.  Finally, on Tuesday night, buoyed by such a good return the previous night, I spent the night at Staveley up by the last hide in the reedbed.  So, what was the return for my efforts?  A fine total of 2837 moths of 236 species, including a few new ones.

Dallowgill only produced around 30 species with 362 True Lovers Knot and 76 Northern Spinach dominating the catch.  Of interest were my first Bilberry Tortrix, a Smoky Wave, Welsh Wave, five 'Ling' Pug Eupithecia absinthiata f.goossensiata and two Grey Scalloped Bar.
Bilberry Tortrix

'Ling' Pug

Sessay Wood, a good selection of the usual species, although Limnaecia phragmitella, five Hedya salisella,  Dark Spinach and three Scarce Silver-lines were new  for me.  The other highlights were 45 Four-dotted Footman, 66 Minor Shoulder-knot, three Suspected, an Olive and Angle-striped Sallow.

Limnaecia phragmitella

Hedya salisella

Dark Spinach
Scarce Silver-lines

The first night at Staveley I sited the trap at the woodland edge backing on to the open rough field near the stone cairn.  Being slightly different habitat to where Charlie had sited the other five traps, it added about 15 species to the overall list of 170+ species.  I only recorded my own trap catch for the purpose of these totals.  Having actually enjoyed a few hours in my own bed it was a return to form with Tuesday night being an all-nighter by the hide in the reedbeds at Staveley.  I should have known better as it took 4 hours to do the two traps in an increasingly stiff breeze, and ran out of time and pots....   New species to me were three Adaina microdactyla, three Dark Umber, Bordered Pug, Pimpinel Pug, while others of interest were 25 Calamotropha palludella, another Dark Spinach, three Southern Wainscot, a Brown-veined Wainscot, five Fen Wainscot and two Silky Wainscot.
Adaina microdactyla

Bordered Pug

Pimpinel Pug

Not a bad return for a few nights trapping! 


  1. Great stuff and mouth-watering photos. Fill your boots!

  2. You must be a b----- for punishment!Fantastic isn't it?PS Grey scalloped bar!
    Wish i was retired and able to do that much mothing when conditions are spot on.Hope to get out on Sat night,fingers crossed.
    cheers G.F.

  3. Thanks G, a bit dyslexic after all that recording.... (I had to delete previous due spelling...)

    I should add that I wish I was retired too!