Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A Night in the Woods

I spent last Friday evening in the company of some friends from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, as they were in Ploughman Wood in Lowdham to do their yearly charcoal burn. This being the first year I've been in full-time employment for a while, I had to miss out on the charcoaling bit, but headed on down after work to run a couple of moth-traps with them. We did it last summer, and managed about 30 species, but this time with a little more experience under my belt, I was hoping for a little more.

Female Ghost Moth

We ran two traps, an Actinic Skinner trap, located in the woodland glade in which the charcoal burn was being done (well away from the smoke!) and another 125w MV Skinner in the meadow on the edge of the woods.

We checked the actinic first but for some reason it didn't seem to be attracting much and on the first run, we only got 6 species, but a nice big female Ghost Moth was nice.

After this we ventured over to the meadow to check how the MV trap was doing. It was doing pretty bloody well, the power of the MV cannot be underestimated, as there were loads of moths in and around the trap. 43 species were identified, pretty much all the macros, but some of the micros were left unidentified due to lack of time. We potted some of the better specimens to take back to camp for the charcoal burners to have a look at. Highlights included Orange footman, Scorched Wing, Poplar and Elephant Hawks and Peach Blossom. The rare of the night was Cream-bordered Green Pea, easily overlooked with all the Green Oak Tortrix in the trap but seperable with care.

Orange Footman
When we returned to camp, the trap had been switched off as the generator was getting on the charcoalers nerves... fair enough i guess. The trap was obviosuly not that exciting anyway, as only 2 moths were inside when I emptied it, another Elephant Hawkmoth and a Buff Ermine.

Light Emerald - pretty and common

Photos are mostly rubbish, I need to sort out a better way of recording the catch than my crap smartphone camera...
Rubbish photo of my fave moth of the night, Beautiful Hook tip

The full catch is as follows, numbers are a rough estimate due to moths coming and going. Those in bold are 'rarities' in Notts.

Woodland Trap

Silver ground Carpet 2
Ghost 1
Brimstone 1
Gold Swift 1
Elephant Hawkmoth 1
Buff Ermine 1
Notocelia cynosbatella 1
Blastobasis lactiolella 2

Meadow Trap

Light Emerald 8
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Buff Ermine 2
Orange Footman 1
Broken-barred Carpet 2
Willow Beauty 10
Clouded Border 3
Beautiful Hook-tip 4
Common White Wave 2
Clouded Silver 4
Peach Blossom 2
Marbled Minor agg 5
Elephant Hawkmoth 1
Dark Arches 1
Silver Ground Carpet 1
Small Angle Shades 2
Small fan-foot 1
Bordered White 2
Doubled Square Spot 3
Flame 4
Gold Swift 2
Rivulet 1
Snout 3
Triple-spotted Clay 2
Straw Dot 3
Blood Vein 1
Middle-barred Minor 1
Mottled Beauty 8
Riband Wave 1
Scorched Wing 3
Fan-foot 1
Spectacle 1
Large Yellow Underwing 1
Cream Bordered Green Pea 4
Brimstone 2
Heart and Dart 2
Green Carpet 1
Poplar Hawkmoth 1
Psuedagyrotoza conwagana 1
Pandemis cerasana 2
Green oak Tortrix 15+
Udea olivalis 1
Bramble Shoot 1

 Buff Ermine

Elephant Hawkmoth