Saturday, 1 June 2013

moth watch may 2013

Monitoring moths at Cordwood gives us a chance to 'feel the pulse' of the site and enables us to see whether our land management influences invertebrate populations.

Dr Sheila Wright and John Osborne trap moths throughout the year at different locations in Nottinghamshire and we were delighted to invite them back for a second night of 'mothing'.

Not everyone's idea of a typical 'adrenalin rush', it is nevertheless, fascinating to see what is happening in the hidden hours after dark.

Before we began, Sheila told us that the coldest spring in fifty years had put the mothing calendar back about five weeks this year. the moths we would see would be more typical of April than the end of May. Add to this a full moon, flooding Cordwood with light and distracting the moths from Sheila and John's bright lights and unseasonably cold temperatures for the evening made for an inauspicious start. We would be lucky yo get into double figures of species trapped that night.

purple thorn
As it turned out, although the species count was much lower than our 2012 summer count (38), we still achieved a creditable ten species as follows:

Pale Tussock
White-pinion Spotted
Purple Thorn
Lesser Swallow Prominent
Least Black Arches * (grade 3 moth of conservation concern)
Waved Umber
White spotted Pug* (grade 3 moth of conservation concern)
Brindled Pug
Grey Pine Carpet
Ochreous Pug

Having two moths of conservation concern on site was important for this moth trapping session. Although low in number, the count was higher than that at some local nature reserves! And the moths themselves were all things of beauty. Thanks to pal Mike for photographs.

Note: no bats were recorded during the evening.

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