Mothing Report
















Rosemary’s mothing was eagerly awaited, and it was worrying that earlier in the day there was a shower of rain. But as evening arrived it was clear and dry, perfect for a mothing. Three moth lights were set up, one under a group of oak trees, one on short grass near some low-boughed trees in the front garden and one on long grass near some large bushes. The first catch was a Grass Moth, of which there were plenty, and soon after was the Mother of Pearl. After they were caught and identified we caught lots and lots more of them. But as time passed micros came trickling in, hard to identify, hard to say and hard to spell, apart from the few with English names such as the Bluebell Tortrix and the Apple Codling Moth. As ten o’clock approached the moths got bigger, the first was The Drinker, banishing the idea that all moths are small and brown. Next was the Yellow-Tail, which didn’t even come to the lamps, and was found basking by a security lamp. Underneath the lamp on the front garden was caught a Ruby Tiger. But not only moths were found by the lights, a Lesser Stag Beetle and a Chafer also turned up. By this time there were so many large moths it was hard to tell what had already been recorded, but still different moths kept turning up. A Light Emerald was caught at the lamp near the oak trees. And as the mothing draws to an end, not only have you enjoyed yourself, but also you have learnt to recognise a few species, and finding yourself wondering how long it is till the next one?

In fact the mothing at the reserve was just over a week away, but it rained and it poured, so it was rescheduled for a few days later, and the weather was perfect. Two lights were set up. At first it was quiet with only a few Mother of Pearls flying about, but then the first micro was caught. It was an Agapeta Hamana, a micro moth with bright colours. At this moth night large moths were caught more frequently than the micros, as the next were the Small Fan footed Wave, Common Rustic and the Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing. Four species of Yellow Underwing turned up by the end of the night out of the seven species, as well as a Light and Dark Arches. At the smaller lamp a Common Emerald was caught, as well as Dun-Bar. As it got later many more moths were caught, as well as six unknown micros, and as we were packing away to leave a Mottled Beauty and a Peach Blossom showed up at the last minute.

James Harding - Morris