I set 2 x 40W Skinner traps last night at Goosey Bank ,Nr Olney for the first time as well as the Robinson at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve and the usual Robinson at home so had a busy early couple of hours at the beginning of the day.
I was intrigued to see what may turn up at Goosey Bank so woke at 0500hrs, still dark, so too early to set off. I kept myself busy with some ironing before setting off at about 0600hrs. It was too early to even pick up a newspaper on the way.
Arrived around 06:20hrs and went to the trap set on the Bank itself and recorded my first moth there, a March Moth on the veins around the bulb. That promising start did not continue though when the top was removed and the egg boxes inspected. One more March Moth was found and that was it. The moon was very bright and full last night so may be that explains the low number.
And so down to the second trap situated deliberately close to a large willow bursting with catkins on the lower ground-nothing on the outside of the trap to excite but I could see some moths inside. 18 moths later of 5 species, none of which were March Moths, saw me packing things up and wheezing somewhat carrying those 12V batteries up the steep slope. The 5 included the 3 regulars for this time of year, Hebrew Character, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab along with Small Quakers and a Shoulder Stripe.
Next stop was Linford Lakes Nature Reserve where a Cetti’s Warbler sang me a greeting as I arrived. Again though, it was rather quiet. 17 moths attracted to the 125W Mercury Vapour bulb and this time 6 species; as well as the regular triumvirate mentioned above there was a Small Quaker, a very fine Twin-spotted Quaker and a micro-moth with no common name, Agonopterix ocellana.
At home the max/min thermometer recorded a low of 6.6 degrees so wondered whether the trap here may be better than the others already checked but it was not to be. 10 moths of 5 species and only two thirds of the triumvirate, Common Quaker and Hebrew Character. To these were added Early Grey, Shoulder Stripe and a micro moth with a common name much longer than it, a Light Brown Apple Moth (abbreviated to LBAM in my notebook).
47 moths in total then and, by my reckoning, 10 species. That though is only the half of it. It was a lovely morning, I met no one, spoke to no one (except the Cetti’s Warbler) and enjoyed a splendid views across to the Country Park from Goosey Bank. It set me up nicely to deal with our weekly shop at Tesco’s.
Text and pictures kindly provided by Gordon Redford
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