Monday, 20 May 2019

Dunwich and Reydon Woods 18.5.19

Dunwich Woods 15.5.19

After a 3 week lull in field trips due to inclement weather, we were back at our usual spot for what we hoped would be an excellent night of mothing.  The previous night had been superb in my back garden with a huge increase to 88 moths of 32 species arriving to my 2 garden traps.  Unfortunately the sky had cleared during the afternoon and the temperature as we were setting up was already down to 11 degrees centigrade.  With a full moon rising tonight we hoped that the thin layer of cloud would mask the bright beacon in the sky for as long as possible.

The sunny afternoon had, at least, meant that we had already clocked up 5 or 6 new species of moth in a pleasant stroll around nearby Reydon Woods.  Within half an hour we had found several Hysterophora maculosana, Eana incanana larvae and some Coleophora luterea  which were all new moths for us this week. 

Hysterophora maculosana

Eana incanana larva

Coleophora luterea

We stopped for a lunch break and my wife produced a superb picnic while we enjoyed listening to buzzards calling, bees buzzing and my children shouting MOTH! every so often.  We added a couple more Coleophera luterea, an Esperia sulphurella and a Nematopogon schwarziellus all thanks to the eagle-eyed boys.

Nematapogogn schwarziellus

The warm afternoon sunshine brought out dozens of Micropterix calthella which were feeding on Buttercups in all the woodland clearings.  Again, this was a new species for both Peter and myself.

Micropterix calthella

So, back to the main event.  Cooler conditions meant we had to go all-out to maximise our chances of a good night.  We set up 3 MVs, 3 Wemlites and a 7 watt LED. The MVs were out in the open rides whereas the Wemlites and LED were placed under the trees which are now in full, lush leaf...