Field Event Reports

Saturday 18th August 2018: Mothing Morning at Red Cow Cottage, Cholsey

We gathered round the table to open the moth traps.

Leader: Tony Rayner

A comfortable group of 11 members, plus local naturalists Paul and Loren Chandler (Cholsey Wildlife blog) met on a cloudy and coolish morning in Tony Rayner's garden at 10.30am, where we gathered around a circular table to open the two moth traps that Tony had run overnight. For the next hour or so egg boxes were extracted and the collected moths identified and variously handed around as long as they did not fly away immediately. As the weather overnight was not ideal Tony was a little disappointed with the number and variety. However, some 26 species were identified. There were a preponderance of Setaceous Hebrew Character, Straw Underwing, Common Wainscot, Common Rustic, Heart & Dart and other smallish essentially brown species. Highlights were singles of: the staring 'eyes' of the Spectacle, the yellow and brown Burnished Brass, and orange Dusky Thorn. Some time was spent trying to encourage a Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing to open its wings to show the yellow underwing, which it did before flying off. The largest species was the Large Yellow Underwing - the latter not being particularly large and unfortunately none of the larger and colourful hawk moths were found.

Having exhausted the moth traps we had a brief walk around Tony's wildflower meadows, which had been cut so were devoid of flowers apart from one largish patch that was dominated by flowering Marjoram. This had been left as it continued to be a food source for butterflies - with no sun out unfortunately only a single Common Blue was seen. Around midday thanks were conveyed to Tony and a satisfied group dispersed.

Species Identified:
Setaceous Hebrew Character; Straw Underwing; Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing; Common Wainscot; Common Rustic; Vines Rustic; Six-striped Rustic; White Point; Dusky Thorn; Chinese Character; Heart & Dart; Straw Dot; Willow Beauty; Flame Shoulder; Bright-Line Brown-Eye; Flounced Rustic; Tawny-speckled Pug; Shuttle-shaped Dart; Burnished Brass; Grey Dagger, Brimstone; Copper Underwing; Large Yellow Underwing; Spectacle.
Little attempt was made to identify micros - there were at least three species of grass moths and tortrix species, including Small Magpie. The plume moth was later identified as the Beautiful Plume.
Attendees:
Graham Bateman, Chris & Bridget Biggs, Gillian & Mike Taylor, Bob Evans, Nigel & Caroline Gregory; Victoria Kozlova, Sally Ainslie, Felicity Jenkins plus Paul & Loren Chandler.

Graham Bateman

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