Monday, 21 August 2017

Sabbatical part 1-Dungeness RSPB (and bird obs)

As I am in my seventh consecutive year with the RSPB (would have been 10, but had a year with Kent Wildlife trust in between) I am allowed to have a three week sabbatical. Me being me, I decided to contact reserves ecology to see if they wanted any particular moths to be surveyed/searched for.

Many suggestions were given, but due to time and budget constraints I could not do all of them! The chosen few are- scarce vapourer larval and adult search in the broads (2 days), white mantled wainscot, North Warren (1 night), Scarce chocolate tip, Dungeness (5 nights), Scarce pug larval searches, N Norfolk 2x 3 days, coleophora hydrolapathaella in Mid Yare (2 days?) + something else local if I have some spare days.

My first photo round up is from Dungeness, where I was rewarded with a few very scarce species, but was surprised by the very low catches on what is supposed to be one of the best areas for moths in the country, unfortunately this was due to cold wet and windy conditions throughout my stay. The final list was 167 species from 18MVs and 14 actinic traps.
Dad came and joined me for two nights, which rewarded him with 17 new species, not bad at all when youve seen as many species in the uk as he has! The extra traps, knowledge and dissection skills increased the final species list!

I should say a massive thanks to the team at the rspb reserve for all of their help and for the guys at the obs for the info, retaining moths and generally being helpful!

As well as the moths featured below dad/we managed to confirm the following coleophora-C.lusciniaepenella, C.saturatella, C.galbulipennella (only found at Dungeness).
Celypha cespitana confirmed (3 specimens) as well as Aroga velocella, Chionodes fumatella, Chionodes distinctella, Bryotropha senectella.

Day 1 24/07
2 MV's and 1 actinic
86 species
Sussex emerald- the only breeding site in UK, it is a protected species so is actually illegal to put in a pot! luckily this one allowed me to put it on a bramble and take its picture

A shining marbled!! found in my first trap, 1st for Dungeness and 11th for UK! I was somewhat perplexed when this apparently quite distinctive moth was not in my field guide, luckily I did get to the bottom of it thanks to the uk moths app, a very nice start...

Plumed fan-foot, the completion of the trio of amazing moths on the first morning, again a local very rare breeder
back at the obs they saved me a white-spot another new species for me

Day 2 25/07
34 species
Cynaeda dentalis- a stunning little pyralid

Two juv peregrines having a preen on typical Dungeness habitat

Southern Oak bush cricket new orthopteran no.1

Day 3 26/07
5 heath traps, 5MV's
102 species
An example that despite putting all of these traps out, just 102 species came from it, amazing to think one MV in my garden can attract that many and I have had close to 200 species in 2 traps at Strumpshaw

Oncrcera semirubella

Pale grass eggar, a local subspecies only found at Dungeness

August thorn

Marbled coronet

This is Prochoreutis myllerana and was trapped at the obs, another new species and one I have wanted to see for a while after checking hundreds of nettle-taps!

Day 4 27/7
5 heath traps 5 MV's
84 species

Jersey tiger, brought into the obs... stunner!


...And finally on the penultimate day a scarce chocolate tip graced the trap. I was hoping to find out a bit more about the habitat preferences of this very rare species, however this was the only specimen I found, so hard to draw conclusions! Although it was in a trap under the only grey poplar I saw...

Celypha rivulana

Sickle baring bush cricket ortho no2 tick

four spotted footman

Tachystola acroxantha, an Australian species that appears to be expanding its range in the UK

Day 5 28/7
3 heath, 3 MV
46 species
Great green bush!

Grey bush cricket ortho no.3 tick as well as Ceperos groundhopper being no. 4

Typical vegetated shingle scenes

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