Determined to go somewhere moth trapping on Saturday night, I accepted and invitation to join George Tordoff and Mike Thornton, at Lanlay Meadows nature reserve, on the outskirts of Peterson-Super-Ely, near Cardiff.
The reserve consists of a series of fields following the south and west side of the river Ely, with drier hay meadows nearest the village and progressively wetter fields further up river.
I ran my 125 watt MV Skinner trap in one of the hay meadows, while George ran his Skinner in the corner of another, tucked in the angle between hedges. He also ran an 8 watt actinic Heath trap near the reserve entrance.
The weather didn't play fair and the clearing skies and no wind meant plummeting temperatures, the minimum at my trap dropping to just 6.80 C. Fog started forming after midnight too, but despite this the combined catch was around 80 species and at least the clear skies allowed George and I to see a spectacular fireball streak slowly across part of the sky.
Personal highlights for me were Sharp-angled Carpet, Scorched Carpet and Brussels Lace, the latter two being new species for me.
In the Hazel trees close to George's trap, I found two Oak Bush Crickets, while on a Blackthorn next to his trap was a Vapourer caterpillar.
Mike found this lovely Chaffer, which I think is Serica brunnea and nearby, I found another.
Not far from my trap, I came across this mating pair of Ghost Moths. I haven't yet had the chance to try and identify the bug that is in the same frame, enjoying the view.
Mike and George were good company and we trapped until around 01:30. As we were packing up, I started getting aurora alerts on my phone, warning of an impending storm, but the peak wasn't supposed to be until around 06:30, which would be broad daylight. Even so, on my way home, I nipped up the valley to Graig-y-llyn, but saw nothing.
On my way home, I passed a naked man walking up the A465, past Hirwaun and I knew I was back in the valleys!