Last night I joined Dave Gilmore and Mike Powell at Kenfig for an event which became known as Sand Dunes Night, a title given it by Dave. It came about quite suddenly as a result of a post on the GMRG blog and consisted of four small teams of moth-ers, running traps at two sites on the Gower and at Kenfig and Merthyr Mawr. The object was to try and establish whether Portland Moth is still present in Glamorgan, but also an excuse for some light competition and fun.
We ran three traps in the dunes to the north of the pool and had a decent haul of moths, but unfortunately, not the target species. As I can count the number of times I had previously trapped in dunes on the fingers of a vick, I was just as excited at the prospect of seeing sand hill specialists as I was with the chance of Portland Moth and I wasn't disappointed, with four macro moths new to me and a welcome re-acquaintance with a few I hadn't seen for years, such as this Magpie Moth.
|I was lying on my side in a Burnet Rose taking this shot, so excuse the quality, please.|
From Jake and Mikes trap came this Tawny-speckled Pug and this absolutely stunning White-line Dart, as species new to me.
|I haven't seen one of these for years|
|What a stunning moth|
Another moth new to me was Straw Underwing, of which we trapped quite a few.
|Straw Underwing, obligingly flashing part of its underwings|
A moth I must have been shown before was Southern Wainscot, but I am indebted to Mike for showing me a very useful field character for this species, which is the 'Tiara' across the 'forehead' of the moth, visible in the head shot below.
|Head on, showing the 'tiara' stripe on the front of the thorax.|
Other mothy highlights were these:
|I was thrilled to see this Latticed Heath|
As well as the moths, there were a few other inverts, including this Speckled Bush Cricket.
|Speckled Bush Cricket|
As I was knocking down one of my traps, I found this beautiful spider clambering about in one of the egg boxes, which I have now been able to identify as one of the 'Candy Stripe' spiders; Enoplognatha Spp; probably E. ovata, but given the sand dune habitat, it is possible that it could have been E. latimana. A lovely thing, whatever it's true identity is.
|As you can see, the spider was tiny, compared with my thumb|
|A striking colour scheme|
As I compiled this, I saw the sad sight of a Lesser Black-back flying down the valley, towing a carrier bag.