Tuesday, March 16, 2021


Usually my garden moth trapping in North Northumberland isnt very good in March. Single figure counts mainly consisting of Hebrew Characters or an odd Pale brindled Beauty as a result of windy nights or clear cold skies are the order of the day.

Tom Tams, County Recorder, advised me once to stop scratching around for a handful of moths in the garden and venture out to some woodland where you can catch a bucketful. I was thinking about this yesterday so dug out my small LED bucket trap that I bought a couple of years ago  that has lain largely unused ever since. To be honest, I didn't have much faith in the small LED purple, battery, light, being used to a 125w MV bulb that illuminates our village and attracts everything from migrating Pinkfeet to the Coastguard Sea King Helicopter Rescue.

As dusk arrived, I took my bucket and battery into the an estate wood near our village and hid it away below and old birch tree. I expected that when I returned in the morning, it would either be gone or full of rain water. When I left the house to retrieve it, it was raining quite heavily and had been for some time. That will be that then, my second option seems likely.

What a surprise I got when I arrived. For a start the little bulb was still operating 12 hours later and secondly, there were moths! Quite a few too. I wish I had taken my phone for a few shots in situ. There were two Water Carpets, a March Moth and a Common Plume on the tree trunk above the trap.. in total there were 50 moths of 11 sp. Not July figures but ok for a little light in March. 


45.044  Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla)  1

49.076  a moth (Acleris cristana)  1

70.103  Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata)  6

70.245  March Moth (Alsophila aescularia)  4

70.247  Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)  1

70.255  Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria)  2

73.069  Early Grey (Xylocampa areola)  3

73.194  Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)  5

73.210  Satellite (Eupsilia transversa)  9

73.245  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  1

73.249  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  17

Acleris cristana.

To keep some context, back home, the 125w Robinson had also been on all night. It was radically out performed by its smaller relative having only 11 moths of 4 sp. Still, one of these was a Red Sword-grass.


73.209  Red Sword-grass (Xylena vetusta)  1 NFY

73.244  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  3

73.249  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  7

73.336  Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa)  1 NFY

Red Sword-grass

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