Flame on!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 2 October 2011 11:41

Wow! Last night was a rather good moth night. I went to Michael Blencowe's with Mat Davidson for a spot of mothing. The weather was looking good, with a warm night predicted and gentle southerly winds. I was hoping for scarce migrants and given Michael had a Flame Brocade a few days ago, I thought we were in with a good chance. We set up two traps and pretty much the first moth we saw was this Scarce Bordered Straw (below). I have seen this moth once before in my garden in Rugeley when I was a kid probably 18 years ago. There was a steady trickle of Dark Sword-grass and  Silver-Y but not much else so we decided to go and do some torching on the coast...
...we saw a few Bricks and a Green-brindled Crescent but it seemed quiet, then Michael caught a Flame Brocade (top photo). Then I caught one, then another and another. Flame Brocade was by far the commonest moth, reaching double figures! A new species for me, it was incredible to be witnessing this, whether it be a recent colonisation or a mass migration.
Back to the traps in the morning, Dusky Thorns, Feathered Brindles and Feathered Ranunculus were all nice to see but this Ni Moth (above) was yet another rare migrant new to both myself and Michael. Other migrants included the Delicate, L-album Wainscot and Diamond-back Moth. We also recorded the monstrous Western Conifer Seed Bug. Two new macro moths in one night, that leaves me on 3630. We also had Redpoll, Siskin, Tree Pipit and Crossbill flying over head in the morning.

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