Friday, 16 August 2013

Leicestershire 68 v Northants 84

Over the last few years we have set up our moth traps along the old rail track or within the reservoir perimeters to see what species are around. These areas have the usual flora expected such as Ash, Oak, Hawthorn and Blackthorn but no phragmites. So with this in mind I decided that I would try the moth trap on the Leicestershire side of the reservoir where there is a large reedbed.
On Friday 9th August I arrived and donned my waders then made my way to the reedbed to set up some nets to attempt to catch some Swallows coming in to roost. I set five nets in the reedbed and on returning to the car Mick arrived to join me. With two more nets erected we got to the task of setting the moth trap and an additional light and white sheet. The main trap was set as near as possible to the reedbed to see if we could attract some reedbed species. The sheet was set near the base to give us something to do between visits to the trap.

Base camp
On checking the mist-nets before dusk we found that we had managed to catch a single juvenile Swallow along with six Reed Warblers, 1 Sedge Warbler and 4 Reed Buntings....... not exactly the roost were we hoping for! These were all bagged up and kept overnight in a safe place for ringing in the morning as by now the light had faded.
The sheet was already starting to attract large numbers of small insects but not many moths but the trap was now bringing in good numbers of Lesser Broad-bordered and Lesser Yellow Underwings.
30 species of micro and macro were recorded including 3 species of Footman, double figures of Flame Shoulder and Double Square-spot. Pebble Prominent, Dusky Thorn, Scalloped Oak and Ruby Tiger were nice examples. One reedbed specialist trapped was micro Chilo phragmitella, although a common species it was nice to see something other than the usual woodland species.
Dave arrived just after 04:00 to replace Mick who was travelling around to the Northants side to ring with Ed, Dawn and Simon where they set their nets on the opposite bank. I think they enjoyed themselves over there as we heard chuckles of laughter from across the water all morning!
Altogether, there were 152 birds processed with 84 on the Northants side and 68 on the Leicestershire side, an excellent day for both teams.


Woodpigeon 1/0
Swallow 1/0
Wren 2/0
Dunnock 1/0
Robin 0/1
Sedge Warbler 12/3
Reed Warbler 30/17
Lesser Whitethroat 2/0
Whitethroat 12/1
Garden Warbler 4/1
Blackcap 7/2
Chiffchaff 1/1
Willow Warbler 15/3
Long-tailed Tit 3/2
Blue Tit 6/3
Treecreeper 4/0
Goldfinch 2/0
Linnet 3/0
Reed Bunting 9/3

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