Monday, 10 April 2017
Grey Birch early and netting Birch early
14 species of moth to MV at Dingestow Court on 9th April included single Grey Birch and Scorched Carpet. Both are quite early, and the former is doubly interesting because it's only my 3rd Dingestow record of the species.
Spurred on by the sunny weather I went looking during my lunch break for Eriocrania at Penyclawdd Wood - the birchiest woodland on my home patch. This was a total failure; goodness knows why. On my way back from work I stopped at Trellech Hill Quarry for another try, and this time caught at least 5 purple Eriocrania cf sangii (I've got one to gen det) and a couple of golden E. subpurpurella. This genus flies very early in the year, and is extremely under-recorded in Gwent: if mine is E. sangii then it's the 2nd county record and if it's the other alternative E. semipurpurella then it's the 3rd. A better option for recording them is to look for leaf mines in April and May, but I forget most years until it's too late - the mines can only be identified if larvae are still present. This genus is a top target for me in 2017!