Sightings on Google Maps

As a result of uploading my sightings, using KML files produced by GPS Logger, it’s now possible to see a list of trips on Google Maps and choose to display each one. Sightings from multiple days can be overlaid, gradually building up a picture of populations in an easy to visualise way.

Google Maps List of Sightings

This list will build as the summer progresses (weather permitting).

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Sword-grass Moth

On Monday evening I ran the Robinson MV trap here in my garden at Broad Oak Brede. Excluding the ones that scarpered when I opened the trap, the species count was 41:

Treble Lines
Light Brocade
Dark Arches
White-Point
Snout
Dusky Brocade
Pale Tussock
Bright-Line Brown-Eye
Vine’s Rustic
Square Spot
Foxglove Pug
Broken-Barred Carpet
Buff-Tip
Great Prominent
Brimstone Moth
Peppered Moth
Straw Dot
Lobster Moth
Lime-Speck Pug
Elephant Hawk-Moth
Peach Blossom
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Shoulder-Striped Wainscot
Clouded Silver
Clouded Border
White Ermine
Pebble Prominent
Angle Shades
Large Yellow Underwing
Buff Arches
Figure Of Eighty
Mottled Beauty
Heart And Dart
Burnished Brass
Ghost Moth
Willow Beauty
Scorched Wing
Garden Carpet
Hebrew Character
Orange Footman

and… Sword-Grass!

Sword-grass moth

This particular moth hasn’t been recorded in Sussex since 2000 according to the County Recorder, Colin Pratt, who said “It probably migrated from the continent, although the last record was only about 9 miles away at Hurst Green.”

As a mothing novice myself, this just goes to show that everyone can improve our knowledge of species in our area. There are many knowledgeable “mothers” willing to share their knowledge and boundless enthusiasm and help you with identification.

Thanks to David Burrows for his id skills and considerable knowledge.

National Moth Night – A Tale of Four Orchards

On Saturday night, four moth traps were run across the Rother Woods Project area. One in Brede High Woods, another at Great Dixter, a third at Iden and a fourth between Cripps Corner and Robertsbridge. The last of these was my responsibility. All were with the kind permission of the landowners.

Other than the occasional light drizzle that I experienced, the weather was mild, overcast and dry. We all met at Great Dixter at 8.30 on Saturday evening and then went our separate ways… I went off towards Robertsbridge to meet the landowner and then drive out into his marvellous organic orchards. We finally turned the trap off at 00:40 and I headed home, more than a little weary, with a full trap ready to be evaluated by folk more expert than I on Sunday morning.

We all met up at 8am on Sunday, back at Great Dixter to compare results and identify the contents of the traps. Full details of all catches will appear at www.rotherwoods.org – highlights from my trap, which contained 30 species, included a Small Elephant Hawkmoth and a Spectacle.

The stunning Small Elephant Hawkmoth
Small Elephant Hawkmoth

The obviously named Spectacle!Spectacle moth

Rother Woods Project – Official Launch – 24th May

The Rother Woods Project will be officially launched at Beckley Woods, at 10am on Saturday 24th May.

The event will be a get-together for project volunteers and supporters and I’d be really pleased if any branch members/web visitors could come along. There’s also the chance we’ll see some Grizzled Skippers (possibly aberration taras or aberration intermedia) and some other lovely butterflies. Visitors can also have a walk around Beckley Woods to see the challenge ahead or they can head off to a different site to record butterflies or just enjoy the start of the Bank Holiday weekend.

– Steve Wheatley (Rother Woods Project Officer)

Butterfly Recording Workshop at Great Dixter

From Michael Blencowe:

“I spent an enjoyable morning today delivering a butterfly recording workshop to 15 people at Great Dixter house. The owners of this amazing building kindly allowed us use of a rather grand room and I gave a presentation (while sat amid the antiques and giant rubber plants) about the importance of recording butterflies in this area of the county.

After the presentation it was time to put our i.d skills to the test and we took a walk around Great Dixter House and nearby Weights Wood where I talked about the panic that sets in when I see a white butterfly in the distance, the love life of the Peacock and the importance of woodland management for butterflies.

It was great to meet an enthusiastic bunch of folk who were all very keen on getting out and recording butterflies.”

Moth Trapping – 25th April

As part of the Rother Woods Project for the Brede and Udimore area, I am running a loaned Robinson Moth Trap in my garden – and in other woods and locations around the area – at every available opportunity. I am not a fully fledged (or even partially fledged!) “mother” as yet, so am double-checking my results when unsure, but I am already becoming hooked.

Results for the night of Fri 25th April
(Trap run overnight here in my garden on the outskirts of Broad Oak)

Brindled Beauty – 8
Common Quaker – 11
Great Prominent – 4
Hebrew Character – 6
Lesser Swallow Prominent – 2
Swallow Prominent – 1
Lunar Marbled Brown – 1
Coxcomb Prominent – 1
Early Thorn – 2
Early Grey – 1

Coxcomb Prominent
Coxcomb Prominent

Lesser Swallow Prominent
Lesser Swallow Prominent

The trap here was run in conjunction with six others as part of the Rother Woods Project’s first Moth Trapping Night. Here are Pat Bonham’s comments from RXWildlife:

Six of us ran five MV moth traps at Park Wood, Brede, on Friday night (25th) to kick off moth recording as part of Butterfly Conservation’s new Rother Woods Project (www.wildrye.info/files/rotherwoods.pdf). The habitat was mainly damp birch woodland with clearings. In ideal conditions – cloudy, mild and near calm – and serenaded by a singing Nightingale, we recorded about 60 moths of 32 species. Highlights included five species of Prominents (Pebble, Pale, Coxcomb, Scarce and no fewer than 5 Great Prominents), Early and Purple Thorns, Early Tooth-striped, Engrailed, 4 Lunar Marbled Browns, Water Carpet, Peacock, Sallow Kitten, Waved Umber, Knot Grass, Frosted Green, 2 Brown Silver-lines and 3 V-Pugs – a great start to the season.

There will be a public moth meeting for National Moth Night at Great Dixter from 8.30 pm on Saturday 7th June and from 8 am on 8th in what should be an extremely productive habitat – don’t miss it !

Butterfly Conservation’s Rother Woods Project… in the Brede and Tillingham Valleys

May as well begin with the longest titled post ever!

The purpose of this blog is to record sightings, propagate news and generally raise awareness of the Butterfly Conservation Rother Woods Project – with specific emphasis on the area spanning the Brede and Tillingham Valleys. These two valleys are separated by a ridge which runs from Rye (in East Sussex), through Udimore and along towards Sedlescombe.

There are plenty of sites – links provided here where possible – that are excellent resources for identification of butterflies and moths as well as recording, so there is no intention to compete with those sites. However, I intend to record my personal sightings in the area on this blog (as well as properly for BC) and post anything else of interest or potential usefulness.