Mary Atkinson’s description of some seasonal moths to look out for in November. Includes a brief description of our National Moth Night trappings which were rather affected by some poor weather…!
Seaton Valley Countryside Park is another place we should visit. While many of us remember the caravans, it is now a lovely place to walk up from the beach with a steep sided wooded valley that supports a lot of wildlife. This is from Jenny Heskett, Countryside Ranger (CORMAC) and one of our LAPWG members.
“Saturday 19th October in lovely sunshine, two volunteers and a Cormac Ranger had the first coppicing session of the season in the Seaton Valley woodlands. We carry out small areas of coppicing in the woodlands to keep the age structure of the trees varied, and allowing light onto the woodland floor making homes for the widest diversity of plants and creatures including the super cute dormouse. In line with current recommendations we coppice the woods with dormice in during autumn giving the best chance for any dormice in the area to wake up and move away; we also leave stacks of timber close to the base of hazel clumps as potential places for dormice to make their winter hibernation nests” The next session will be in Kilminorth Woods near Looe on Saturday November 16th. If anyone is interested, please use our contact details here on our website and we will pass your details onto Jenny H.
No pictures but I need to write this down somewhere before the memory fades…
On September 25th, I went up to top up the bird food trays for the smaller mammals that live around my garden. Wearing a red head torch, I often stay to watch. First in were two adult wood mice then two small juveniles appeared, scurrying around and exploring rather than feeding. The first dormouse appeared, lunging at the wood mice until only one was left. They kept to opposite sides of the tray. I then realised that a second, smaller dormouse had appeared; the wood mouse ran off as a third juvenile dormouse jumped onto the tray.
I had been aware of a large moth fluttering about my head, attracted by the light which the mice had ignored. Something large shot past my ear… it was a bat that proceeded to chase the moth around my head, several times before following the moth through the branches. It returned but too quickly for me to see if the moth had been caught. I wonder if this was a Brown Long-eared bat because it was flying through some pretty narrow spaces between the branches.
Throughout all of this, the dormouse remained on the side of the tray, eating sunflower seed kernels and taking no notice of the action!
Mary Atkinson has written about October moths and Jen B reports on the Convolvulous Hawkmoth seen this September.
For download: October moths
The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) have announced a new hedgerow survey underlining their importance for wildlife and connectivity through the landscape and their benefits to farming. Good hedgerows must be managed; some have been with us for a thousand years or more!
Please visit :https://hedgerowsurvey.ptes.org/
Our latest newsletter is about to be sent out to our members including a report about our Focus on Ferns day.
Mary Atkinson’s moth report for September is attached for download. Very envious of her Crimson Underwing or rather ‘wings’ left below a bat roost…
Tony Atkinson has worked out the dates to visit each site twice during August.
Tutwell (3rd & 26th) & Timbrelham (4th & 27th) are on the Tamar, Woodcocks Well (5th & 28th) is on the Lynher.
Meeting time confirmed as 9pm.
All the details are here to download: Waterways survey meeting places2
Mary’s moth report for August: Moths in August
And of course, Mary has reminded me (thank you) that moth scales show refracted colour from their surface structure, not pigment as such. Which is why old and damaged scales which collect in moth traps, look greyish brown…
From Alison: ” Last night Eric & I saw a recently fledged (presumably) Barn Owl in the village. It had been born in an owl box put up by a neighbour right in the village itself, with the box sited on a large tree bordering one of the roads. It had already been found in the road a week or so ago and rescued. Eric & I saw it sitting on top of its box making the eerie noise a barn owl makes. It watched us looking at it before flying off down to the road surface a few metres in front of us. It took off again and flew around a corner before, presumably, returning to its box. What a treat, not only to know that we have a Barn Owl living so close to us, but also to see its young and have such a close encounter. I will notify the Barn Owl Trust.”
Thanks Alison for sharing that and what I find so interesting is that the box has been used in that kind of location. I’m hoping to put one up near the top of Stara Woods where it is more open.