Friday, 25 May 2012

Saturday, 19 May 2012 Chew Valley Lake Trip Report

 (Leaders: Mike Bailey and Chris Vines).

Twelve  Bath Nats. members, plus four from the Bristol & District Moth Group (BDMG), met on Herriott’s Bridge at the southern end of  Chew Valley Lake at 9.00 am. The first stop was to the nearby ringing station for inspection of the moth traps. These had been operated overnight and although the conditions were thought to be ideal, with the first mild evening for several weeks, moth numbers were still low. 16 species were identified from the traps with time being taken to compare how moths are presented in the various field guides. The main differences being whether they are shown as set specimens or in the natural resting position. The identification of three notoriously difficult Eupithecia specimens (Pugs) failed to gain a consensus from the ‘experts’ present. These were taken home by MB for a closer inspection and identified as a male Common Pug and a male and a female Oak-tree Pug. The meeting also coincided with the emergence of a small, metallic-bronze coloured, day-flying, micro-moth called Micropterix calthella. They are more beetle like in their appearance and, in fact, are barely recognisable as moths. They feed on the pollen of buttercup flowers and several minutes were spent in damp areas near the lake checking that they were all this species.

Bird ringing was also taking place and we had close views of a Garden Warbler and a Nuthatch in the hand and on the way to Stratford Hide we were shown a brood of Blue Tits being ringed.

Chris Vines then took over as leader and conducted a trip around the rest of the hides and the lake. He is preparing a report which will follow on from here….

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