First bats and moths of 2020

Russ writes:

Last night the temperature in our Woodlands garden remained around 10oC at dusk, so I ventured out to set up the moth trap. A Tawny Owl called in the distance, and a couple of bats were flitting around the bottom of the garden, so I retrieved my phone and plug-in bat detector and had a listen. There was a reasonable amount of activity, all attributable to Common Pipistrelle (a spectrogram showing the echo-location calls is below). It's not uncommon for some bat species to become active in mild weather during the winter, and so I'll probably try and have another listen nearby on the Open Forest in the coming nights.

The morning inspection of the moth trap yielded little more than a Pale Brindled Beauty (pic below) and a micro-moth called Ypsolopha ustella, but it's still very early in the 'mothing' year. However, a couple of nights ago, Marcus noticed a micro-moth on our porch window as he headed home after a WNF meeting. I quickly potted it and was pleased to find it was Acleris umbrana, a nationally scarce species that has long been known from the New Forest but seems to be on the increase at the moment (I've caught it twice before, from my previous garden in Brockenhurst).


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