Sunday March 25 2007 – Great Breech Wood
As March 2007 grew old and I contemplated my first moth trapping outing of the year, I received a phone call from Dave Paull, once resident of Ilminster but now retired to Devon. He had started mothing just before he moved to Devon and we still keep in touch. He was interested in seeing Barred Tooth Striped, so that decided for me the venue of the first expedition.
In 2003 I had received a phone call from James McGill who was out trapping in Great Breech Wood. After the usual pleasantries he got straight to the point – he’d come out in a rush and had forgotten to bring any pots with him. As I am always going mothing and buying maps and torches at garages en-route to the venue I sympathised but didn’t look forward to driving out there with pots until he mentioned that he thought he might have just caught a Barred Tooth Striped. Thirty minutes after the call was abruptly ended I was watching a first record for Somerset, safely ensconced in an “express delivery” pot.
Sunday was almost the fourth anniversary of that great event and fittingly we were joined by James McGill as well as Steve Hatch from Devon and Paul Chapman and Howard Taft from Clevedon who had deserted the lovely Gordano Valley to come and see some proper moths. We set up eleven lights of varying output from an 8 watt actinic to a 400 watt MV and waited for the action to begin. The day had been overcast and as dusk fell it was still 10-12 degrees so hopes ran high.
James McGill found the first highlight, in the form of a lovely fresh male Small Eggar. We made our way to the trap where he had seen it and my anticipation at seeing one good species turned to delight at seeing two as I approached my Robinson trap and saw a lovely fresh Barred Tooth Striped perched on its lid.
We caught three more during the evening, all females. Many people mention that Barred Tooth Striped rarely comes to light but we can state categorically that females do. The last was perched on the bulb holder of my 400 watt megabulb.
We packed up well after midnight, by which time the skies had cleared and the temperature had dropped to around five degrees. The last moth of the night was a stunning Pine Beauty.
List of Species (in no particular order)
Barred Tooth Striped
Twin Spotted Quaker
Red Green Carpet
Grey Shoulder Knot