|Hayes Common SSSI, 9:15 pm on 26 July 2013, showing the position of a moth trap.|
This site is the Site of Special Scientific Interest on Hayes Common. It looks like the middle of nowhere, but actually there's a road just on the other side of those trees, and a car park nearby.
It's a patch of dry heath enclosed by mixed deciduous woodland, with oaks predominating. In World War II there was an anti-aircraft battery here, and to build it, the soil - already poor - was scraped away and concrete laid. It was removed later, but it has left a dry and slightly alkaline area.
I was hoping for a Beautiful Yellow Underwing, whose caterpillars eat heather, but we didn't see that one. At first we saw nothing but dozens of Caddisflies, but then the moths started to arrive, and over three hours we caught 58 different species. Here are a few of the prettier ones ...
|Black Arches, Lymantria monacha. Hayes Common, 26 July 2013.|
|Maiden's Blush, Cyclophora punctaria. Hayes Common, 26 July 2013.|
|Clouded Border, Lomaspilis marginata. Hayes Common, 26 July 2013.|
|Scarce Silver-lines, Bena bicolorana. Hayes Common, 26 July 2013.|
|Ruby Tiger, Phragmatobia fuliginosa fuliginosa. Hayes Common, 26 July 2013.|