The weather forecasts were not promising throughout the week and it was a case of trying to end up with the "least worst". As a result it was necessary to warn that there might well be cold and wet and that there was no certainty of catching any moths.
In the event there were actually four of us. Duncan Williams had been lacing some fence posts at the site during the week and also put out some wine ropes on the night in the hope of attracting a few extra species - with Sword-grass at the top of the wish list. Also present were Mike and Betty Clementson who had come up from Cumbria on one of their fairly regular autumn trips north.
A couple of MV traps a a few actinics were put out and then it was wait till it got dusk and go round searching among the rushes and grasses to see if there were any of the beasts stirring. Mike and Betty hit the jackpot and found one among some grass not all that far from one of the actinic traps but there was a short rain shower not long afterwards before the sky cleared and the temperature began to drop. It had started at about 10 degrees but went down to 5 degrees overnight. The sugar and the wine ropes did their stuff and there were good numbers of Red Sword-grass but none of their rare cousins. In addition there were Black Rustic, Brick, Autumnal Rustic, Red-line Quaker, Square-spot Rustic, Angle Shades, Lesser Yellow Underwing and July Highflyer and there was also a Silver Y nectaring on Devil's-bit Scabious.
In spite of the cold the traps were left all night and the following morning the catch included two Slender-striped Rufous as well as Large Yellow-underwing, July Highflyer, Small Wainscot, Dark Arches, Streak, Autumnal Rustic and Rosy Rustic. If only the weather had been better ..... Next year maybe!
Slender-striped Rufous habitat at Lairg (T Mainwood)
Slender-striped Rufous, Lairg, 23 Sep 2012 (T Mainwood)