Tuesday, 28 February 2017


Lincolnshire County Moth Recorder Colin Smith gave us the benefit of his 45 years of studying and recording moths when he illustrated a range of species on 24 February. There are 2,500 species of moth in the UK with 1,600 of these recorded in Lincolnshire. The adult moth sizes range from the huge Death’s Head at with a wing span of 4 inches down to the myriad of species that are less than 5mm in size.

The caterpillars are voracious feeders and it is possible to identify these larvae by the distinctive patterns that they make on leaves when feeding. These ‘mining’ moths are the ones that damage our plants. Many species of moths live a very short time, just long enough to breed, as they have no mouth parts while others survive well and species have developed a proboscis to probe into nectar producing flowers whilst certain species, such as the Varied Coronet moth which favours Sweet Williams, live their life cycle on a specific type of plant.
I was delighted that other members present said that they saw very few moths. Colin indicated, very politely, that we should be out at night and look harder at our plants by day using a hand lens. Nevertheless, sharp-eyed birds such as Blackbirds and Blue tits have no problem in finding the tiny larva in the grass which form a vital part of the food chain. I offer the information that I gleaned from an RSPB source, that a pair of Blue tits need 15,000 insect larvae to sustain a brood of 4 nestlings.

Colin showed us some of his mounted specimens and has kindly agreed to arrange a ‘Moth Evening’ for us as part of our 2018 programme to look for the Marsh moth which is endemic to the Rimac and Theddlethorpe beach area. RW

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Chairman's Jottings


The Friday 24 February meeting at 7.30pm will be at our new venue, the Methodist Church Hall at Nichol Hill, Louth. The illustrated talk will be ‘An Introduction to Moths’ given by Colin Smith, broadcaster and Lincolnshire County Recorder for Moths.  The cost for entry is £2.50 for adults. Children are most welcome and are not charged.
At this new venue, there are no stairs to climb, wheelchair access is good, so is the audio-visual system, all the chairs are set out and are comfortable and the hire charge is within the LAG budget.
Entry is £2.50 for adults. Children are most welcome and are not charged.

I received 15 reports from some of you who had taken part in the Great Garden Bird Watch at the end of January. Blackbirds and Wood pigeons were the most common with Great tits, House sparrows and Chaffinches appearing in many gardens. I cheated a little and put out scraps of meat on the day so I saw 2 Common gulls and 8 Black-headed gulls in my garden whilst Margot was lucky enough to have 30 Lapwings on her land.
As always not all our regular species arrived at the time of the count – even so we recorded 28 avian visitors to our gardens.

There is a rota for volunteers to help with the preparation and serving of refreshments. Please sign up at the next meeting.

Friday 24 March 2017 Rob Lidstone-Scott Outer Humber LWT Warden will tell us about his experiences of, ‘Seal Management’ in the UK’.

Friday 28 April 2017 A Members’ Evening with photographs and the Annual General Meeting, a raffle and refreshments. It was a fun evening in 2016 let’s follow the pattern! Please make every effort to attend. Send Ray Woodcock your 5-minute set of your digital photographs by 24 March on lag2014rww@aol.com

There is a present requirement for at least 3 more members to join the committee/team. We meet about five times a year and administer the running of the group. Let Secretary Biff Vernon know if you would like details about joining us on the committee.

Ray Woodcock Chairman LAG 17 February 2017

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Report on Louth Watch Meeting Sunday February 12th 2017

The group had an interesting morning at Spout Yard Gallery dissecting owl pellets. Firstly, the children were given anagram puzzles and owl colouring sheets to fill in. Roger Briggs then provided the pellets and demonstrated how to tease the pellets apart with forceps and mounted points.
Each child dissected an owl pellet and laid the bones they found carefully in the tray. It was possible to see many bones from small mammals such as voles and identify them using the printed guide. One larger skull was possibly from a small rat. Some bones were examined under the microscope.
Roger had found some kestrel pellets and they were also examined, as kestrels regurgitate food in a similar way. Remains of insects were found in the pellets
Overall the children were interested and absorbed in the activity. They took bones and owl pellets home to carry on the investigation, as well as some owl fact sheets.
We were pleased that four children managed to come despite the miserable cold wet weather. AH