Chris Wilson

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Chris Wilson
Sep 292015
 

It is with sadness to note the recent passing of Chris Wilson. Our deepest sympathy to family and friends and while he will be greatly missed, he will forever be fondly remembered. Below are tributes from Ken Bond and Michael O’Donnell.

I first got to know Chris Wilson when he was based in Co. Tipperary, and recording the Lepidoptera of Cappamurra Bog. Over the following years we exchanged many emails about moth identification, and I soon realised how wide his knowledge of wildlife ranged. When he later moved to live close to The Raven, Co. Wexford, he set up a weather station there, and we were then able to share our interest in meteorology too; this included the phenomenal rainfall in August 1997 that happened to peak around The Raven. I was able to visit Chris and Anne at their home in Ballinamorragh the previous month, providing an opportunity to trap moths there and to have a guided tour from Chris of The Raven. I still well remember this occasion, both because of his knowledge of the area, and the impression made on me by the diverse fauna of the area. I regret that I was unable to make an intended return visit. How perceptive of significant details he was is shown be the fact that Chris was probably the first person to mention to me that he noticed a decline in the Wall Brown butterfly and to comment on unusual features he noticed locally in what was then simply known as the “Wood White”. His reports on the fascinating journey to Antarctica showed another facet of his wide interests. He achieved a remarkable amount in the field of Irish natural history, and he will be sorely missed.

Ken Bond.


Chris moved to Co. Wexford in 1991 when he got the position of Warden at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve where he remained for 16 years before taking early retirement to focus on his travels and set up his own environmental consultancy. His travels brought him to every continent but particularly to Antarctica where he lectured on cruise ships about the exploration and wildlife of that continent. Always active, he was involved in numerous projects including butterfly, bumblebee, bird, hedgerow and cetacean surveys. He was an active bird-ringer and was warden of the tern colony at Lady’s Island Lake for a number of years. He was instrumental in setting up the Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club in 2004 and enthusiastically promoted the wildlife of Wexford at every opportunity. Always approachable and always happy to share his knowledge, he led numerous field-trips and regularly gave lectures for WNFC. In recent years his enthusiasm for moths was rekindled. Knowing the importance of getting the identification correct so that the record could stand up to scrutiny, Chris was never afraid to ask for help if he was unsure of something. He was always delighted to see a new species, even if it was a common species that he had never seen before. In 2009 he co-authored the WNFC publication The Lepidoptera of County Wexford and also co-authored The Odonata of County Wexford in 2015. He was actively working on the next WNFC publication on the Shieldbugs and Ladybirds of County Wexford. Knowing that he did not have much time left, he wanted to make sure that all his records were up to date and had been submitted to the relevant recorders. MothsIreland received his final batch of records only two weeks before his death. A thorough professional in everything he did and an absolute gentleman, Chris will be deeply missed throughout the recording community.

Michael O’Donnell.


Other tributes

Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
South East Radio
Nature Glenelg Trust South Australia
Edward Wilson of the Antarctic

 Posted by at 20:43

Submitting records with touch screen and mobile theme

 website update  Comments Off on Submitting records with touch screen and mobile theme
Sep 132015
 

There is a new form for submitting records which is hopefully touch screen friendly for most of you. It’ll only take one or two records, so trap lists can continue to be entered in form that has been available.

What will hopefully work on touch screen is the auto complete for the species. Enter any part of name, English or scientific, or number old or new and the matching options will decrease as you type.

This has only been tested on my new android phone, so hopefully it’ll work on iphone or older android devices. On my phone the auto complete only works after selecting Desktop which is available by swiping to bottom of page. (see 1st picture)

While I was messing with this, I’ve changed the mobile theme and made the menu more concise by omitting parts of website which are not small friendly.

 

 Posted by at 20:16

Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae proved resident in Ireland

 Rare moth sightings  Comments Off on Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae proved resident in Ireland
Sep 092015
 

Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae, Phibsborough Dublin Sept 2015 © Gavin Hoey 

Two eagle eyed girls spotted a large caterpillar which had fallen out of a Lime tree in Dublin.

This was identified as Lime Hawk-moth and photos were forwarded to MothsIreland for confirmation. The blue horn, the warts on the anal flap and the green head with white stripes are diagnostic. This is the 3rd Irish record. The 2 previous records were both adults and both also north Dublin City.

Lime Hawk-moth Mimas tiliae, Baldoyle Dublin, June 2015 ©Cian Merne

The first Irish record was in 2010 in Drumcondra. It was not known if it was of local origin or perhaps flew in from Britain where it is well established in southern England.

The case that it is resident became much stronger with the 2nd Irish re

cord of an adult that came to light earlier this year in Baldoyle. There’s no question about its residency now!

The species has been spreading northwards in England and so perhaps it will be seen away from north Dublin soon. It isn’t restricted to Lime. Birch and Alder regularly host the species and other tree species may be used as well.

Maybe you’ve seen either the caterpillar or adult, but didn’t know what it was or know of the significance? We’d like to hear about it.

 Posted by at 22:21