Saturday, 9 August 2008

Not for the faint-hearted

Here is Nature red in tooth and claw. Or at least beak. A wren and this blackbird in particular have sussed that I and the moth trap mean potential breakfast. Without being too hard-hearted, I don't grudge it the occasional Large Yellow Underwing - the victim in the picture - because there are so many of them. But I don't want my trapping to reduce the number of moths in my part of Leeds. I go on ever more complicated expeditions round the garden, and gradually, neighbourhood, surreptitiously shaking my eggboxes over dense plants.The blackbird meanwhile thinks I am her friend and this morning even hopped into the kitchen.
Mind you, scientists tell me that part of the global value of moths is their place in the food chain, and I long ago learned that it's pointless trying to intervene. My brother and I used to follow our cat round on her hunting expeditions, with the aim of keeping her diet confined to Whiskas. But we soon got bored because she never changed her ways. Also here, a picture of a different visitor to the trap. I take it this must be a Red Spot Beetle.


Clare said...

I just nipped over from Jane's blog. I'm one of those wimpish folk with an irrational fear of the flutteriness of moths, but looking at their pictures on your blog suits me just fine! Great pictures and what you find is so interesting. Thank you.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Clare

Welcome - I'm very chuffed that Jane has given the moths a plug. Sorry you've arrived on a rather bloodthirsty day, with the blackbird and all. I shall try to have something more peaceful tomorrow. Thanks v much for commenting and I hope it isn't as wet and dull where you are as it is in Leeds. poor people getting married. English weather eh...

norman said...

Hi Martin
This is a shield bug and appears to be one called the Forest Bug (the vegetation must be dense in Rawdon). I can recommend an excellent insect book - Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe by Michael Chinery. Beware there are two editions- one all photos the other drawings. I much prefer the drawings, they seem much more natural. The drawing edition has been out of print for awhile but is now available, the ISBN in my 1986 edition is 0002191377.

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Norman

That's really useful. I'm developing an interest in beetles/bugs as a result of the trap and I'm v grateful for the book tip. The vegetation is indeed dense in the bit of Rawdon where we live, so your identification sounds likely. Many thanks again