Wednesday, 26 May 2010
The trap's biggest regular visitor, by some margin, has arrived: the Poplar Hawk. It is quite a feat for these insects to conceal themselves during the day and fly un-noticed at night. You can see the disparity with the little Red Twin Spot Carpet (Sorry, Flame Carpet - see Ben's Comment) in the photo above, which also shows the hawk's unusual habit of resting with its forewings behind its hind ones. Moths this size keep up my spirits, as a dilettante observer, after nights when everything which arrives is small and brown. They should be here for a while now; looking back through the blog, I see that they visited well into June in 2008 and last year. Two years ago, the somewhat smaller but much more vividly-coloured Elephant Hawk also paid a couple of calls but there were none last year. I live in hope. Poplar hawks are very docile after a night in the trap and sleepily accept transfer on to sprigs of plants in the interests of photography. If you look back to June last year, you'll find a pair of them posing on a bamboo cane, perfectly aligned like a dancing combo.