Monday, 12 November 2012

Winter's tale

One of my motives for moth-trapping, after the usual youth spent preferring butterflies, is the number of UK species; over 3000 compared with only 58 butterflies, many of which are seldom seen in Leeds. But at this time of the year, the number of moths on the wing shrinks dramatically. I've just been reading the very useful page about this on the website of Yorkshire Butterfly Conservation.

They list only 24 ordinary-sized moths and 24 micros as the 'most common' in our vast county in November and I have already had 14 of the ordinary ones and a goodly number of the micros (which I'm afraid I don't study to the same extent - yet). I'm not expecting surprises for the rest of the month, although you never know. But I think that my rate of trapping and reporting will fall markedly between now and next March.

It's been a poor English summer for weather but there has been plenty of interest in the trap, and I'd also like to thank everyone who has helped, commented or just clicked-in from a surprisingly large number of countries around the world. People such as Ben Sale of Essex Moths, Ray (Stokelymort) from Middlesbrough and many other fellow-trappers have been endlessly generous with their knowledge. And though I keep this record mainly for my own pleasure, it is astonishing to see from Blogger's stats where readers come from, eg Mongolia last month, Costa Rica often and most recently Palestine. Shukran! And Toda raba to frequent visitors from Israel (hope I've got those thank-yous right). May moths and other gentle hobbies keep or bring you together.

Warmest wishes to one and all everywhere else. And here is the tally from last night: one Satellite, seen at the top of the post with a solitary December moth behind; and, just above, one Yellow-line Quaker (I am pretty sure; I have a bad track record with these and the - to me - very similar Red-line Q).

And this: is it a weevil?  It did a great little version of 'You put your left leg in...' etc, both on its back and when I pushed it gently over with a leaf so it was right way up.

In the top picture, it's waving goodbye. As am I. All best for now! M.


Bennyboymothman said...

It has been a pleasure reading all of your posts, and although most of the time, I have failed to reply because of time! I have enjoyed every minute.
Seeing moths such as Grey Chi, inspire me to trek up north one day as I have so many moths to see that the southern counties do not get.
Yes it is a Yellow-line Quaker and my best guess for the Weevil is possibly Acorn?
I keep getting slightly bigger Weevils than yours, the Vine Weevil, which apparently is a pest to plants.
I do hope you post a few more times, but it really is nearly an end to a very interesting year for records.
I would say that it has been a poor year for numbers of moths, especially common and local varieties, but then as soon as we all start moaning, a County first pops up!
All the best now and keep in touch.

sarah meredith said...

Hi Martin, once again - a lovely long summer's read. Will miss the blog all winter but looking forward to your moth adventures down south! Love to both,
S and G

Anonymous said...

Hi both!

One of the joys of the blog is your comments, both in expertise and anecdote. I started it purely as a sort of commonplace book to go with my hobby but getting some reaction is a great bonus.

There will be a bit more soon, actually, as I am compiling my annual list of species which have paid me a call. But it's so dark in the mornings now and also my camera is going wonky. Roll on Spring!

Joy to all - M (and P)