Saturday, 18 May 2013

Birthday boys

You can't hide your age in today's world of social media. If you followed my profile on Facebook etc, you'd have seen see that yesterday I was 62 and today I am 63; and this is right. Happy Birthday to me! The moths have risen to the occasion and given me great delight, first of all with this:

It's a Pebble Prominent, another species which never came to visit us in Leeds, but last night joined its relations, the Swallow Prominents.  Here are a couple of them: Lesser Swallow Prominents as opposed to the larger Swallow Prominent which came the previous night.

Also joining the party was this pretty White Ermine, cousin of the Muslin moths described in yesterday's post (and there was one of them last night too). The Nut-tree Tussock below it was a reminder of one of the first excitements of trapping here at our new home in Oxfordshire; maybe it's one of the moths which came back in early May. It certainly looks a little age-worn.

Something else I've noticed here, which didn't happen in Leeds, is the greater number of moths which don't enter the trap but roost in the grass or leaves surrounding it. Last night they included this Chocolate Tip below and also what I am fairly sure was a Waved Umber - in the other two pics. It was skittish by the time I got to the lamp, rather late after opening birthday cards, and got away before I could take a well-focused picture. The same applied to a sweet little micro, which I think may have been Ancylis badiana.

Finally, here's what I think is a Red Twin-spot Carpet, a small moth which might be overlooked on a morning which also had the riches listed above. But it is beautifully patterned in the manner of the family, whose appearance led 18th century entomologists to compare them to the Oriental carpets newly-arriving in England at the time.

Mustn't forget: a Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab completed the birthday team.


Ray Walton said...

Wow. What a catch rate!
All of your moths must have been onto Facebook and noticed it was your Birthday and thus came to sing you a well known song. Bet every other garden in the country was a bit thin on trappings last night as a result.
Anyway, all the best, and thanks once again for a really interesting posting

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Ray!

Hope you had a good w/e and not too wet. Contrary to the forecasts, it was lovely and sunny yesterday and we had good celebrations. I was very chuffed with my birthday moths but it does seem a poor season overall. Still, it seems to be getting warmer and sunnier, so here's hoping. Hawk moths soon maybe...

all warmest wishes