Thursday, 30 May 2013

Weaving around

Rain stopped play last night but I am a day behind and haven't reported yet on Tuesday night's arrivals, which were interesting. Although it was damp, two graceful Swallow Prominents were perched on the lamp flex, a Brimstone moth was lurking in the long grass nearby and there was one new visitor and possibly two.

The definite novelty is this Shuttle-shaped Dart, at the top, with its distinctive wing markings named after the weaver's shuttle. Being from the West Riding, I have one of these at home - the famous flying shuttle which is spectacular (but very noisy) to see in action. Here it is, above. The moth was a regular visitor in Leeds as well.

Textiles were big in my new, Oxfordshire surroundings too, especially in the Cotswolds where the 1870s majesty of William Bliss's woollen mill at Chipping Norton rivals even mighty Saltaire, formerly on my doorstep. As I endlessly remarked of the 'grim North' image during my Guardian years in Leeds and Manchester, people can hold very false impressions of different parts of the UK. On my new doorstep, for example, the now-serene, deserted village of Hampton Gay with its beautiful farm, handful of cottages, ruined manor house and lonely church in a field, housed a busy (and noisy and dirty) paper mill until the late 19th century, employing more than 80 people.

I'm less certain about the identity of this second moth with its beautiful mix of pink and brown which is clearer if you double-click on the picture. I think I've recorded it in Leeds but can't track it down. It has elements of all manner of candidates from the Common Rustic (which flies later in the season) to the Brick and the Suspected, but I think after a long time of frustrated scanning of my books and online that it is probably just a rather beautiful Common Quaker. (And guess what? I guessed wrong. It's a Rustic Shoulder-knot - many thanks to Tony P in Comments).


Anonymous said...

Rustic Shoulder-knot.

Tony P.

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks so much Tony. I did briefly consider that so it's a sort of near miss...

Much obliged!