Thursday, 30 October 2014

Exciting times

The current mild spell is bringing all sorts of exciting moths to the UK on southerly winds from the Continent and we have all been urged to light our lamps to see how far they are reaching inland. Rare treasures already recorded on the South coast include an Oleander Hawk moth and a Tunbridge Wells Gem - now there's a memorable name for a moth. It might mollify even the BBC's legendary protester against anything resembling progress, 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells'.

Meanwhile, I've been asked to flag up a talk on Bonfire Night about the amazing Death's Head Hawk moths of Kirtlington which featured at exciting length on the blog last month - you can remind yourself here. Much has happened since, including the hatching of three adult moths and attempts to pair them. All will be revealed on 5 November at 7.45pm in St Mary's church, Kirtlington, near Oxford.

My fellow trapper Julian Howe from Bletchingdon, the next door village, will give a talk about the moth and the Moth Bible's co-author Martin Townsend, who safely bred the Death's Heads from the pupae discovered in Chris Powle's garden at Kirtlington, may also be there. At least one moth trap will be running, possibly two, and it all looks set to be an excellent event.

It's organised by Kirtlington Wildlife and Conservation Society together with Sustainable Kirtlington, of which Chris is a leading light. They'll be showing his film of the first Death's Head to hatch - see YouTube here - and photographs including those here, which he has kindly encouraged me to use on the blog.

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