Sorry not to have posted for a while but things have been dull both in terms of the weather and the moths. I keep meaning to go over to a once-a-week regime but the prospect of something unexpected has kept me lighting the lamp more frequently than that. Nothing unexpected has however arrived.
Which is not to say that my visitors have been uninteresting. It was a pleasure, for example, to welcome what I think is a late newcomer for the year, the sleek grey Blair's Shoulder-knot, one of no fewer than three moths named after a single entomologist, Kenneth Blair (1882-1952) who was deputy keeper at the Natural History Museum and had the good fortune to live on the Isle of Wight. This is a famous landing ground for immigrant species and Blair was the first to discover, in succession, Blair's Mocha, Blair's Wainscot and Blair's Shoulder-knot.
My moth is the last of the three, I think, the only one to have become common. Indeed it has forayed as far north as Scotland where its arrival in Gordon Brown's constituency, during his time of intense rivalry with Tony Blair, caused mirth and a brief outing for the moth in the media. It has been a regular caller both here and in Leeds before we moved in 2013
I have written 'I think' twice, however, because I noticed earlier this morning that Dave Wilton, the great and helpful expert on the Upper Thames Moths blog, has recorded the rather similar but rarer Grey Shoulder-knot. So I must double check with UTM before coming down definitely on ID. Update: and the good news is, that this is a Grey Shoulder-knot, rather than a Blair's; so another species new for the year. I don't think I've recorded it since 2013. our first year down here; but that may be because I've previously made the mistake which I almost made this time.