Sunday 29 April 2018

Back in action

Hooray! I have finally summoned up the energy and found the time to set out the lamp for the first time since early December. My lethargy has been partly owing to family commitments of one sort or another and partly to the time taken up by my bold decision to scull from Godstow to Eel Pie Island - 100-plus miles down the Thames - to raise money for a very good cause. If you have time, you can read about it here:

I'll divert ever so briefly from moths to show the composite picture above, and to encourage you, whatever your age, in my belief that rowing is every bit as enjoyable and interesting as is the study of moths. In wildlife terms, you get a wonderful vantage point for watching the world when afloat.

Top left, clockwise: Nut-tree Tussock, Powdered Quaker, strange beast, Hebrew Character. The moths are respectively 1st, 24th and 3rd in frequency in the excellent Hants Moths Flying Tonight list online

Back to moths. It was a chilly night and I was not expecting anything too exciting, but it was good to have the three agreeable visitors shown above, plus a strange beastie from the fly-type of insect, shown above. Talking of flies, we have the hideous Blandford Fly back here for its annual six-week rampage. A truly nasty little black fly with a horrible bite, it is one of the few serpents in our Paradise.

I am very pleased with my lovely clean eggboxes, mostly kindly donated by neighbours. Alas, because of moths' habit of creeping into the cones and crevices, they will all be bent and battered soon by my struggles to get good photos.

Update:  the inestimable Dave Wilton of the invaluable Upper Thames Moths blog, tells me that the strange beastie "appears to be a midge of the non-biting variety (hooray for that) from the family Chironomidae, of which there are a lot around at the moment." He adds: "It would need a fly expert to get any further than that, if indeed it is possible at all, just from a photo. I see there are 600+ species to choose from."

And that's 599 too many for me.