One of the pleasures of moth-trapping is spreading the word about an interest which opens our eyes to such a rich but little-known world. It is usually children with their boundless curiosity who get most excited, but I've just had an example at the other end of life.
Every now and then, we have a group of elderly people here for tea and if possible, I organise an interesting moth for them to examine. This year, the tables were turned. One of them whose interest was triggered last year, brought along excellent pictures on her 'phone n- left - of a Poplar Hawk moth which has taken up residence in her block of flats.
The trap is meanwhile producing appropriately autumnal moths - this year's first Black Rustics, for example, a species which I have often compared in the past to the Star Wars villain, Darth Vader.
They can be so dark that their distinctive creamy-golden eyebrow marks don't always show up in photographs. I've tricked the digital light monitor in the one below to get over that:
Next, below, is a Sallow moth, one of a family of mustardy Autumn regulars, followed by a White-point, until fairly recently a very scarce immigrant moth but one which has become a successful colonist and is now not unusual in Oxfordshire. It was in a bit of a state when I first found it while going through the eggboxes but, with a little help, sorted itself out and looked smart for the second picture.
Next we have a Lunar Underwing, another September/October species which will become a feature of the trap in the next few weeks. And finally a rather bedraggled Snout with its Pinocchio proboscis. The rain got into part of the trap overnight and the poor creature was stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Like the White-point, it recovered with a little help and, once dried-out, sped successfully off on its way.