Animals on the Move

Saturday, April 4th 2015

Last night was the first night this year when the gales were not howling, the rain was not raining and the temperature was almost tropical, at 6 degrees.  Consequently the moth trap was set.  On approaching it this morning four stones instead of three were holding a corner of the white sheet in place.  This fourth stone then moved.  As you can see it is a toad but it blended in very well.  Those people identifying the moths did wonder if it had enjoyed an early breakfast.

Toad amongst the stones

While on the subject of toads, they are on 'walkabout' all over the reserve heading back to their spawning ponds, so please take care when driving up the access road and walking along the paths.  The one below is well camouflaged against the stones.

Common toad on path

The moth trap yielded eight moths of six species.  Before release photographs were taken but unfortunately the moths were not co-operative and fluttered off or fell to the ground.  Even when remaining in place their wings were vibrating, just before flight, so taking a good photograph was difficult.  This Yellow Horned Moth had his antennae firmly tucked away, but you can see his beautifully striped legs.

Yellow Horned Moth

Another moth caught was the Twin-spotted Quaker.

Twin Spot Quaker

Also recorded were Common Quaker and Hebrew Character.  Our ID skills were a little rusty after such a long break, so to confirm ID we checked other details of the moths.  Reading about their food plants, it was noted that all these adult moths fed from willow catkins. 

The hive bees are also feeding from the willow catkins and returning to the hive with huge pollen sacs full of bright yellow pollen.  Althought this photogrpah is through glass and is not very good you can see this bee with her sacs of pollen.

Hive bee with pollen


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