Moths and Moving

Wednesday, November 15th 2017

Last year we put the moth trap out nearly every Tuesday night unless the weather was very poor.  There were several nights with no moths, so we decided this year that we would check the weather and if we thought it would be 'good moth weather' the trap would go out.  Last night was good and we were rewarded with 31 moths of 6 species and lots of midge like insects.  The majority of moths caught were December Moth.  Surprisingly its flight season is from early October through to January.  It overwinters as an egg, attached to a twig or a tree trunk.  Broadleaved trees including oaks, birches, elms, poplars, sallows, Hawthorn and Blackthorn are all food plants of the caterpillar from April until June.

December Moth

We also caught some Mottled Umber and this is a moth that can show considerable variation, as these three do.

Mottled Umber Moths

Moths and books were examined closely to ensure that we had the correct species.  Conversations were quite scientific!  It has the splodge that it should have.  It's got that white bit.  Has it got all its wiggly lines in the right place? 

Identifying moths

Another conversation started with the confirmation that a dropping was from a Fox and ended by confirming that male trees still had flowers - how we finished up at this point we were not sure!

It was also moving day for the ponies.  A well laid plan was executed perfectly.  With quiet talking and careful walking, the ponies left their paddock, one behind the other, and walked quietly into their new one.

Moving Heath

Getting there

They settled immediately and began eating Gorse.  Taurus was happy to stop feeding, for a short time, to pose for a photograph.

Taurus

Thank you to everyone who helped today.

News just in :-

A little piece of good news for you all - one of our Reed Buntings has been caught alive in Holland. That doesn't happen every day! Ringed FGC Dec 16, retrapped Oct 17 in Friesland.

 

A Chiffchaff caught last time we were out, came from Ladybank, Fife.


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