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Moths at Last!

Wednesday, February 21st 2018

Bird ringing requires dedicated weather forecasting, moth trapping requires the same.  If it is too cold, too wet and or too windy then we do not put out the trap.  Keeping an eye on the weather over the last few days, it was starting to look like we may get the trap out for the second time this year.  We were successful!  Moths in the trap and on the Field Centre.  Having said that we only collected seven moths of two species.

One of our aims for this coming year, is to ensure that we photograph the moths that we have not yet put onto the web site species list.  Today was a classic example of moths that we had not photographed.  Out to the wood pile.  The first to be carefully placed onto the moss was Pale Brindled Beauty, whose flight season is January to March. 

The larva feed on a variety of broadleaved trees including Silver and Downy Birch, Blackthorn, apple, Alder Buckthorn and Hawthorn, during mid-April to mid- June.  Much leaf inspection will be carried out to see if we can find and identify the larva.

Pale Brindled Beauty

Next was the dark form.

Dark form of Pale Brindled Beauty

Both the moths co-operated.  We then decided that it would be very good to have a photo of them side by side.  So another Pale Brindled Beauty was released next to the dark form.  Nature does not always listen to what you want!

Light and Dark from of Pale Brindled Beauty!

Dotted Border was the other species trapped.  This moth is on the wing from February through to April.  It lives up to its name as there is a row of black dots on the edge of the forewing and some small white dashes just above the dots.  The larvae feed on the same broadleaved trees as the Pale Brindled Beauty.

Dotted Border

Unfortunately weather watching is strongly suggesting that there will be no moth trapping for the next couple of weeks as temperatures will be back around freezing again.  Someone also mentioned SNOW!

In other species news, Greylag Geese were seen flying over and on the lake.  A Grey Wagtail was spotted on Risedale Beck and out over the moorland a Curlew was heard.  Hazel catkins and their tiny red female flowers can be found across the reserve.  Grey Alder is also in flower.  Leaves of Barren Strawberry, Foxglove, Herb Robert, Lesser Celandine and Cuckoo Pint were all noted today.

PS News just in - Lapwing were spotted on the local moors yesterday for the first time this year, and this morning a flock of at least 200 Curlews were near the ponds at Bellerby road end.


(1) Comments:

Tony Crease responded on 21st Feb 2018 with...

Lapwing were spotted on the local moors yesterday for the first time this year, and this morning a flock of at least 200 Curlews were near the ponds at Bellerby road end.


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