More Nature

Tuesday, May 24th 2022

Our moth trapping has not resulted in large numbers of moths just yet.  However one night certainly produced quality rather than quantity.  Sitting tight on one of the wires to the moth trap was an Eyed Hawkmoth.  The large eyes on the underwing are used as a deterrent to predators.  It did not move its wings when asked to open them for a photo!  However you can just see them.  These moths are not common visitors to our traps.

A moth in the same family is the Poplar Hawkmoth, of which we often get many.  They are very friendly and will walk on your hand and it feels a bit like velcro sticking to it!

A rare visitor to the trap in the Cockchafer Beetle.  Our last one was seen in June 2019.  That was a male, this is a female as it does not have bulbous antennae.  The larvae feed on the roots of grass and crops and can, in large numbers, be considered a pest.  They can spend between three to five years underground.

A slightly larger animal was the Sedge Warbler caught in the mist nets during CES 3.  They had been heard for some weeks in and around the reed bed.

The night before CES 3 Mark was out looking for Woodcock.  He saw and heard several flying around and out came the camera.  As it was dark the photos are not as sharp as he would have liked, but the Woodcock do not fly during the day!  Some wildlife can be very unco-operative for photographers!  In spring and summer, male Woodcocks perform a display flight known as roding. At dusk, and just before dawn, they take to the air and patrol over areas of their forest and heathland homes, calling in a series of grunts and squeaks, competing with other males to attract females.  We rarely see them during the day.

You can actually see that the beak is open as the bird calls over the heath.

Another of Mark's photos gives a different perspective on Bogbean at night.

Thanks to Mark for the night photos.


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