Hooray! I have missed my small fluttery people.
Looking at various friend's moth blogs, there are a lot of Brindled Beauties and Dotted Borders around at present, so I was reasonably confident there would be at least one moth in the box this morning. In fact, it exceeded my expectations, as we had a grand total of ten moths of 5 different species (one of which was a micro whom I'm afraid I didn't ID).
All five were New Species for me, which has got 2014 off to a Grand Old Start in Moth Terms (and has given me the necessary kick-up-the-bum to make sure I record them as I go and thereby avoid what happened last year, which was reaching Dec 31st and staring at a year's worth of records scribbled in my pad in pencil that will take several long days to put into excel).
Those of you who have been reading my posts for a while (bless you and thank you!) will already know that during the summer months, moths tend to feature Quite Highly at Countryside Tales. I think it is safe to say that there will be a regular moth-spot from now on as they are clearly awake and about in reasonable numbers (and I can't resist them).
Last night's haul consisted of: Common Quaker (4), Clouded Drab (1), Hebrew Character (2) and Oak Beauty (2). This last moth is very well-named and fits in perfectly with the general tree and more specifically Oak theme my life is following at present. It's also one of the most beautiful moths I've yet seen and has very striking markings. One was perched on the outside of the box and I found the second one asleep upside-down on the fence nearby. I have gotten into the habit of checking the vicinity around the light box for moths as many of them are drawn to the light but don't go into the box, and you can often find them snoozing gently on fences and blades of grass.
Here they are...
|Clouded Drab. An unfairly dull name for a nicely-marked moth, it flies March-May and feeds on Sallow and Oak in particular, although will eat many deciduous trees. Is common over most of Britain|
|The Common Quaker flies March-May and feeds on numerous deciduous trees and shrubs, including Oak and Sallow. It too is widespread in the UK|
|Common Quaker head-on|
|Another Common Quaker, demonstrating how their markings can vary in colour|
|The Hebrew Character flies March-April, is widespread and feeds at Sallow blossom. The larvae feed on a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs.|
|Moth Defence In Action. Two Common Quakers playing convincing dead while the third snoozes in the corner. When they were sure I wasn't looking, they hopped back upright and are now asleep in the box again awaiting nightfall.|
|Oak Beauty Number 2|
The Oak Beauty's camouflage is so like moss and lichen and the bark of an oak; you can see why they are connected to these trees.
Hope you enjoyed the First Countryside Tales Moths Of 2014. Hopefully there will be many more to come, and I expect also the return of some old favourites (notably some more furry ones for Seagull Suzie).
Whilst out in the garden yesterday afternoon our Robin was very evident and sat in the hedge and sang to us for what felt like the entire time we were outside. It was certainly long enough to go back indoors (walking past him and he never moved), get the camera, go back outdoors and record him. Gorgeous, no? He's never far away now when we are in the garden and has been singing and singing recently...
I'll leave you with a picture of Poppy fast asleep and looking very sweet....
Wishing you all a Good Week.