A few of you wanted to know what the Moth Box looks like, so I took some snaps to show you. Mine is a Robinson Mercury Vapour Trap, not cheap, but it has been worth every penny. The moths are safe inside and it's retention rate is good.
|Inside, we fill it with egg boxes to give the moths somewhere to rest and shelter|
|The plastic sleeve has a hole in the top where the bulb goes and there are gaps around it to allow the moths to get inside the box.|
|This is the whole thing set up.|
|This is my funky new waterproof cover for the electrics. Sweet and simple and not expensive and it works :-)|
|Here it is all done up.|
And here's what it looks like in the morning....egg boxes full of moths of varying shapes, sizes and colours...
The homemade cardboard lid I use to close the box off with is also invariably covered with small flying people when I come to remove it later...
There are always a number of escapees when you take the lid off. You just have to work Quickly to note them all down, but invariably you miss some. It's usually when it gets dark and they start to wake up and come out of their hidey places that I realise there were lots of interesting moths I didn't see!
Here's Who Was In The Box Today....
|Beautiful Golden Y- a moth that flies during daylight too, so you may see him around in your garden or on the edge of woods|
|Clouded Silver (we've had this one before, so remember it because it may feature in the next quiz!)|
|Common White Wave|
|Our Old Favourite, the Elephant Hawk Moth. Tip for remembering: think Pink Elephants :-)|
|The large and furry but very chilled out Lobster Moth|
|The Miller. New for the year :-)|
|Purple Clay. Never seen one of these before.|
|Small Magpie (hint for the quiz)|
|Small Seraphim (right) and what I suspect is Adela Cupella, a type of Longhorn moth with the most enormous feelers!|
A Good Moth Night on the whole, although I am awaiting the arrival of the Emeralds with baited breath...
Before emptying the moth box this morning, the dogs and I took a walk through the fields to visit Albert, the Pendunculate Oak I am following for the year. For this I am linking up with Lucy at Loose and Leafy (see side bar for her blog).
Albert is a single oak standing in a hedgerow on an ancient field system close to the Abbey of Mottisfont, just up from a mixed Broad Leafed ancient woodland which has a few conifers tacked on. He's Quite Elderly- probably over two hundred years- and for a time we were worried he wasn't going to come into leaf at all. However, about a month ago the leaves started to come and now he's in Full Flood and looking Very Handsome.
Oaks are very important trees in terms of biodiversity, supporting over 400 different species. Some, such as the Purple Emporer butterfly, rely on it entirely and are unable to live elsewhere. Many moths also use Oaks (Merveille Du Jour springs to mind, but there are others) and of course bats nest in them as well.
Here is Albert, Looking Marvellous....
|This is him on the right, just up the path from Ted and Pops|
|And this little 6-spot Ladybird was wandering through the grasses at his feet (if oak trees can be said to have feet?)|
Some sad news here this morning- when we got back from seeing Albert, I found one of the baby blue tits lying dead on the ground by the kitchen window. He/ she had flown into it. Poor little thing was still warm...
All the others are well, thank goodness. Still demanding food from their parents, despite the fact they are perfectly capable of feeding themselves, as this next shot proves...
|Three Blue Tit Babies|
The Collar Dove pair are around and getting less nervous....shhhhh...
And the Nuthatches are still to and fro from the feeders every hour. No sign of kids though.....
We've also got a nesting pair of Starlings in one of the trees by the lake. They brought THREE ENORMOUS children with them into the garden a couple of days back, only they all flew off before I got the picture :-( VERY pleased they are breeding here as starling numbers are in drastic decline nationally :-)
I've finally Id'd the Newt- it is a Smooth (or Common). Only seen one so far, but hopefully more will come. I spend hours sitting on a tree stump beside the pond peering into the water while Poppy sits beside me and every now and then licks my leg....
I'll leave you with this Rather Adorable Speckled-Bush Cricket who was sitting on M's potatoes for ages yesterday. He was Very Amenable to photos. I found two more of them in the front veg patch, so this is obviously Speckled Bush Cricket time of the year. They emerge as nymphs in May and moult into their adult form during the summer. Males sing to the females by rubbing their wings together but the sound is so high-pitched human ears can't detect it. You've probably got them in your garden as they are widespread and like perching on things during the summer....
|Bit Gorgeous, no?|
Have a great Monday all,