Saturday, 4 June 2016

At long last a moth or two

The Safari put the moth trap out on a muggy evening and was very hopeful of a decent catch. Approaching it this morning there were encouraging signs with a bright yellow Brimstone clinging to the underside of the lid.
It was even brighter when we turned it the right way up not shooting through the aging perspex.
Carefully examining the egg cartons in turn as we lifted them we came across this stunner, Anania coronata, it's a micro-moth that's as big as many of the smaller macro-moths and is very common so really does deserve a decent English name. Any suggestions anyone?
As expected there were some of the immigrant Diamondbacks, hard to believe these tiny delicate insects have flown from the continent some 500 miles away and over the North Sea to reach the west coast, they're barely half in inch (12mm) long!
We potted three but reckon that most of the 'escapes' were also this species apart from a pug sp which managed to evade capture. 
Also in the trap were two Bee Moths, two Heart & Darts, two Tachystola anthoxantha, a Cinnabar, a Common Marbled Carpet and this tiny, less than 5mm long beauty, Argyresthia trifasciata.
This miniscule species was only discovered in Britain as recently as 1982 - not surprising, we couldn't see it without our specs on and even then we struggled to see its finer features until we photographed it and got it up on the big screen.
Once the moths had been ID'd counted and released and breakfast eaten we had a bit of a garden watch. It was warm and humid but not sunny so we didn't have the big lens out with us until a Robin came in and started to feed on the suet block. This was the first time we've seen it do this since the winter but where are its young? Has its nest been lost?
There were a few more teneral Blue Tailed Damselflies on the wing but the best invert was a small bright red and black bee that settled briefly on the edge of the pond. We can only think it was one of the Sphecodes species, aka a Blood Bee. It was certainly something we've never seen before. Sadly it was too active for a pic but it's deffo one we'll look out for again and hope to get some pics of.
The male House Sparrow put in his usual unpredictable and brief single visit of the day and this time thought about having a bath but an adult Starling landing on the feeder above him spooked him and off he went. We did discover House Sparrows are back nesting in the eaves of the corner house (late but good news) but that's in the opposite direction to the way this one comes and goes...all very mysterious.
The local Wren has been singing his heart out all day from very close by but we've not seen him at all!
One moth we found but wasn't in the trap, seeing as how we found it mid afternoon, was a nice fresh Mint Moth, not on Mint but flying around Marjoram, there is some Mint only a foot or so away. we also saw the Wood Mouse's backside disappear behind a plant pot, first time we've seen it for a while.
A short visit to the shops had two Swifts fly over the car on the way back bringing Wifey's year list up to 106.
Where to next? There's a very strong probability that the mothy will be out again tonight and we might just try the Big Light too. Might as well have a go at the Garden Bioblitz too.
In the meantime let us know who almost snuck into your outback undetected.

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