Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Thursday 2 July 2015

This can't be right?

In June 1995, Tony Harman visited my home, in Ash, and examined a bunch of moths that I'd been unable to id. At this stage, I'd only been trapping for a year, and regularly screwed up even the most obvious noctuid's! (No change there then?) He proceeded to reel off a stream of names, cross referencing them with a specimen number, and plate, in the original Skinner. This he did off pat - so well did he know his way around that book. A squeal of delight was heard when he came across a pot containing a Red-necked Footman. Wow! What had we trapped that could possibly excite such an experienced lepidopterist as he? I feel sure, but haven't looked back through my files, this was the first decent (read scarce/notable?) moth that I'd knowingly trapped?
That little moth was key, as the enjoyment of moth trapping un-folded. I obtained a generator and had several different mobile traps which I took to a wide variety of habitats within Kent then, later, across the Channel to the woodlands and marshes of Northern France and Brittany. Great times, often spent in the company of Craig Sammells and Perry Haines - almost as crazy as the "Fenland Years" Looking at the up-dated version of Skinner - I have trapped nine species which are depicted on Plate 43, only Tree Lichen Beauty and Cypress Carpet in the UK. In all those years, since that fateful day, I have never taken another Red-necked Footman (although I have been shown several which have graced the traps of other local moth-ers!) So; imagine my delight when I discovered one, which I duly potted, as I turned off the trap this morning before heading across to the factory. My shift was a painfully slow ordeal, thanks to an equipment malfunction, but I survived and got back home just in time to drive across to Goodnestone, with Bev and Emily, to visit Sarah-Jayne and co - it was Evlyn's 2nd birthday on the 1st. Thus, it was well after 18.00 hrs that I finally got the chance to examine the contents of the trap. Well over 600 moths were present on the egg boxes, 3 Dark Sword-grass, 13 Silver Y and 20+ Diamond Backs suggesting that there had been some immigration. At least six new species for the year list ( plus lots of un-id'd micros) and the added bonus of a further two Red-necked Footmen! A new garden record, fourteen years into the project, wow! All of a sudden, I couldn't give a toss about not recording Bordered Straw, in 2015, I've taken three Red-necks in a single night - it can't get much better than this from where I sit.

An extraordinary sight, on Thanet - three Red-necked Footman in one night
It has been a rather strange period, all round, with this spell of high temperatures. Siskins flying west, are almost a daily occurrence, with two decked Lapwings, this morning, and a steady trickle of Common Swifts heading south. The garden Red Valerian has almost finished flowering, so Humming-bird Hawkmoths haven't been recorded all that regularly, just one yesterday afternoon.
Meadow Pipits have started to reappear around Newland's - I really don't know what is going on, but I'm very glad that it is!

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