Bev and I have just got back from a superb weekend sojourn which involved rendezvousing with both sides of our families. We set off, around 11.00 hrs, on Friday and returned just before 19.00 hrs on Sunday. Our route took us up to, my brother, Tim & Julie's place, in Bourne End, Herts, where we spent a couple of hours before continuing our journey to Wellingborough, in Northamptonshire, our base for the next two nights, thus enabling us to attend Bev's cousin's (Sarah) 50th birthday bash and allowing me to partake of a couple of "light ales". The party in Northamptonshire was absolutely superb. Phil and Sarah put on an event which surpassed everything any of us could have wished for. Obviously, the weather played a significant role in our being able to spend the majority of our time outside in their lovely garden, but whatever the conditions they did themselves proud - it was nice to be part of such a happy occasion.
Our return journey took a slight detour as we then headed across to Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, where my youngest brother, Sye and Yve reside. We spent a very pleasant few hours out in the garden, being joined by Tim & Julie, before heading up the road to The Rothchild Arms PH for a bite to eat and a pint. All too soon it was time to say our good-byes and head off, back down, to darkest Thanet. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable weekend away and even more so because the family meet ups were for celebration rather than the normal gatherings due to bloody funerals!
So, obviously, the garden moth trapping had a break whilst we were away and I was really looking forward to getting back into the groove. On the Thursday night, before we'd left, I had trapped our second, ever, garden Pine Hawk-moth, plus a bonus Old Lady. Both species which impress due to size and their physical appearance, proper moffa's moths!
|Apple Leaf-miner - Lyonetia clerkella|
|Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner - Cameraria ohridella|
The haul, overnight, was a bit predictable under the current conditions, migrants being conspicuous by their absence? The odd Silver Y and Diamond-back, but nothing better, so it was once again the micro moths which provided the bulk of my entertainment. Two ridiculously tiny examples were good fun as I did my best with the camera kit. Apple Leaf-miner and Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner were the culprits, both species incredibly common but overlooked/ignored by the vast majority of UK residents. Quite a few other species which require further study so I'm already preparing a project for the long dark nights, of the Pike season, where I will attempt to get id's for all those species which I didn't secure at the time of their capture. It'll certainly give me something to do away from the bankside efforts.
|Hawthorn Ermine - Paraswammerdamia nebulella|
|Barred Marble - Celypha striana|
This morning, however, dealt me a massive reality slap by way of highlighting a huge conflict of interests in my nocturnal activities. Feeding Hedgehogs and simultaneously running a 125w MV Robinson trap are a recipe for disaster. Not only did I discover the wings of, at least two, Privet Hawk-moths, it was the Jersey Tiger which had fallen prey to these garden visitors which tripped the balance. Not since the very early 2000's have I needed to "fence off" my MV trap but, now I'm actively encouraging these wonderful animals into my garden, feel it has to be done for the sake of the insects drawn by the light. Hedgehogs are garden "royalty" given their crazy demise over this past two decades; that we still are able to attract six, or more, individuals with our feeding station is testament to how well they are doing within the Dumpton urban jungle. I put plenty of food out for them, so don't actually require to back this up with live items, such as moths. I've not seen a garden Fox in over a fortnight, so do hope our regular visitor hasn't fallen foul of the local "pest control" jesters. Why would you need to control Foxes when all you do is grow Wheat, Barley, Cauliflowers and Potatoes? Answers on a postcard please!
|Dingy Dowd - Blastobasis adustella|
The Stour Barbel now require some attention but, sadly, Benno still hasn't been given the green light on his broken arm, so won't be able to join me for at least another two weeks. Hopefully I will be able to cast a bait sometime this week, it will all be weather dependant I guess?