There's something very satisfying when a plan comes to fruition. In fact I'd go so far as to say that the longer the period of planning the more smug and contented you feel when the target is achieved. For me, personally, it is this target system which I use to keep me focussed during the various angling challenges I set myself. However, this particular plan had nothing to do with my angling exploits, it was all about growing Nicotiana plants, from seed, and ensuring that my patio planters were at peak flowering during the Autumn period when migrant Hawk-moths put in an appearance.
For some, reading this post, it will be a no-brainer but, for me, never having attempted anything of the sort, prior to my retirement, growing flowers is a very new experience. To get them to reach a pinnacle which coincides with a perceived window of "moth" opportunity was a whimsicle notion when I first placed the seed trays inside the conservatory in early April. It would appear that by some kind of fluke I've done just this and there are currently four planters supporting a large number of Nicotiana plants which, in turn have attracted an unknown number of Hawk-moths to our small garden. How do I know this? Well, firstly I have seen several Hummingbird and a couple of un-id'd Hawk-moths feeding on the flowers and in the last six days have captured three Convolvulus Hawk-moths in the 125w Robinson MV trap. Two of them were quite worn but, this morning, I potted an absolute "minter"
The supporting cast has been equally enjoyable if not quite as aesthetically magnificent. Another Golden Twin -spot, several Olive-tree Pearls, Dark Swordgrass and Pearly Underwings with good numbers of Rush Veneers and Diamond-backs adding to the evidence of moth migration. Where are the Silver Y's?
Yesterday morning also saw a decent movement of Willow Warblers along the Vine Close gardens. I counted seventeen in little over an hour and was delighted to watch the first Chiffchaff of the Autumn and be able to compare the feeding behaviour of the two species. Willow Warblers were constantly searching the foliage whilst the Chiffchaff was less mobile. Tail flicking, regularly, before hovering to pick odd morsels from the underside of the leaves. What was most surprising is the fact that I didn't hear a single call during the time spent observing this spectacle.
Finally I'd like to give a heads up for, my mate, Gareth Craddock's blog. Please feel free to click the link to read evocative accounts of his slant on life and our natural world. Without doubt, a master craftsman of the written word, if not a prolific blogger!