I do, sometimes, find myself wondering how many of my blog visitors remember when the majority of content posted revolved around my angling exploits? So how is it that recent posts have been so heavily orientated towards the moths that I'm encountering in my back garden? The answer is not particularly complicated, because of my inclusion of "observations" in the blog title. The weather has been ridiculously warm, with clear skies and high pressure dominating the scene. Hardly conducive to good angling conditions, unless surface fishing is involved. The fact that I got my September "double" done and dusted on the 1st ensured that there was no pressure to get out on the bank if conditions weren't particularly favourable - so I haven't! With the forecasters predicting a major shift, starting on Tuesday, in the weather patterns, I may well get the rods back in the van and head out for some further exploits. In the mean time, the Hedgehogs and moths provide the bulk of my wildlife fixes. Not too sure what's happened to Autumn migration for the birds, but they remain conspicuous by their absence.
Moths have been seen on a completely different level, they are attracted to the 125w MV light in their hoards. Obvious signs in the changing seasons have been provided by the occurrence of typical Autumn species like Centre-barred and Orange Sallows, Feathered Ranunculus and Black Rustic. One, less than annual, moth was particularly welcome when spotted this morning, a Bulrush Wainscot. Migrants remain rather thin on the ground. I counted six Clancy's Rustic, 3 Delicates, 1 Dark Sword-grass, 2 Silver Y's, a Convolvulus Hawk-moth and seven Rusty-dot Pearls, this morning, but they all paled into insignificance when I discovered an absolutely pristine example of Golden Twin-spot - get in!
As good as this moth is, as a garden record, the best was yet to come. I was examining the third to last egg tray and discovered the first garden record of Hoary Footman. This is a moth which Francis Solly had been so enthused by the numbers now being recorded at Sandwich Bay Obs. I'd seen that Sean Clancy had taken a couple at Saltwood, yesterday, via the superb Folkestone Birds website, so was aware they were now distributed further afield in East Kent. I didn't, however, expect to catch one the very next night!
|Hoary Footman - new for the garden
Running a garden moth trap is an amazing source of entertainment but, it is not a particularly serious hobby, thus my records revolve around what I find interesting and nothing further. What I can't id, doesn't cause a second of lost sleep and that I choose not to publicise some of my captures has more to do with a desire to remain outside of a hobby where pinning and dissecting specimens remains an accepted part of conservation?