Every day is different and this certainly applies to the running of a garden moth trap. Each morning, you have absolutely no idea what might have been drawn to the light whilst you've been tucked up in bed. Here, in Dumpton, I have been getting a decent number of moth species which to moth-ers, situated in other parts of the UK, are considered rarities. The Box Tree Moth is one example, and I read that Dungeness Obs had trapped one! My best count, this year, is four hundred and three!! Likewise, The Delicate, Clancy's Rustic and Convolvulus Hawk-moths have been regular visitors which are now almost expected, if that makes any sense? Well last night it all changed. Sure I still had the mass numbers of Box Tree Moths and their associates yet two moths were trapped which stand head and shoulders above the other species. Dewick's Plusia is always a nice moth to discover and today's specimen, number three for 2023, was a very pleasant surprise.
|A Dewick's Plusia in all its' glory
As nice as this discovery was, nothing could have prepared me for what I found on the very next egg tray. It was one of those "can someone pinch me, I must be dreaming" moments as I set eyes upon my very first Clifden Nonpareil. I've never seen one in the flesh previously, although have jealously drawled over images posted by fellow bloggers who've enjoyed the experience in the past. Now it was my turn and I don't think that anything I write will ever come close to describing how I felt at that moment.
|As I saw it when first turning that particular egg tray - WTF?
I quickly grabbed a couple of egg tray shots before grabbing a pot and securing my prize. In the fridge it went, for a few minutes, whilst I finished checking the rest of the egg trays. Having no desire to mess it up, into the conservatory I went, camera and moth in attendance. After a couple of escape attempts, I managed to convince the moth to stay put on my cardboard sheet in order to get that image which everyone wants. The one where that magnificent blue-banded underwing is displayed.
It is now back in the fridge, awaiting release later this evening. No doubt I will be showing it to a few of my neighbours, because that's what I do whenever I get something unusual. Garden mothing, can you beat it?