The temperatures in the evenings over the 12 days or so since I last wrote have generally been on the low side and this along with winds and rain have tended to keep the numbers of moths visiting my traps often down to single figures. I have been moth-trapping in my garden in Newport Pagnell every night, at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve most nights and one night each at Hollington Wood and Goosey Bank, both near Olney. The owners/managers of the last 3 sites mentioned have granted me permission to leave traps on their land and my wife allows me to keep one in the garden.
I am often asked why do you do what do with moths? Setting up moth traps, carrying heavy batteries up hill and down dale and the getting up early in the morning to check them out, identifying them and then releasing them. Well, there are many reasons and one of them occurred at Hollington Wood on the that one night mentioned above.
I had left 2 battery operated traps there on the night of April 1stand it was a coolish night, lowest temperature at 2.3 degrees at home and probably a little higher in the shelter of the woodland. The 2 traps yielded just 23 moths of 11 species one of which was a White-marked ( a poorly named moth really because the white mark is more creamy-yellow).
I have mothed in this area since 1994 when we moved here from the North-East of England where I had also mothed for some years and never before had I seen a White-marked. So one reason that I pursue this strange hobby is that even after 30+ years, there is always a chance that something new might turn up. Every morning is just a bit like Christmas.
The others recorded on that morning at Hollington Wood were in order of appearance Dotted Border, Diurnea fagella, Pale Pinion, Common Quaker, Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Satellite, Brindled Beauty, Clouded Drab and the Engrailed.
Text and photos kindly supplied by Gordon Redford.
Beautifully marked Dotted Border
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