Monday, 22 May 2017

First Moth Trap Haul

On Saturday morning my nephew and I came across about a dozen Yellow Wagtails in the Sunk Island area, so everything looks healthy there.  Only one stayed long enough to be photographed.  It is one of my favourite colourful summer migrants, possibly just behind Redstarts, which I've yet to find this year.  
Male Yellow Wagtail [MJF]
 With a Male Linnet, bottom left
 My sister informed me that it would be warm enough to use the moth trap for the first time last night,  After checking it wasn't due to rain we thought we'd give it a go.  It was switched on around 9.45pm, and switched off at 4.10am, and checked about 7.30am.  Only 3 specimens were found inside.  One was a micro-moth on the perspex of the cover which I released immediately.  The most visible was a drab individual, which could be seen as I walked towards the trap.  I searched my book without success, but Pete Mella was able to let me know that it was almost certainly a Dark Sword Grass.  On checking the description of the moth in my reference guide, it gave a better idea of what to look for than the illustration.  
Poplar Hawkmoth
 I nearly missed the real beauty, but just out of the corner of my eye I spotted it, as I listen one of the egg boxes.  I was able to remove it quite easily to a more photogenic log, before placing carefully in a bush, where predatory birds hopefully wouldn't be able to find it.
 Dark Sword Green [ID by Pete Mella]
 So, only 3 specimens captured, but of sufficient interest to give it another try soon!  Watch this space...

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