"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Moths and Garden Update

My last moth trapping session resulted in the highest catch of the year so far mainly due to the high number of large yellow underwings in the trap. Flounced rustic and yellow shell were new species for the year. I was lucky to trap not one but two yellow shell as apparently they are rarely attracted to light but they do like feeding on buddleia and we still have several in flower in the garden. Rosy rustic and Dark Sword-grass, the latter a migrant moth, were new species for the garden. 4 rustic moth species and 3 yellow underwing moths were far too worn to identify and I eventually gave up on these. There were two sexton beetles in the trap again but luckily I haven't caught any wasps or hornets yet!!

Yellow Shell (quite a worn specimen but a very pretty moth)

Rosy Rustic - quite distinctive for a rustic! but there is a moth species called Butterbur (how I love these moth names) that is quite similar.

Dark Sword-grass

As always if I have got any of the identifications wrong please let me know.


Saturday, 28th August

8.00 - Dawn Minimum Temperature 11.2 degrees centigrade

Actinic 15w Skinner Trap

19 x Yellow Underwing
2 x Lesser Yellow Underwing
3 x Shuttle-shaped Dart
6 x Copper Underwing
3 x Marbled Beauty
2 x Willow Beauty
8 x Flounced Rustic New for Year
2 x Common Rustic
1 x Small Square-spot
2 x Yellow Shell New For Year
1 x Dark Sword-grass New for Garden
2 x Rosy Rustic New for Garden
1 x Straw Underwing

plus 7 too worn to identify

Total number of species trapped in garden 92
Total number of species trapped in 2010 76
Total number of moths trapped in 2010 452

Garden Update

A pair of jays visited the garden last weekend - we only ever see this species a couple of times a year. The female sparrowhawk spent about fifteen minutes on Saturday perched motionless in the eucalyptus tree. According to my husband several birds were almost mobbing her. The mixed flock of blue, great, long-tailed and coal tits are still visiting the feeders daily and both male and female great spotted woodpecker are also feeding. They are very aggressive towards other birds that try and land on the feeders when they are feeding. Butterfly numbers are decreasing - have only seen a large white and a speckled wood this week. Lots of berries are ripening in the garden now - virbunum, rowan, pyracantha, whitebeam, blackberries, haws and rosehips and blackbirds are already tucking into the rowan berries.

I will leave you with a few photos taken in the garden a couple of days ago.


Anonymous said...

I don`t know about you, but the LYU`s used to get on my nerves the way they disturbed everything else in the trap.

Ragged Robin said...

They drive me mad too Dean. Usually I empty the trap in the morning but last Sunday I was out all day so left it in a cool place. It was mid-evening before I had chance to empty it and the LYU's were flying all over the place in the trap with occasional dive bombing into the egg boxes disturbing all the other moths. Every time I opened the perspex to try and pot a moth at least three escaped!!