It didn't take long to empty the moth trap this morning - a grand total of 5 moths of 3 or possibly 4 species! Not for me a Merveille du Jour or a Burnished Brass or even a Sallow or Thorn. Oh no, it was the usual lbj's of the moth world! There were two Large Yellow Underwings and yet another Shuttle-shaped Dart plus a couple of moths that I am struggling to identify. I thought at first one was a possible Red-line Quaker or Brick but on looking through my Waring "bible" and "British Moths and Butterflies" by Chris Manley plus trawling through loads of websites, I think one may be a Pale Mottled Willow. Both of the mystery moths were worn (as usual!) and, although I thought initially the second moth was a different species I am not so sure now.
I have posted photos of the two moths in question below (heavily cropped). The photos are even worse than usual I am afraid. The moths were quite lively when I got them out of the fridge so I quickly took a few flash photos in kitchen and when I took them outside to try and get a better photo they both escaped within seconds!
Possible Pale Mottled Willow- Edit - thanks to Dean for confirming these as probable Pale Mottled Willows
Is this another Pale Mottled Willow or a completely different species?
Am beginning to wonder if my moth id skills are ever going to improve!!
Summary of Moth Trapping - Sunday, 10th October 2010
7.00 p.m. until dawn
Minimum Temperature 10.1 degrees centigrade
Actinic 15w Skinner Trap
2 x Large Yellow Underwings
1 x Shuttle-shaped Dart
Pale Mottled Willow? Edit 2 x Pale Mottled Willow
Bird-wise the garden is very quiet at the moment - just the usual visits from wood and feral pigeons, blackbirds, house sparrows, dunnocks, blue, great and coal tits, robins, greenfinches and goldfinchs, magpies, carrion crows and great spotted woodpeckers. I haven't seen any butterflies for a few weeks although there was a common carder bee taking nectar from the verbena bonariensis last week.
I can never decide whether autumn or spring is my favourite season but I really do love the autumn "tints" in the trees. Below are a few photos below of autumn leaves in the garden which I took at the weekend.