There were a couple of great surprises in the moth trap this morning. Firstly, a Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria), a large geometrid with beautiful markings and secondly, a very pretty micro moth called a Twenty-plume moth. Its scientific name Alucita hexadactyla refers to the fact that each wing is divided into six plumes ( and not twenty as suggested by the common name!). Despite a fairly warm minimum temperature of 8.9 degrees centigrade, the only other moths were a Hebrew Character, a Common Quaker and a mystery pug.
Brindled Beauty - aren't the large feathery antennae wonderful!
I am still working on the identity of this dark browny/grey pug. The markings don't show at all well on the photo but the moth has a small central black spot on each wing and an intermittent white cross line at the base of the forewing. Forewing measurement is about 10 millimetre. I initially thought it might be an early Common Pug in view of the mild weather recently but am now leaning towards a melanic version of Brindled Pug.
Summary of Moths Trapped Friday, 16th April
8.00 p.m. until dawn. Temperature range 12.6 - 8.9 degrees centigrade
15w Actinic Skinner Trap
1 x Hebrew Character
1 x Common Quaker
1x Twenty-plume moth (NFY)
1 x Brindled Beauty (NFG) (NFY)
1 x Pug (Brindled??)
There were also six Black Sexton Beetles lurking amongst the egg boxes.
2011 Total Species Trapped in Garden = 11
There were 3 speckled wood butterflies in the garden today demonstrating their spiral territorial flight display when males seem to cartwheel and spiral around each other. I saw my first holly blues in the garden today.
2011 Garden Butterfly species = 6
The garden bird list for 2011 now stands at 25 species as I saw a Stock Dove feeding last week - actually this is not just a year tick but a complete garden tick. I really had ought to spend more time studying the wood and feral pigeons that constantly visit.
The wren is still taking nest material into the ivy and the blackbirds are still feeding young - I think they will fledge between the middle and end of next week. The blue tits are still taking nest material in and out of the nest box. The female (?) collects lots of moss and takes it in and then takes most of it out again only to restart the process the following day! This happened last year until one day I saw the pair mating and then over two days she made a proper nest of moss and lined it with feathers followed by egg laying a few days later.
I'm still hoping to put some of the nest box camera video on the blog. The problem is I am not at all technically minded so am persuading/bribing son to convert it into a format that Blogger might accept but he just refuses to be rushed!
One of the azaleas at the side of the pond is starting to flower
and the first red campions are just starting to bloom in the mini wildflower meadow
2 hours ago