"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

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Garden Moths, Frogs and Nesting Activity

I put out the moth trap on Friday night for GMS Week 7 and was pleased to find 2 moths yesterday morning

"Emmelina mondactyla" - very delicate plume moth looking like a little glider. I love the name too - I think if I had been mothing when my daughter was born she might have been named Emmelina rather than Emily! Apart from the fact that I liked the name Emily was named after my grandmother Emily whose second name was Selina so Emmelina would have worked rather well :)

Hebrew Character - the name is derived from the dark wing marking and its resemblance to the Hebrew letter Nun.

GMS Week 7

Friday, 12th April

Minimum temperature 3.9 degrees centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

1524 Emmelina monodactyla x 1 (NFY)

2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 1 (NFY)

NFY = New for Year

Last night in the garage near to the trap I found my first Common Quaker of the year - it had probably been hiding deep in the recesses of the trap but I haven't included it for GMS

Common Quaker (Orthosia ceras)

Sorry for lack of italics for latin names - still can't get blogger to insert them!!

We switched on the nestbox camera yesterday and the female Blue Tit has been busy taking in nesting material - lots of moss and bast (thin grass-like strips of inner bark). Sorry - not the best of photos it was taken from the TV screen

Great news on the frog front we finally have some frogspawn - it looks as though about nine clumps have been laid and there are lots of frogs moving around in the pond. No photo this year of the frogspawn - instead of laying in the shallows as they usually do its in deeper water in the middle of the pond and sinking already. The frogs are very nervous this year so no photos this year either unless I succeed later. Have discovered that one of the local magpies seems to have taken a liking for frogs - in fact a dash up the garden this morning saved one of them. This probably and, sadly, accounts for the three dead frogs found near the pond.

14th April is the latest date we have ever recorded for the appearance of frogspawn. Previous latest date was 31st March.

I'll leave you with a photo of a pair of frogs "in amplexus" taken last year.


ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) Good news that you are seeing more activity from the moth trap. I love the common names, Timothy Tortrix is my favourite. I'm sure I have seen Emmelina mondactyla in the house many times. I agree, Emmelina is a beautiful name and the connection between your grandmother's two names is quite a coincidence. Funnily enough my great-grandmother's name was Caroline :-)

Good to see the pond and nesting box activity too. I still haven't seen any frogspawn while on my walks yet. A shame about the problem with the Magpies though :-( I love your frog photo! I hope the Blue Tits will be successful, it certainly looks promising.

Yes, thank you, still loving the DVDs. We watched the August episode last night. Trying to ration them but they're irresistible ;-)

Em Parkinson said...

I do hope our frogs are going to spawn again after all the dead stuff. Fabulous moths. The Emmelina one is beautiful as you say. I haven't seen any yet but I'm not surprised!

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Hi Jan :) It is nice to see moths finally starting to appear :) The common names are just brilliant - so descriptive and in many cases quaint :) What a coincidence about your great grandmother's name :)

Hopefully, you'll see some frogspawn soon on your walks - a lot of people seem to be reporting it with current milder weather. Keeping fingers crossed about the Blue Tits - just hope they time the egg laying just right for the appearance of caterpillars!

So glad you are still enjoying Edith dvds - don't think I could ration them either :)

Em Parkison - Thanks Em - glad you liked the moths. Hopefully you'll get some soon - only just starting to appear here with milder conditions. Have read of people having 2 frogspawnings so fingers crossed you'll get more.

Wendy said...

Beautiful moths; the Emmelina mondactyla is very delicate. It's lovely to see the blue tit starting to nest in the box. I'm pleased to read you're now getting frogspawn, although it is a shame about the magpie.

Deano said...

Not many moths for the time of year...is it Caroline ? Nevertheless...well done on getting some at all :)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thank you. Glad you liked Emmelina - one of my favourites :) Relieved too about frogspawn was beginning to wonder if we were going to get any. Magpie not pleasant but have chased them off as much as possible.

Deano - No, you're right Dean :( although to be fair I always have a slow start but not this slow!!! Wish I could have trapped last night and tonight very mild but I've been out and about and not had time!

Jo said...

Hi just noticed that our dates are really close for Frogspawn, such a relief to see it at last. Lots of frogs and toads moving on roads at night, it's a nightmare trying to avoid them!

Ragged Robin said...

Jo - Thanks for your comment :) yes, it was a relief especially as we'd found 3 dead frogs (think Magpie may be to blame!). Several more clumps have been added since first spawning. By far the latest date here. Quite a few people seem to be mentioning late dates this year. I think in some areas toad patrols are set up to try and move toads out of way of cars and help them cross the road.

Is your butterbur in flower yet?

Jerry said...

Emmelina - Selina combined is getting dangerously near to semolina ;) Lovely post as always - I've been having one of those blog visit catch up sessions (very enjoyable too).

Ragged Robin said...

Jerry - Gosh hadn't thought of that :) I used to love Semolina when I was little especially when Mum made a chocolate version :) Haven't eaten it for years. Glad you liked the post :)

Chris Rohrer said...

I don't know how you ID moths. They drive me nuts. The names are so complicated and several are difficult even to say outloud. The Hebrew Character is bizarre. I've never seen a moth like that before. You're finding some interesting ones out there. Glad the Tit family is doing well. She is so cute.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Think we'll get some Blue Tit eggs next week :)

Oh moth id - really hard unless you get pristine examples with clear markings. Have just opened trap and found 2 worn LBJ's :( When I first started with moths I used to spend hours on just one moth. It does get easier the more you id but these days if I can't id I don't worry so much.