Foxglove’s moth night!

Sunday, September 13th 2009

Although the reserve was closed yesterday during the day it quickly became a hive of activity after 6pm. It was Foxglove's moth night! Eight intrepid moth-ers came to set up the traps in various habitats and then settled down for the night in the field centre. At 6am we were out on the reserve turning off the generators and closing up the traps. Then after a welcome cup of tea and breakfast we set off to view the catch and record the moths. You can see Charlie Fletcher, the Yorkshire recorder for this area identifing our catch assisted by a couple of young enthusiasts.

Foxglove's moth night

After a cold night the haul was about as expected with 41 species altogether. The most common moth was Small Wainscot with 38 individuals, followed by 21 Pink-barred Sallow. It was all over by mid morning and we went our separate ways. Here's to next year everyone!

This caterpillar was found during the morning climbing on the field centre! It will pupate before the winter and spend the cold weather underground. In the spring it will emerge as a Poplar Hawkmoth. This is one of the most common hawkmoths we see at Foxglove.

Poplar Hawkmoth caterpillar

In Other news today the bird ringers were in at 6.30am. This picture shows almost two dozen Lesser Redpolls awaiting collection from a mist net. The species is a regular visitor to the reserve although quite difficult to see at times and more are trapped and ringed than are seen!

Lesser Redpolls in the mist net


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