Unco-operative Moths - Co-operative Flowers

Saturday, May 4th 2019

We always check the flight season of those moths we catch for the first time in a year.  Wednesday was the 1st of May and we suspect some of the moths we caught knew the date as their flight season began in May!  Although we can't ID every moth immediately we usually can work out where they are in the book and narrow it down until we argree on the correct name.  We caught one and eventually looked through every moth in the book, but it did not fit with any of those that we knew.  Eventually we agreed that it was a Tissue moth, but the map showing its distribution indicated that it was not in our area.  One positive piece of information was that the caterpillars food source was Buckthorn and Alder Buckthorn, which is growing well throughout the reserve.  So the next step was a photograph in the container.  These are not the best of photographs but are good enough for an ID, to send to Dr Fletcher the moth recorder for VC 65.

Tissue Moth

His emailed reply confirmed our ID and he said that it was the first sighting in the 10K square.  Another new species for the reserve.  

An earlier blog mentioned that moths do not always co-operate whilst having their photos taken.  The Tissue moth decided to take flight as soon as the container was opened.  Another moth decided that it would sit perfectly for us, the only problem being that it did not open its wings!  However sitting this way you can see its long antennae and stripey legs!

Moth with wings closed

Flowers are more co-operative.  Bogbean is just beginning to flower in the pond in the Scrapes.

Bogbean

The Crab Apple at the head of the Scrapes is also coming into flower.  There were tiny pink petals and buds on the ground beneath it.  Bullfinches have probably been feeding on them.

Crab Apple


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