Eye to eye
A large emerald moth, Arnside.
I put my moth trap out for the first time this year last night. In most years recently it has gone out a couple of times a week throughout the year, providing a record of the moths that visit our garden in the different seasons.
Why not before this year? I wondered that this morning when that old feeling of excitement came flooding back as I opened the trap to find the natural treasures within. It's more fun than opening Christmas presents. July is one of the peak months of the year, and in the past I've had over 100 species in a single night. But that was by staying up late and getting up early, not good practice when there's a working day ahead. An early rise is essential, otherwise the many moths scattered around the trap provide an easy meal for the blackbirds. I got up at dawn, rescued the ones outside, stoppered the trap, then went back to bed.
Today's haul was relatively modest, 22 species identified, a couple of others that need a closer look before releasing this evening. Some lovely moths though, including this large emerald, two poplar hawkmoths, a buff arches, a gothic, a burnished brass and a plain golden Y.
If you want a more conventional picture which shows more of the moth, I have put two photos in the Blipfolio.
So why hasn't the trap been out before? Too many wet nights, trying to avoid too many late nights, and let's face it, that scourge of other activities - blipping. I need to get a better balance.