Emerging from a long winter

Looking back at the date of the last post on this blog – October 31st – it’s clearly not just moths which are emerging from a long winter. Life has been a bit wet and windy, literally and metaphorically, and this has kept both the moths and me quiet.

However, the MV bulb of life is burning bright again and moths are trickling back. In many ways this is my favourite time of year, as Spring arrives. The moths reflect the state of play of the trees in the garden: browns and greys, with patterns mimicking bark or the dead leaves left from Autumn. My first moth of the year was Early Grey, which to me is a beautiful, subtle species with, here, a wonderful pink flush to it:

early-grey_33331115356_o

Last year I managed to record and submit records for every moth I caught, bar the odd escapee. This amounted to 1209 records of some 1800+ moths and so it’s great to be able to look back and start to make comparisons year-on-year. After a couple of nights with the trap completely empty, this first Early Grey arrived on 9th March, three days earlier than my first one of 2016, but still remarkably ‘on time’. More prompt still was this Hebrew Character which arrived on the night of the 12th March this year, exactly matching last year’s first arrival:

hebrew-character_32571007974_o

I love the markings on this moth, named after the Hebrew letter Nun. It’s from the Orthosia family, the Quakers, and some of its fellow family members are on the wing too, especially the aptly named Common Quaker which is already becoming a familiar sight in the trap again:

common-quaker_33258117602_o

If you look at this blog regularly you might remember that I did a post on this family back in April last year. In that post I noted several members of the family that I had not yet trapped, some more likely than others, including Twin-spotted Quaker. I was therefore delighted to catch this species on my third night of trapping, to add to my Quaker collection.

Just three other species have come to the trap so far. Two are typical of the time of year: Early Thorn, which escaped as I tried to pot it up; and Oak Beauty, aptly named indeed as these photos show.

Finally though, I had this Pug. I think it’s Double-striped Pug, though the markings are faded which seems strange since it is also early for its flight season according to Waring et al. (given as late-March to May in the earlier of two flight seasons).

double-striped-pug_33094556050_o

As ever, I’d be pleased to have confirmation from someone – either that it is, or isn’t. When I started this blog I was certainly a novice moth-er. I’ve come on a good deal and feel far more confident now … but the pugs …

Happy mothing!

 

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exeprattler

Exmouth resident; keen, slightly naive, birder; moth novice.

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