Thursday, 11 August 2016

Elephant Moth Caterillar

Found an Elephant Moth caterpillar on the path in the garden. An amazing caterpillar, large and brilliantly marked. The caterpillar would let you turn it upside down, always flipping back uprightas I tried to draw it. When handled it withdrew it's head back into itself to inflate the eyepatch segment, perhaps to look more like a snake? Released it onto some willow-herb by the pond.

Other natural history news: Saw two barn owls hunting last night, one carrying a vole, and saw an otter dead on the roadside towards Somerton.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Moth Trap for my Birthday

I got a moth trap for my birthday.
(*Birthday not actually until next week but I couldn't wait to play with it)

Set it up last night for it's first use and there was much excitement this morning with my children looking through the box. Lessons learnt - perhaps 20 micro moths escaped as I lifted other moths out of the box and I soon realised that there were also quite a number of moths sitting on the ground near to where the trap had been standing so I need to be aware of this.

Identified most of the moths but some 'brown ones' and micro moths evaded easy identification so I need to get a more comprehensive guide. Terrific names and some beautiful specimens, did a few sketches in my journal and took photos before releasing them all into the bushes. Looking forward to seeing what I can find in the coming weeks in Ilkley and Norfolk.

The tally: Perhaps 40 moths in total-including:

1 Garden Tiger
1 Swallow Prominent
4 Jersey Tiger
2 Plume Moth
1 Common Rustic
1 Canary-Shouldered Thorn
1 Dusky Thorn
2 Dark Arches
2 Large Yellow Underwing
1 Setacious Hebrew Character
1 Buff Ermine

* Note: The swifts have left us for Africa.

Thursday, 4 August 2016