Monday, 25 June 2012

Moths at Kingham 25 June 2011

OK I confess. I have bought a moth trap.Not just any trap but a Robinson no expense spared. I managed to scrounge some egg boxes from various sources and took delivery of some plastic holding pots from Scuddlebutts the wonderfully named supplier of such items. I hasten to add the pots are only to examine the moths which I plan to release the next night after capture. I gave the trap its first outing last night. Plugged it in to the mains with great anticipation and bingo at first the bulb glowed a gentle pink but very quickly turned white and then illuminated most of our end of Kingham village! I looked at it through the kitchen window and averting my gaze from the dazzle could only see green blotches in front of me for some minutes. Blimey what would it do to any moths? Thankfully there were no low flying aircraft from nearby Brize Norton that might mistake this for the landing strip and our neighbours are sufficiently distant to hopefully not be disturbed. I have not had any complaints yet but it is early days. Anyway I got up early to save on the electricity bill but more importantly to check the lucky contestants lured in by my megawatt illumination. Maybe its beginners luck but first up was a magnificent Poplar Hawk Moth. I just gawped at this wonderful insect clinging to an egg box. I could also see many other moths secreted in the recesses of the egg boxes but put the whole contraption with the moths still inside in the shed to examine when I got home from work. In the evening it was out with the Field Guide and some hours later I think I had managed to identify most of the moths but it is no easy task.There are a bewildering array of moth species and many to my amateur and novice eyes look very much the same
                                                        Poplar Hawk Moth
Hopefully with practice I will become proficient but it is a wonder what goes on in the garden after lights out. I just never guessed what insect life was flying around in our garden unseen and up to now unknown to me.
Also what wonderful names moths have. If you think Godwit and Pratincole are strange check out Dewick's Plusia or Dentated Pug. I have yet to make the acquaintance of either of these but I caught the following last night:  Cinnabar, Beautiful Golden Y, Plain Golden Y, Common Rustic, Square Spot Rustic, Buff Ermine, Brimstone Moth, Common Wainscot, Fen Wainscot, 4 Dotted Footman, Marbled Minor, Heart and Dart, Garden Dart, Pebble Prominent plus the Poplar Hawk Moth. I cannot wait until I have another go weather permitting. Its a whole new world out there!

                                                               Beautiful Golden Y

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