Moss, Moths and a Herald (of Spring?)

There are times when I think that I must have been walking around with my eyes shut for the first half of my life.  I was quite oblivious of most of the bird life around  me, let alone the smaller stuff like butterflies and dragonflies.   The problem for the most part, and something that I suspect many of us ‘suffer’ from, is that we just don’t know how to look for these things. Once some things are pointed out to you you can start to ‘get your eye in’ and you then wonder how you missed these things before.

I had one such experience last Thursday when one of the volunteers pointed out a mossy bundle in a hedge. Closer inspection revealed what is probably an old (last year’s) long-tailed tit nest which with the lack of leafy covering was now visible. In truth it has probably been visible for many months.

Long-tailed tit nest

Long-tailed tit nest

Having had this pointed out to me I mentioned it to one of our regular bird ringers, who wanted then to see it, so we set out to re-find it.    Now being in the company of someone who knew what to look for, we found a number of other nests nearby, as well as a couple of nest boxes that had long been forgotten.

I’ve sometimes remarked in these ramblings of the strange names that have been given to moth species.  Today’s collection of inmates in the light trap this morning included Common Quaker and Small Quaker , presumably named for their peace loving  nature(?).   Although not one of the most inspiring of moths when first seen, the Clouded Drab does have a subtle richness to its markings – its also a moth that has a name reminiscent of a British weather forecast!

Clouded Drab

Clouded Drab

Also appropriately named from its re-appearance, after the winter months, is this moth – the Herald

A Herald -------of Spring?

A Herald ——-of Spring?   Unfortunately not a pristine specimen-  probably because it has overwintered in its adult state


3 thoughts on “Moss, Moths and a Herald (of Spring?)

  1. I would say that the nest is of a Wren. Long tailed tits nests are generally longer, slimmer and with a hole nearer to the top. Also all the Long tailed tits nests I have seen are built with a lot of lichen in them.

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