The Blues

Cooler wetter nights are resulting in large declines in moth numbers now, but this time of year is the main flight period of the Clifden Nonpareil at Blashford and over the past few days we have caught four. It is a really big moth, with wings closed a lightly patterned grey, but if the hind -wings are flashed quite different and you can then see why it is also known as blue underwing.

Clifden nonpareil

This year had been a record one for this species in the UK, or at least a record in recent decades, with lots of records during September from a wide area of southern England. This moth was locally resident in England until the early part of the 20thC when it died out and became just a very rare migrant. Over the last twenty years or so it has slowly recolonised, especially in the New Forest area. We have been catching them regularly at Blashford for a few years now, mostly in October. I suspect a lot of the ones caught earlier are migrants from the near continent.

Wherever they come from they are spectacular moths and I remember seeing them in the moth book years before I ever caught one and thinking how amazing it would be to see one. Even though I have now seen quiet a lot of them I can confirm that it was and still is amazing to see them.

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