30 Days Wild – Day 19

A much better night for moths with 32 species, a long way short of our best but better than we have had for a while. A new one for the year was a dot moth, like a lot of largely black moths they wear very quickly, however this one was very, very fresh.

black rustic

dot moth

Calm conditions often result in more smaller moths, presumably because they find it easier to fly when it is less windy. A lot of the micro moths are Tortrix species, this is one I have not yet identified, I must get round to looking it up.

tortrix 1

Tortrix moth

I was busy in and around the office for a lot of the day, so did not get out as much as I would have liked. When I did it was pleasing to see that the oystercatcher pair still have at least one chick. I did not see it, but the adults flew up to mob a passing marsh harrier with such vigour that they must still have a chick somewhere nearby.

As I mentioned I was around the office for a lot of the day doing exciting things like seeing if we can get our wifi to work well enough to allow remote education work from as far away as the pond. Traditional education work will clearly be difficult or impossible for some considerable time, but hopefully we can continue via the internet. In many ways what we have is Blashford Lakes , but not exactly as we knew it.

30 Days Wild – Day 4

I started the day by emptying the moth trap at work and then at Blashford, between them there were three species of hawk-moth, privet, pine and eyed. The still conditions meant that there were  a few more micro moths than on some recent nights. A number were Tortrix moths.

Tortrix

Grey Tortrix species

There are several grey Tortrix moths a number of which cannot be identified with certainty without rather closer inspection than can be done in a photograph.

another Tortrix

Another grey Tortrix moth

Luckily some are rather easier, such as this one Apotomis turbidana.

Apotomis turbidana

Apotomis turbidana

Blashford has a lot of nectar sources for insects at the moment, one of the best in hemlock water dropwort.

hemlock water dropwort

hemlock water dropwort

In the shadier wooded areas there are stands of foxglove, not as accessible as the dropwort for many smaller insects, but still great for bumble bees.

foxglove

foxgloves

Back at home I was pleased to see the first wild carrot now in flower, like a lot of the Umbellifers it is a great nectar source for lots of smaller insects.

wild carrot

wild carrot

As the carrot is starting to flower the yellow rattle is coming to and end, with just a few still flowering.

yellow rattle

yellow rattle

I was going to feature my emperor moth caterpillars this evening, but then I came across a very fine mullein moth caterpillar eating figwort.

mullein moth caterpillar

mullein moth caterpillar

I also saw that one of the brimstone caterpillars on my alder buckthorn is now very well grown, hopefully they will get to pupate this year, last year they all got eaten just before they changed.

brimstone caterpillar

brimstone caterpillar