Friday, 11 July 2014

Forays into Moth Trapping

Its been a bit slow on the island recently. This time of year I'd usually have the scope out scanning for shearwaters etc.; however, the relatively clear water is displaying a distinct lack of plankton. No plankton, no fish. No fish, no birds. Sure, this years crop of youngsters are keeping me interested; the linnets, common sand and oystercatchers on the point all doing well, but the Clyde doesn't feel like its buzzing. Thankfully, FSC Millport has a new toy. A brand spanking new moth trap, and Rachel and I have been having great fun this lunch time getting to grips with the new beasties. 

Silvery Arches

Drinker Moth
The large range of habitats on the island results in a the potential for great diversity of species in a relatively small area. So there's something new in every trap. Just like taking up birding, there appear to be a lot of little brown jobs. Unlike birding, its blinking easy to get prolonged views that aren't massively obscured by one annoyingly leaf. And if it looks like rain, you can take your catch inside  or a cup of tea while you pour through the books.

Flame Shoulder
True Lovers Knot

Peppered Moths
Today's undoubted stars where a pair of garden tigers. One fresh, one well worn. After a spell in the cold room they were more than happy to crawl onto your hand to warm up and pose for photographs.

Garden tigers have a huge range, being found across Europe and into both Asia and North America. In the UK they can be found in a range of habitats, and fly from late June through to August. Before they get those distinctive wings, they can be seen as the orange and black "wooly bear" caterpillar. Despite their distribution and habitat range, the garden tiger is a BAP species, with number thought to have dropped by as much as 90% in the past 30 years.

My first Garden Tiger

Rachel holding said Garden Tiger

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