Thursday, 24 March 2016

Moth Trap comes out of Hibernation

This week has seen temperatures feel considerably milder than of late and Tuesday was a beautiful warm and sunny day. Carol and I decided to visit a favourite downland site in search of some early season butterflies fresh out of hibernation. We saw our first Brimstone of the year and several each of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. Only the latter species allowed close approach.

Peacock (Inachis io)

Overnight air temperatures for Tuesday looked good enough for me to give my moth trap its first outing of the year in our Wealden garden. I have a Robinson trap which used to run a 125w mercury-vapour light but a few years ago the choke box "died" in a flash of flame and the stench of burnt plastic. I converted the trap to run a low wattage ultra-violet light and although it doesn't attract such high numbers of moths, it still attracts a good range of species. Unsurprisingly, the catch on Wednesday morning consisted of two of our most common early season species.

Hebrew Characters (Orthosia gothica) and a single Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)

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