Saturday, 10 July 2010

Trouble in the trap

Had a good catch in the moth trap overnight but it would have been better if some enterprising wasps hadn’t also found it. On checking the trap at 06:00 this morning there were the signs that the efficient predators had been at work, moths wings on the ground. Whilst emptying the trap a couple of wasps made a visit and started to attack moths on the ground, no matter if they were even bigger than the wasps. In fact a set of wings I found belonged to an elephant hawk moth, which must have been some struggle and some feat of flying for the wasp to carry away the body. The wasp tactics were simply pounce and sting several times with the poor moth struggling to walk away, they didn’t seem to fly off. I then had to keep an eye on an inquisitive and bold female blackbird who was intent on getting under my feet and grabbing any moth she could. Still there were still some good moths in the trap to see, including fresh elephant hawk and privet hawk moths, buff ermines, swallowtail moths, smoky wainscott and others. The rarest of the night was a festoon, only the second I have caught and having a nationally scarce status.

Some photos below of recently caught goodies.

Scorched Wing

The Coronet
Blue-bordered Carpet

Small Yellow Wave
Privet Hawk Moth

Also in the garden today, small skipper, comma, small white and silver Y and a crossbill over.

Then this evening, a holly blue and a lovely fresh small tortoiseshell, cannot remember the last time I had one in the garden.


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