Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Taking Advantage

When you run a moth trap a quick look at the vegetation around the trap demonstrated how many moths get attracted to the light but don't come in the trap.

After I'd been through my traps and filled in my notebook I had a sit down with a cup of tea to watch the activity of the birds in the garden. One of the male blackbirds that spend a lot of time on the lawn came down and took no notice of me. It was really intent on the movements in the grass and soon it extracted a Peppered Moth.

A Song Thrush came and sat on one of the wooden arches and seemed to be watching the progress of the Blackbird.
Even the heavy weight Wood Pigeon preening in the Ash tree seemed to be taking an interest in the Blackbirds moth safari.

The Blackbird went round the lawn and collected a few more moths. I recognised a Heart and Dart being dismantled and there were several others. I didn't know whether I should feel guilty for attracting these moths to there early demise or pleased that I'd helped the Blackbird find some nice nutritious protein for his youngsters. Most of the moths had probably already done their duty and few live more than a few days anyway.

The Song Thrush joined the Blackbird on the lawn, but seemed more interested in worms than moths. I was disappointed in the Thrush. We've go enough snails in the garden to keep him fully occupied, and not only would I like a picture of him at work on his anvil but worms are a friend not a foe.
Moths. A few more interesting moths last night with a Lime Hawk-moth and an Iron Prominent new for the year. The were also a few Silver Y's and since these are migrants they might be the vanguard of a more interesting movement.

Birds John Kirby sent me a great photograph of an Osprey that was forced to land in a garden in the Droveway by mobbing Crows and Magpies, on Saturday. I imagine that it was a tired migrant, having crossed the channel. Birds of prey rely on thermals to get the lift they need when flying and are reluctant to cross the sea. When they do they are quite vulnerable and often attacked by gulls and Crows. The photograph that John took is very impressive and is on the Bockhill page of the Kent Ornithological Society. Click on the word Osprey to see it, and more local bird news.


Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Cracking shots! I'm still waiting for a new bulb for my trap so hopefully should be getting some moths at the weekend, did find a Garden Carpet last night though, great shots of the Common spotted orchids, i saw one today, loveley things!

Simon said...

Brilliant photos Tony.