This is the first Small Tortoiseshell in the garden this year (the earlier one was indoors). Although I'm sure it must have found the Buddleia later all the time I was watching it kept landing on this fence post. I didn't see it tasting the wood, so it wasn't after some mineral on the surface.
The first Garden Tiger of the year is always a welcome treat. This one was very obliging, posing nicely for a picture. Last year I caught one on Aug 1st and one on Aug 6th. This moth returned several nights, despite the fact that I released it farther and farther from the trap. The last return was from over a mile! I look forward to seeing if this one will be a repeat detainee.
Many of the small moths that end up being trapped are in the group pf pyralids, known as grass moths. Many are very plain, but this little chap, Catoptria falsella, about 10mm long has a rather interesting pattern. The larvae feed on mosses, growing on walls.
When I first started mothing this species. The Least Carpet was quite scarce away the areas of Wealden Clay in south Essex, London, North Kent, Surrey and Sussex. In the last few years the distribution has expanded rapidly and it is being seen from Cornwall to the southern MidlandsIt is only about 2cm across so it earns the name least.