Thursday, 7 October 2010

Colour Coding

After a few days when I didn't bother to put my moth traps out, partly because of the poor weather and partly because it has been so uninspiring of a few weeks, I ran all four traps last night. The catch was small, but did contain five migrants. three Silver Y's, a Dark Swordgrass and a Clancy's Rustic.
Clancy's Rustic is a moth that has featured on my blog a couple of times. There aren't may species of flora or fauna on the British list that bear the name of a living Kent naturalist, so it always worth featuring it.

After Sean caught the first of this continental immigrant in 2002 it took a while before I caught one here, but then in 2005 I caught four, with a mean date of Oct 7th. The following year I caught a whopping 19, mean date Oct 11th. 2006 has so far been the most prolific year for this species here. In 2007 I caught three, two on the early dates of July 11th and 13th and one on the more normal date of 30 September. 2008 had just one, on Sept 28th and last year there were two on consecutive days, 29th and 30th September. With the improvement in the weather and a day or so of South Easterly and Easterly winds forecast there must be a fair chance of some more migrant moths arriving, as well, hopefully, of a good selection of unusual birds.

It isn't only migrants that are of interest in October, there are a good selection of resident Autumn moths. One of them is the Red-green Carpet, a moth that could have been specifically designed for people, like me, who are red-green colour blind to some extent. Fortunately I can normally identify them by their patterns, but with some species it is not so easy and I have to "borrow" Pam's eye's for a colour appreciation!

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