Sunday, 31 July 2011

Grrr- I'm not jealous, not much!

Going through my moth traps this morning revealed a rather dull and impoverished collection, so when I got a text from Peter Wells to say he had an interesting Hawk-moth in his trap I was pleased to go and have a look.

I was surprised to find that he had a Striped Hawk-moth. After my Bedstraw Hawk-moth earlier in the week I had expected the same species and possibly the same moth. A Striped Hawk-moth is high on my want list, as I have never caught one of these beauties. I hope it flew SE when it left Peter's garage window; full story here.

The books say ( John and Gill Brook's "Dragonflies of Kent" and Smallshire and Swash "Britain's Dragonflies") that flight period for small red-eyed Damselflies extends right through to September and the later shows the peak being at the end of July and through August. Over the years I've photographed this relatively new colonist at Walmer Castle on the formal fish pond. The first time was on 4th July 2006, then on 13th July 2008 and last year on 21st July. So I've been getting steadily later in the month, but in each case there have been a good number around. Today was the first occasion, in the last couple of weeks that it's been both sunny and I had the inclination to go and have a look. I now wish I'd gone earlier because there were very few there today, I'm only sure there were five. What I don't know is have the numbers dropped of as they peaked earlier in the month, or were there far fewer there this year.

There weren't many of any species, just a few Azure Damselflies to add to the Small Red-eyed, and unlike in other years no Emperor Dragonfly patrolling up and down.


Susan said...

We seem to be low on odonts here this year, except for the odd group like the clubtails. I presume it has to do with the extreme dry weather, which has lead to lack of suitable habitats with a reduction in pond size and areas of long grass sparser. I'm wondering if it is possible that some species have opted for larval diapause rather than emerge this year, and whether it woul be a strategy that pays off in the dry.

Phil and Mandy said...

That was a beauty moth that Peter had Tony, he saved it to show Mandy and I when we arrived, thanks for your input into my moth id's via Peter.