Monday, 7 November 2011

Satellite's gone way up to Mars

It stayed dark all day today, that's about four days since the sun showed it's face. I did run two moth traps and had fun filling the feeders and then watching the Goldfinches on the patio.

Looking through the patio windows a good number of the flock fed on the spillage raining down from above. Not a great photo but if you count the birds on view, then add another 20 above them on feeders you get to somewhere near half of those around.

Some of the moths of the last three days.

It would be true to say that the Scarce Bordered Straw above, caught a couple of days ago, was the latest one I've had, but since I've rarely continued mothing much into November it would actually mean much. It is quite a late record, but migrants still seem to be appearing round the coast.

I've always been fascinated by the way Angle Shades wings are folded. As far as I know there are no other UK species that have a similar "crinkled" appearance.

Green Brindled Crescents are one of the reliable late year moths, although this year has been particularly good for them (same reason as above!).

The beautifully named Satellite (what great imaginations moth namers had!) appears early and late in the year. I don't catch that many and the last one was on the 7th April. The adults emerge in September, and can be encountered any time throughout the winter until April, in suitably mild conditions, when they can be attracted to light.

Although it's been very dark, most of the moths were very well behaved, sitting motionless on my chosen leaf while my camera, on a tripod took them in timer mode. That way I managed reasonable images even at 1/4 sec. The exceptions were the Feathered Thorn above and the Rusty Dot Pearl below, both of which rejected the leaf but behaved well on the projector stand I use to put my subjects on.

This is a rather nice and fresh Rusty Dot Pearl. Ive had a few of the migrant pyralid in the last few days, and looking at reports they seem to be widespread at the moment.

November Moths and their close relatives are a real conundrum. Most of the ones I catch are virtually patternless, as might be expected on a moth with the specific name diluta. This one does show some pattern but I'm still not 100% certain which of the genus Epirrita it is.

By the way there are 53 Goldfinches in the picture above, the whole flock, when it circled above the trees was well over 150.

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