I had finished mothing for the year, after a few blank nights, at the beginning of the month, so it was good to get a new moth for the year without any effort.
I was sitting, right here, editing some photos and when I looked up there was a moth on the outside of the window. To be honest there aren't normally many to choose from at this time of year, so sorting out the identity wasn't very difficult. A winter moth, and a male winter moth. Some species are easier to sex than others. In the case of the Winter Moth the female only has vestigal wings and doesn't fly, so even that bit's easy. The female climbs onto a tree trunk, where if she's lucky she's found be a male (great things those pheromones). The eggs are laid in a crevice near a leaf bud and hatch in the spring. They have extremely catholic tastes and will use almost any tree as the food plant, and can even become pests in plantations. Once the caterpillar has reach maturity it pupates and the tough cocoon falls to the ground. The adults fly between late October and February. This was the 285 Macro Species of the year. It is only the third I've recorded here and the first for seven years.