Friday, 8 July 2011

The Starry Eyed and the Very Small

It was raining hard when I arrived at Blashford this morning so other than noting the little ringed plover was still sitting I saw very little from the Tern hide.
I was not expecting much from the moth trap, it had, after all been windy and quite wet overnight, but I was pleasantly surprised. The larger moths included a double lobed and several slender brindle, but it was the micro moths that were the stars. Usually a windy night is poor for the smaller species, but not last night. There were a couple of nice Tortrix moths, the first picture is of Eudemis profundana, an attractively marked species with wonderful starry eyes.
The second Tortrix was also a fine one and this also seems to be the first record in the Blashford 10km square. A bit of a surprise as it is the willow tortrix and the caterpillars feed on willows, not trees in short supply hereabouts.
The Tortrix moths are 7 or 8mm long, but moths go much smaller than that and there were a couple of these minis, the first a common species, the apple fruit moth, although in an unusual form as it normally has large white patches on the wings, this one was more or less uni-coloured, but very fine glinting in the sunshine.
The last was even smaller, a real mini-moth called Phyllonorycter geniculella, like a good few really small species it has a very fine pattern, too small to see properly at life size.
Birds were rather few today, although the great white egret was reported again, this time on the pond behind the Lapwing hide, an old favourite haunt. The young common tern are all over the place now, I encountered six or so on the shore of Ibsley Water near the Lapwing hide when I was moving the ponies round to the eastern side of the lake. I moved the ponies so that I can mow the western shore without worrying about them eating anything they shouldn't.

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