Sunday, 18 May 2014

Week 17, Extra: Flying Tiger & A Poll

I reckon my mothing initiation is complete. There I was, listening attentively to the sound of a Whitethroat, hoping against hope it might actually emerge from the brambles, when out of the corner of my eye, a red flicker. Without a thought for the consequences, I abandoned the Whitethroat and went after the Flying Red Thing. “Birder!?”, I hear you cry, “call yourself a birder?!”. Happily, many of my birding friends are interested in other areas of natural history, so, a burgeoning affection for moths is, it seems, entirely acceptable and, perhaps, par for the course, as the wonders of nature take hold.

Anyway, back to the Flying Red Thing. It descended down into the long grass and I had to carefully lift away individual strands in order to uncover it. Of course, I hadn’t got a clue what it was, but I could at least see that it was a moth. I wished I had a specimen pot (essential mothing tool) but I only had binoculars (useless mothing tool). I photographed it as best I could, and left it to it.

A little while later, walking through a particularly large expanse of nettles, I came upon a number of tiny, day flying moths. Again, not a clue what they were called, but photographed one and came home to discover more.

It transpires that the Flying Red Thing was a Ruby Tiger moth. What a great name! The colour of a precious gemstone combined with a majestic, wild cat. I won’t forget that one in a hurry. The other little moths were Nettle-taps, which makes sense since they were all on Common Nettles (the laval food plant).

I returned to Bovingdon Brickworks the following day (Friday) and had a further 3 species of moth (Silver-ground Carpet, Common Carpet and an Epiblema species). Plus, a couple of lovely Dingy Skipper butterflies.

         Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa)

    Nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana)
    Epiblema species
    Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages)

Finally, a poll. I started this blog for a number of reasons. One was to see whether there was an interest in hearing about the wildlife on the Box Moor Trust sites. I’d be grateful if you could register your vote in the poll below just to give me (and the Trust) an idea of readership (it is anonymous). I suspect the numbers are very low and it may be a case of needing to publicise the blog and the Trust more widely. Thank you.


Who reads this stuff anyway?! Which one best describes how often you read this blog?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

4 comments:

Bennyboymothman said...

Dingy Skipper, wow I love these...I have never seen one in this Country though! I guess I should get out in the day time more.
Lovely shots as always.
I will see what (if we get any) Epiblema species we get tonight.

Take care.
Ben

Martin Parr said...

Great work Lucy - no Tiger beetle or green Tortoise beetle shots?

And what about those bees?

Cheers, Martin

Boxmoor, naturally... said...

Hi Ben - I will look forward to hearing how tonight's trapping goes. Hoping the forecast rain showers miss you :-)!

Hi Martin - thank you. So many little creatures, too little time/energy to write about them all :-). I will have to re-find a Tortoise beetle and I want to do a special post on the Brickworks bare earth sites at some stage (that's the plan, anyway!)

Martin Parr said...

I checked out the cress beds again today and refound the woundwort shield bugs - a yard before the beware of the dogs sign. Also pleased to see a banded demoiselle - never seen them locally.