Friday 24th October 2014.
A good start to the morning with a ‘lifer’ by the moth box today. I decided to put the moth box on overnight and was beginning to regret it when the rain started to come down about 11pm. The weather forecast for Friday was poor, with heavy rain coming through the south and when looking outside this morning through the back door, it looked as though there was going to be nothing within the moth box.
While drinking my first cup of coffee of the morning, I was looking out of the back door, checking the birds in and around the garden. Despite the rain, a couple of Meadow Pipits flew over and by the garden, a female Chaffinch flew up to the top of a neighbour’s tree, but was soon pushed off by a stroppy Robin! Four Blue Tits were around my feeder and was soon joined by a Great Tit. A male Sparrowhawk, with prey in its talons, flapped low over the rooftops, heading westbound to devour its breakfast. All this in a space of 5 minutes! Later in the morning, a Chiffchaff was heard calling in the neighbouring gardens.
When I noticed it considerably brighter outside, I switched the moth box light off and checked around the box. I found a very interesting looking moth perched at the base of the Conservatory door and looked good for Red-line Quaker, although I have never seen one before, except in photos. Close by, my first Blair’s Shoulder-knot of the year was perched on the fence post and above this, an Angle Shades was present. This was a lot better than I expected as I searched the surrounding area for more moths, but all I could find were Light-brown Apple Moths, which were everywhere.
The only macro I found in the moth box was another Blair’s Shoulder-knot, but two in one day wasn’t a bad result. Several more Light-brown Apple Moths were present within the box and nearby, I found two ‘Plume Moths’ – Emmelina monodactyla and Amplyptilia acanthadactyla.
I was tempted into a moth ‘twitch’ today, as the Oleander Hawk-moth had reappeared overnight at Durlston Country Park, near Swanage, Dorset; and was going to be shown to the public all day today. But, low and behold, I have a midday visit to the Dentist to have a tooth out! Bugger! I would of loved to of seen this migrant rarity of moths too. On the back of Hurricane Gonzalo yesterday, there was a plethora of rarities in the UK. A Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Hermit Thrush, Grey-cheeked Thrush and Chimney Swift were all found and God knows whatever else will get discovered as the days pass. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo was still present at Porthgwarra, Cornwall, this morning.