Monday, 29 September 2014

Irish Moths

Although so far you may not have realised, but my trip to Ireland was not completely dedicated to twitching the Long-Billed Dowitcher.  No, I did do other things, although little other birding.  So -surprise surprise- moths again.
 Moths and butterflies (more the former) were a big focus of my trip, and I mean a very big focus. It's pretty much all I did. By day I'd look for butterflies and by night, moths. Setting a bright light to point at a sheet at night makes a beacon which moths seem unable to resist. I spent many a night in this way, looking for something to be drawn in other than July High-flyers, sometimes this went quite late into the morning...  On occasion it did work, some nights it would be teeming with moths, others,  not so, with just a few the whole night.  It really did vary a lot.  I'm not quite sure the total, but I estimate around fifty species of moth came, though you can easily be sure that was never in one night.  It really wasn't the best time of year to moth, the numbers of Summer moths were dwindling, and Autumn moths had properly started to arrive yet, still, I coped with Early Thorns, Pink-Barred Sallows, Lesser-Swallow Prominent, Barred Chestnut...  Such hardship.

The makeshift 'trap' did a better job than I had expected, it didn't get me my longed-for Elephant Hawkmoth, but enough Carpets for a mansion.
Worth the disrupted sleep pattern..

Bring on the Autumn Moths!

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