Sunday, 19 September 2010

Fooled again

I wandered out of the back door yesterday evening, looked up into a dusking sky that had a fair amount of cloud cover, took note of a relatively mild temperature and hot-footed it to the garage to take out and switch on the moth trap.

This morning saw me eagely hovering over the trap, examining each egg box. The species composition was as to be expected, the moth numbers not too bad. The last egg box was flipped over to reveal a distinctive looking micro, one of those that mimics bird droppings as a way of avoiding predation. It was, I admitted to myself, a fine looking specimen, distintive in its narrow wings and raised thorax. I couldn't immediately put a name to it (not surprising for me with a micro), but I was confident that I could do so as it looked so striking.

I tapped the egg box to dislodge the moth into a pot but it wouldn't budge. I then inserted a small leaf stalk beneath it to move it (this always works) but on this occasion failed to do so. There was nothing left but to gently tease the beast out with a delicate prod from my finger nail. It was then that the truth finally dawned on me. It wasn't a moth. It was a bird dropping. I looked on in disbelief at the dried faeces, now dislodged, lying prostrate before me. It was symetrical to the point of being absurd, both in form and colouring. It looked more like a moth than many moths I've had the pleasure to know.

I scratched my head, packed up the trap and got on with my day, safe in the knowledge that a dollop of bird shit had got the better of me.

1 comment:

Graham James said...

That ranks alongside the many Cattle Egrets that turn out to be white carrier bags and the Nighthawks that are really cow-pats. Not that I've ever been fooled by any of them (well, maybe just a few times).