Tuesday, 11 August 2020

The one that almost got away


These warm, oppressive nights might make sleeping difficult for us humans, but night-flying insects positively thrive in them - just check a moth trap the morning after one! The past two nights have seen obscene numbers of Jersey Tigers at the garden MV - 53, followed by 59 - which is small fry compared to some totals that have been posted. Last night's highlight was a new macro moth for the garden, a Dewick's Plusia. A former rare migrant, it is now slowly establishing itself (maybe just temporarily) in south-east England. Beddington Farmlands, some six miles to the north of me, is one such location and I had expected one to show up here eventually. This is the 627th species of moth here in Banstead, of which 407 are non-micros.

As I went to pot it, it flew off. Had this been 30 years ago I would have been hyperventilating as it would have been a very rare migrant. As it was, a shrug of the shoulders accompanied my smile. The photograph above, in true Blue Peter style, was taken earlier, a few years ago at Dungeness, where I have seen a few.

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