A morning moth hunting

Its the first day of The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild. This happens each year and for 30 days in June everyone is encouraged to do something inspired by nature.  This could be cloud gazing, walking in the rain, paddling in a stream, or a beach clean.  Head over to The Wildlife Trust website here and scroll down for many more ideas.

Its been a very warm muggy day and thunder storms are due soon, so this morning before it got too hot I sat in the garden eating my breakfast.  It was lovely to sit eating my cereal listening to the beautiful bird song.  The young starlings were busy squabbling on the feeders as usual, the blackbirds were busy plucking unsuspecting insects off the low growing heather; and Robbie the robin was having a refreshing bath by the side of me.

As I sat there looking for inspiration for what to write about for my 30 Days Wild, a beautiful cinnabar moth fluttered quickly past me.  I then decided that today I would write about these creatures and would spend the next hour on a moth hunt .

The next moth I spotted was camouflaged so well I almost walked pasted it.

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It was a Flame Carpet moth (Xanthorhoe designata) resting on a piece of concrete in the shade.  They are common in gardens, hedgerows and woodland and feed on plants like rapeseed and cabbage.

The next moth I saw kept trying to drown in the pond.  I kept rescuing it but it insisted on flying straight back in.  It was a Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba).  I get a lot of these in the garden and they are always found around the honeysuckle.  Beneath is a photo of one that I took from another day.

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Next on my hunt I found a hairy moth larvae shading from the sunlight behind the garden fence.

20180509_151215 This Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus) despite its name doesn’t feed on oak.  It’s name comes from the fact its cocoon looks like an acorn.  It likes to eat heathers and other woody plants.

It was getting to the end of the hours moth hunt and I found the next moth by pure accident.  My leg brushed past the lovely bleeding hearts plant at the front of my garden and out clumsily fluttered a large silver moth.

20180531_142055This Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma) was beating it wing fast as I think it had recently emerged and was drying it’s wings out.  The moths are often seen in gardens feeding on the nectar from flowers.

My little moth hunt was over as it was starting to get hotter as the sun broke through the clouds.  I did have one final surprise though.

I found the most fascinating larvae.  I could have watched it all day shuffling along the tayberry branch.  Unfortunately I’m not sure what it is so maybe some of my lovely followers could help me with guessing what it is.  Any ideas what this could be?

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I spent a lovely morning in the garden looking for moths, and even in such a small period of time I was amazed what I had found.  I shall have to learn how to make a moth trap at some point and see what other species I can find in the garden.

Its fun to look under leaves and branches as you never know what delights you’ll find.

 

 

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Thank you note -Last day of 30 Days Wild

As it is the last day of 30 Days Wild and I haven’t been able to get out, I have decided to write you all a thank you note.

I’d firstly like to thank everyone for reading my blog and I hope you have enjoyed them and thank you for your support on all my social media sites.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who support, volunteer and run hedgehog rescues. These places are vital for the survival of our hedgehogs. These places exist with the help of volunteers, donations and the love and care from the people who look after these delightful creatures. If you have a hedgehog rescue near to where you live, then see if they have a wish list of supplies or maybe if they need people to help out there.

Next I would like to thank all those who actively protect our wildlife.  For those who protect foxes, birds of prey and badgers from hunters and those who protest in order to stop cruelty to animals. No matter how you help your wildlife, you all do great work and are inspiring individuals.

I would also like to say a big thank you to all the young naturalists out there. Spreading the word that our environment is important and needs protecting. You are all inspiring individuals and it gives me hope for the future that you are out there now fighting for nature even at such a young age.

I would like to say a big thank you to the Springwatch team for their inspiring, delightful and educational programmes, that bring nature into our living rooms. A special thanks has to go to Chris Packham though. He has inspired me since I used to watch him on The Really Wild Show all those years ago. If anything my admiration for him grows each year. He gives nature a voice and speaks with both his heart and mind. He backs what he says with facts and I think it’s important that he continues to have a voice so he can speak up for nature. That is what I loved about this years Springwatch. Chris was able to tell us all a lot more important facts about what is declining in nature and what we can do to help.  Of course, Chris has not only inspired myself but many generations to get outdoors, explore nature and care and protect it.

My final thank you goes to The Wildlife Trust for inspiring work places, schools and individuals to love and appreciate nature with their 30 Days Wild challenge. I have really enjoyed reading all your 30 Days Wild blogs and looking at your fantastic nature photos and videos.

Thank you to everyone who loves and cares for nature. I hope you have all had a wonderful nature filled June.