There has been a heatwave this week, with temperatures hitting over thirty degrees on Tuesday. Of course the result of that was a series of storms moving through from the south coast but these managed to miss us here in Four marks, and all we had were dark clouds a few spots of rain, but very humid conditions.
The nights are getting longer, and it is almost dark when I get up at 6.00am. Over the past week with the windows open due to the hot nights I have heard several Tawny Owl calls, and closer to dawn there has been snippets of song from one of the garden Robins. This morning this turned into the full melancholic winter song of the Robin, autumn is not far away.
In the garden the Siskins continue to visit, you know they are there when you hear the distinctive "tiluhee" call from within the trees. Scruffy the Blackbird appears to be on the mend once again. Helen has managed to get him to come close to take mealworms, and he looks a lot better.
With still and warm conditions I decided to put the moth trap out last night, and just after I did we, ironically had a short sharp shower of rain. The rest of the night was dry though, and in the morning it was very welcome to find a good selection of moths, dominated though by Dusky Thorns, I counted 12 in total.
If you look closely at the head and abdomen you can see the antennae swept back from the head, almost like the wings on Thor's helmet. I decided to take a different approach to photographing the moths to try and get some of the features. Here you can see the large antennae that the Dusky Thorn has.
And the large dark eyes.
With the Dusky Thorns were a couple of smaller Canary Shouldered Thorns, the shoulders being bright yellow.
Again with the large antennae, swept back when view from a different angle.
The next to come out is a Copper Underwing, a first for the garden.
When the wings open up there is a lovely deep copper red colour, that can also be seen when the moth is in flight.
Two Lesser Swallow Prominents were next.
The white flash at the top of the wings distinguish it from the Swallow Prominent. This is a different view on the flower of a Clover.
A Green Carpet for once allowed me to get it out, and photograph it, usually these just fly away.
Finally the smallest of the collection, but again a new moth for the garden, or the first time I have been able to identify one. A Lime Specked Pug. It has a wingspan of about a centimetre.
The weather had delivered, a nice selection, and two new moths identified for the garden which takes my total now up to 125. Hopefully I will get the chance to get out over the weekend, there is a lot of activity around the south coast, with movement of small song birds waders and several Ospreys, I would love one of those to drift over here once again, we shall just have to see.