The moth traps set at Tophill Low on Friday night collected their largest haul for many years. Five traps, set around the reserve and in resident trapper Richard Sears' garden held over 80 species of moth and took several hours to count, photograph and release - though many left the traps of their own accord during the warm morning. Many of the micros posed for pictures to be identified, if possible, when time allows.
No doubt the best of the catch for many would have been 2 Elephant Hawkmoths, the better of the two pictured below.
Some of the others of note included: - 11 Blackneck, Puss Moth (the 3rd trapped in the last 10 years) Dingy Shell (2nd record), Barred Red, The Lackey, Figure of 80 (2nd record this year), Peach Blossom, Eyed Hawkmoth, Garden Tiger, 2 Gothic, several Cream Bordered Green Pea, Olive, and the first Pale-mottled Willow for several years.
The best of the pictures.
The best moth of the day wasn't in the traps but found nectaring on some brambles early afternoon - a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in typical flight pose...
After the moths, the dragonflies were a bit of a let down as the afternoon clouded over a little with the species encountered being:- Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, 3 Emerald Damselfly, 1 Brown Hawker, 4 Southern Hawker, 20 Four-spotted Chaser, 11 Black-tailed Skimmer, 2 Common Darter and 8 Ruddy Darter.
Some rather fresh Marbled Whites could be encountered at the north end of the site. These pictures of some of the 21 counted on the wing.