Friday, 2 August 2013

How I met your moth-er

On the return journey of yet another bureaucratic and money-draining trip to the German consulate in Liverpool we stopped at RSPB reserve at Burton Mere Marsh. At first everything was quiet as it was midday and we thought we would not be able to see much. But then things started picking up as we spotted a couple of black-tailed godwit from one of the hides and a smaller wader running passed them which turned out to be a spotted redshank. Soon after a fox scared everything up and we had about a dozen godwit and five spotted redshank (just about visible on the photo). Three feeding snipe also made an appearance as well as a hunting female marsh harrier. After this spectacle we walked to the other end of the reserve where we were able to catch up with five yellow wagtail (one female with her youngsters) which were chased off by a woodpigeon not long after we got our bins on them. The insects also put on a good show with abundant brown hawkers hunting over the meadows and at least nine butterfly species present including common blue, small copper and larger skipper.


Last night Dave came up with a brilliant idea to utilize the half-finished moth trap: We filled it with egg boxes, put a white sheet underneath the outside light and set the trap on a chair in front the sheet. We didn't expect much but this morning we were delighted to find plenty of moths inside the trap, on the cabin wall, in the nearby vegetation and one on Dave's coat! Just imagine how many moths we could get with a proper trap on a warm summer's evening. Of the ones that didn't escape and that we were able to identify we had 19 species and a total of 36 moths!! Oh the fun we had! Here is our list:

Small Phoenix (6), Common or Buff Footman (5), Clouded Border (1), Black Arches (2), Antler Moth (2, bottom right), Barred Straw (1), Dark Arches (1, bottom left), Green Carper (1), Rosy Footman (3), Brimstone Moth (1), Small fan-footed Wave (3), Large Emerald (1), Lesser Common Rustic (1), Chinese Character (1), Willow Beauty (1), Gold Spot (1, top left), Engrailed (2), Double Square Spot (1), July Highflyer (2, top right)