Tuesday, 29 September 2009
What a nice surprise
I nearly didn't bother with the trap last night. Of course, that's always when things happen. I went through the eggboxes this morning almost in automatic mode, clucking at the absence of anything bar a Silver Y, two Black Rustics and the last of the tattered army of yellow underwings. Then I discovered this: a very fine Red Underwing, a moth I last saw here in Leeds more than ten years ago. It was during the day on that occasion; the beautiful creature astonished us by zooming into the garden when we were having tea outside. It's also the same species as the lovely moth Penny and I found at Radstock Bridge earlier this summer, also during the day (see entry for 8 August, below). This one is in such excellent condition that it must have hatched a lot later, perhaps due to the marginally cooler climate here, compared with the upper Thames valley. For scale, I've pictured it with two models from the opposite ends of the Russian political spectrum in 1917, brought back by P and her Mum from a visit to St Petersburg. The moth ignored them but sleepily allowed me to push a forewing gently forward with a teaspoon, to show the vivid, hidden colour which gives it its name.