Hooray for National Moth Night which starts today, an excellent initiative by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation. The purpose is to give moth recording a boost by enlisting as many people as possible to count the moths in their gardens or any other favourite spot - novices and veterans, amateurs and experts, one and all.
This year it actually spans three nights - 10-12 September - and I got a very nice prelude in the trap last night. I was alerted to the whole exercise by a Tweet which featured a very fine Red Underwing. Hey Presto! Look who turned up in the eggboxes this morning.
Unlike a lot of big moths, the Red Underwing is usually pretty skittish once you start molesting it in an effort to get it to flash its scralet, Folies Bergeres underwings at you. Mine managed a couple of glimpses, whirring its wings into action the while, then shot off into the morning sky, rapidly gaining height before vanishing into some trees.
As you can see from my link, this year's Moth Night is encouraging people to try the ancient method of attracting moths by treacling, the best bet when I was a boy and a method I revived for the blog some years ago - you can read what happened here. They're also suggesting, and I am going to try, a newer lure called a winerope. This is exactly what it says; rope soused in wine, and anything involving wine wins my approval.