Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hat trick

For my third consecutive night of trapping, I moved the trap again. It has been in one, well-shaded corner of the garden, then on top of the compost heap in an open spot and now in a grassy area with trees nearby but not directly overhead.  For the third time running, the gentleman callers have been Pale Brindled Beauties, two of them this morning, as shown above.

The moth clearly likes to settle on the trap rather than venturing inside, although my visitors have done both. On the first night, there were two outside and one in an eggbox, on the second night, two outside and three inside and last night, two, both outside. Another interesting fact is that the morning birds take no notice of this obvious prey, provided that the insects do not move. Nonetheless, because we have children visiting later to whom I enjoy showing moths, I have decanted this morning's PBBs into the complete security of an eggbox in the trap.

While ruminating on birds' eyesight, we have started experiencing yet again a dim blackbird which attacks his reflection on the glass of our back door. Sipping morning tea, we heard a familiar, intermittent, soft 'whump, whump' and, sure enough, there are the slightly oily, feathery marks on the glass where he has done battle with his non-existent foe.

It is noteworthy that this behaviour, as well as the bird's territory, is apparently inherited, although it may just be that the reflection is irresistible to that species in this place. Passing scientists, please advise.

Update: when the moths were decanted after the children had examined them, this one - above - landed with its petticoats showing - the delicate, silvery hindwings which are not revealed in the PBB's normal resting position.

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