It's been a busy old week (single parent, overnight sleeper to Edinburgh for a meeting, double the work I could cope with), and will be continue to be so up until Monday, when I board the first of three planes that will transport me and half-a-dozen others to the hallowed rock known as Fair Isle. At that point my attention will turn almost exclusively to birds, particularly if the forecast south-easterlies come good. So it feels right to squeeze in a post about moths. Marvellous moths.
And with that, I'm packing for Shetland. Can't wait. Birding all the way. Proper October.
And to emphasise the point that autumn is definitively here, a few typical moths of the fourth season have made their appearance of the year. Blair'sShoulderknot, lined and lissome; Red-line Quaker; Brown-spot Pinion (a long-overdue tick); and lots of Lunar Underwings.
It's been a fair old week for Sallows too, classic autumnal moths. Barred Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and (plain old) Sallow have graced my moth trap, while a friend nearby hosted a (rather local) Dusky-lemon Sallow. The last two transpired to be new for me.
Having only caught one last autumn, and seething at the dozens being caught by friends around Norfolk, I am delighted to finally see half-a-dozen Black Rustics most nights in my trap. Pure invertebrate coal. Classy.
Or, rather merveilleux moths. This stunning creature - Merveille du jour - was sitting on the outside of my moth trap as I tottered outside to check it in the morning chill. I nearly clumped a trump right then and there. I have seen one, and only one, before - and that was at a friend's garden. So this was only my second, and the first to have granted itself access rights to my garden. What a wonder. A moth so beautiful that it shouldn't be allowed to exist.