Buoyed my increasing catches from folk on the Norfolk Moths Facebook group, I extracted my lepidoptera-attracting gadget from the greenhouse at the weekend, and have run it a few times since, with largely pleasing results. Catches have been larger than expected (upwards of 50 moths the last two nights), and although diversity hasn't been great (15 species total), quality has been most enjoyable. Thrown in a couple of visits to the gardens of fellow Norfolk Mothers, and it has been a nice old mothin' March. The undoubted highlight has been this Tissue, a moth I confess was so absent from radar that I hadn't even heard of it, which Keith Kerr kindly showed Will Soar, Dave Holman and myself earlier today. A stunning creature, and sizeable too.
Finally, a few images of the commoner moths caught this past week or two. All nice - and evidence that early in the year can be great for invertebrates. Including the prosaically named... March Moth.
Then, even more casually, Keith gestured towards a tiny thing in another tub. He reckoned it was Scarce Alder Slender Caloptila falconipennella, a nationally scarce micromoth. The dots along the mid-forewing edge seemed to be diagnostic. Bingo!
The 'Kleenex' was reason enough for our trip. But then Keith casually mentioned that he had also caught a Dotted Chestnut. This nationally scarce moth was new for Will - and I had only seen one previously, at David Norgate's at Dereham. What a cracker!
Another highlight has been this female Dotted Border: a tiny, flightless thing, found by Matt Casey and kindly brought round so that this invalid could see it.
Though not reaching Keith's dizzying heights, my trap hasn't done too badly. It has brought me new species: Pale Pinion (a local moth) and Grey Shoulder-knot. It has brought additions to the garden list: Oak Beauty and Dotted Border. And it has brought a reason to get up at first light and enjoy spring.