'Go ye slow' is one of my favourite Norfolk roadsigns - seen on the way into the village of Wiveton for example. Yesterday, however, was about going for Sloe... in this case, Sloe Carpet. This scarce species is erratic in abundance and distribution. Several people have suggested that it is a worthy inclusion in #MyMothYear so, thanks to moth-er Chris Williams, Will and I traipsed to coastal Essex yesterday afternoon to secrete our traps among the blackthorn.
The traps were pretty poor, although Chinese Character seems early, as was Ringed Chinamark. The highlight, however, was a gravid female Emperor Moth - only the third of her gender that I have seen and the first I have caught. What a stunner.
Our three traps caught precisely zero Sloe Carpets. Galling. But wandering around netting any geometer that wished into the air... that produced three! Result! They are not the prettiest moth in the world - but they are rare, so make a worthy story in the chapter on rarity in my forthcoming book.