It is the day after what I fear may turn out to be the moment when the British Government waved farewell to any pretence that it cares about the country's environment. My former life as a civil servant, including one who negotiated environmental legislation in Brussels, suggests to me that the golden age of legislative environmental protection is over. (The linked article, coincidentally, was written by my HM Government predecessor in Brussels.) Our wildlife will, it saddens me to say, suffer as a result. Accordingly, last night I needed something to cheer me up. A mild night with southerly winds offered an opportunity for natural joy. I stuck the moth trap on, and retired to bed (well, the armchair - 24 nights and counting), full of hope for a decent catch. What would the morning Herald?
Well, Herald for a start. What a cracking moth this is. A Pine Beauty was only my second ever.
Mid-afternoon today I had a bit of a surprise, discovering a roadkill mustelid that is a very good candidate for a Polecat. This was just outside Norwich at Costessey. The forefeet were all dark, which boded well for a pureblood, but the head pattern was indecipherable on account of the skull being crushed... This species is spreading through Norfolk: surely a live one can't be far away for those of us who dipped the twitchable College Lake family back in 2009.
Among a catch of 90 or so moths were Shoulder-stripe, Oak Nycteoline, Nut-tree Tussock, V Pug, plus countless Double-striped & Brindled Pugs, Many-plumeds, Clouded Drabs, Common Quakers and Hebrew Character. Also Early Greys and single Red-green Carpet and Small Quaker. Fabulous! All that was missing was a migrant moth from Europe. But then, why should Europe do us any favours...?