Sunday, 12 June 2016

Post 421 - 30 Days Wild - Day 12 Marvellous Moths at Fountains Abbey

Hey everyone, today's Post 421 and it's Day 12 of 30 Days Wild and I went out at half past 7 this morning to go to Fountains Abbey. Now, considering that Studley doesn't even open until 10 o'clock, isn't this a bit early to go there? Well I had a reason, Jill Warwick told me there was some moth trapping. Sadly though, she wasn't able to make it so it was just me, my Dad, Charlie Fletcher, a Fountains Abbey Wildlife Warden and somebody who was keen to learn about moths who's name I don't know.

A few other people joined in from time to time, but on the whole there were just a few of us which was great for me to be able to get close to the moths - or in some cases for the moths to get very close to me! I was inspecting a Poplar Hawk moth quite closely and it decided that my nose was a good place for it to perch for a while!
Poplar Hawk Moth

Orange Footman
We caught quite a lot of moths, more than 50 species, but the ones I was most interested in were not only the largest, but in my opinion the prettiest. They were the four types of Hawkmoth that we caught today. Poplar, Lime, Elephant and Eyed. Some we got a couple of times! The Eyed was a first for me and it was interesting to see that, when disturbed, they would unfold some under-wings with some huge fake eyes on them to deter predators!
Map-winged Swift

3 types of Hawk Moth on one arm!
Eyed Hawk Moth
Another interesting one to get was the Diamond-Back Moth, or rather the Diamond-Back MothS. Yes, anybody that does mothing at all will know that there is an abundance of them this year. This is because millions (literally!) have come up from the continent after being blown up by the winds! People further south have been getting upwards of 1000 in a trap!

Having a close look!
Poplar Hawk Moth
There were other highlights that were there such as an Orange Footman which Charlie was very pleased with as there aren't many records of them in Yorkshire. Some that I quite liked were the Map-Winged Swift, Beautiful Golden Y, Buff Ermine and the Scorched Wing.

As I mentioned there were a lot more species that we found but it would take ages to tell you about all of them so I hope you enjoyed,


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