Saturday, 7 May 2016

Moth Walk & Talk

Today I went along to a 'Walk & Talk' ran by Wytham Woods, *in* Wytham Woods, on the subject of Moths. 
I've always preferred moths to butterflies, yes, butterflies are all colourful, like little winged rainbows - but, moths are more my colour. They're more intricate, subtler. I think I'd get on with moths better. I like their furry little heads, and their antennae, and their chunky bodies. And there are just so many MORE of them, did you know there are 1,500 species of Moth in the UK, for example, compared to only 600 species of Butterflies? Isn't that incredible!? 
At the beginning of the walk, when it was still just a talk, we were shown a 'Moth Trap' a bucket with a light in, essentially, and some kind of cone, that I guess makes it more of a challenge for the moths to get out of. It looks like this:

After a quick look at it's contents, and a chat about preferred lighting options (Ones that don't explode when wet seemed the natural choice!) We started our walk, to a trap still in the woods. 
It was a beautiful day for it, if a little muggy. Later today we were treated to a very impressive thunder storm!


Here is the exciting moment of lifting the lid - we all kept gathering around, trying to get in closer, like over excited 3 year olds! What would be inside? Had anything gone in at all?
After looking in a couple, we quickly found out the most common moth at the moment is the Hebrew Character Moth, we saw maybe 10 in total!

http://www.wildlifeinsight.com/3261/hebrew-character-in-nanquidno-valley-by-south-west-coast-path/


I cannot remember the names of all the ones we found, only the Lunar Brown, which was beautiful, a carpet moth, which made me giggle, and the dotted, dotted... Dotted Chestnut, that was it! We all looked through our guides to identify it. It was wonderful to spend a few hours with fellow bug geeks. 
I think this is the Lunar Marbled Brown 


 This marking is from where a micro moth hatches (The tiny start of the white line) and then eats its way out inbetween the two layers, finally emerging. How amazing is that? I always thought it was tiny bird poo.
I think this is the dotted chestnut

No idea who this is, but look at his little furry face!! 
Would be wonderful to have a little collection like this! Will have to start keeping those dead moths I find on the windowsill! 



I had an amazing few hours, socialising with fellow nature lovers, walking in the woods, and seeing tiny little beings.
It was wonderfully inspiring, and I am booking a whole bunch more!!

Love, The British Faery.


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