Friday, 19 August 2016

A Look at the Dark Side !

I have decided to add another string to my bow, and check out the "Mothing world", at the same time try to improve my photography macro technique, which is very hit and miss at the moment.

  It appears that  Moths are more content to sit and pose, unlike their Butterfly cousins, making photographing them slightly easier. I find myself being drawn to the front head shot and the mysterious eyes of these fascinating creatures.

Like  all new projects, I started off with  good intentions to construct my own 'Moth Trap' but by the time I had looked around for suitable materials, finding nothing suitable, I checked out the price of readymade trap, deducted the cost of materials and electrical fitting and found that the cost  was reasonable. That's me trying to clear my conscious and justify the purchase.

My Moth identification skills are pretty poor, many of the Moths are very similar looking, apart from the spectacular looking Hawkmoths which I am hoping will find there way to my trap.

So the first night of a new venture, the garden was lit up like a floodlit football match, I was half expecting a knock on the door with a complaint, but no complaints as yet.

The Moth Trap was set on a timer to switch off at Sunrise, I made my way down to the trap at a reasonably early hour to check the contents of the trap.
I was half expecting the trap to be full of Moths, disappointedly I couldn't see any obvious moths at first, but as I dismantled the egg boxes placed in the trap used for a safe haven for the Moths, they started to appear, with only one largish moth making a break for it.

In all, I probably had about ten moth species, these are a few that I have managed to identify, the Macro photography still hit and miss, I can't seem to get the whole moth in focus, probably rushing a bit as I half expected the Moths to suddenly take flight, but no they do seem to just sit tight, occasionally  moving to a darker area. 

Hopefully I have got some of these identifications right, This blog will be used to record my Moth sightings around the garden pear tree as and when they appear.

 My first was quite easy to identify, a buffy brown individual that turned out to be a Scalloped Oak, like most of my wildlife sightings, a resident and common species that flies in July to August found in gardens and parks, sometimes in larger numbers, although I had only one individual.

So far so good, pretty confident with the Scalloped Oak, the next Moth was also reasonably easy, and just as interesting, not hard to see how it gots its name. I had about three of these unusual looking Moths, 

This is possibly a second generation that flies between late July to September, flies from Dusk and is partial to the flowers of Red valerian and sage. Another resident and common species often found in gardens, hedgerows  woodland edges.

Another species easy to identify was this Tiger Moth found skulking on the side of the trap. This one is a Jersey Tiger, I have seen these before, often being seen inside peoples homes.quite distinctive.

This one was unsettled and made a break for a hanging basket close by.

Not  hundred percent confident with the one below I think it may be a Straw Underwing, again a few of these in the trap, colouring looking slightly variable

Another very similar looking moth is the one shown at the beginning of this blog, a tentative identification as to a Copper Underwing, two species of Copper underwing found in this country both very similar looking, once again quite common and resident, more usally found in woodland, but also gardens, flight period about right, July to August, sinister looking face on this one.

Another one easily identified with the diagnostic gold squares on the wings, you've got to love those fur collars, as you can see the focus is all over the place, hopefully I will get another chance to photograph this species.
Another common resident found in gardens usally late July to early October

I am struggling with an identification on the rest but recorded here for future reference.

Unidentified 1

Unidentified 1

unidentified 2

probable Common Carpet

unidentified 3

Very enjoyable session, Hoping for a Hawkmoth of some description in the next session.

1 comment:

  1. I struggle with macro shots, and have given up on them. Moth eyes look specatacular in night shots