Excellent conditions for mothing last night - cloudy, warm and hardly any breeze, so I cranked the trap up after 9pm, shutting down at 3am this morning.
To pass the time I checked a few of the reds in the Dempsey Towers cellar, to see if any were corked enough to use as "wine ropes", but they all tasted far too good to give to the moths.
Took me more than two hours to sort through the contents of the trap this morning - fascinating stuff, with large numbers of "proper moths" (including 5 Poplar Hawks), and a truly perplexing variety of "micros", which are best left to Andy Bunting.
A fine Ruby Tiger was one of the highlights - only caught this one on one other night here a few years back, so it was great to have a good butchers at it today.
Just a shame it had rubbed itself a bald patch in the trap - still it comes to us all...
A tally of over 30 macro species included:
Common Pug, Poplar Hawk, Dot Moth, Knot Grass, Swallow Prominent,
Large Yellow Underwing, Brimstone, Grass Veneer, Common Marbled Carpet, Buff Ermine (laying eggs in the trap), Common Carpet, Riband Wave, Brightline Browneye, Small Angle Shades, Dark Arches, Common Footman, Scallop Shell, Thistle Ermine (okay, it's a "micro"), Shuttle Shaped Dart, Ruby Tiger, Dotted Footman, Mother of Pearl, Garden Dart,
Common Rustic, White Satin Moth, Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Common Fanfoot, Hebrew Character, Copper Underwing, Marbled Beauty, Phoenix and Small Phoenix.
Great fun, like rooting through a rock pool as a kid, although the carpets and pugs give me a total headache...conditions still look good tonight, so I could be lighting up the sky again after a Friday soiree in the Legless Arms.
The neighbours ain't complained yet about me turning night into day (and Mrs D got resigned to my nocturnal illuminations long ago), so I can't see a problem.
As mentioned in the comments earlier today, many thanks to Phil Smith for sending me this cracking shot of a Northern Dune Tiger Beetle, trying not to burn its tootsies on the hot sand of the Ravenmeols frontals.
Ain't had a chance to go hunting for the meanest predator in the dunes yet this summer, but if it stays warm this weekend, I may give it a crack - superb beastie.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...