Monday, August 08, 2005

Sugar and spice attracts all things nice

Red Underwing - what a cracking addition to the garden list!

With the temperature up a wee bit today I decided to stick out the sugar/wine rags and splash some of the syrup around the garden. So last weeks mix was brought out, warmed up, a splosh more 'er hum' and bring 'em on!

And boy did it work tonight. moths were at the sticky spots in seconds - Large Yellow Underwings. Common rustic aggs, minors, Angle Shades (new species to the syrup) etc. But then on my 10pm round I came across one of my longed-for species - Red Underwing. Yippee!

Approaching the Red Underwing wasn't easy. It didn't seem to mind my slow movement, but it did take offence to any noise I made. My foot steps, standing on dead leaves, etc - each crunch it stopped feeding momentarily, stopped shivering before resuming. I made one noise too many though, standing on a small twig the 'smap' was enough to see it take flight. But boy it looked just as spectacular in flight as it did on the deck, flashing red and white as it spiralled up in to the fenland night sky. Absolutely corkin!

My check at 11pm found it back but at a different syrup spot but it didn't take too kindly to me again and was soon sat up in the overhang willow. At 11.30 it was back on one of the fence posts on which I hava pool of syrup. It seemed content on me approaching slowly and getting a few more snaps as it supped away. My main problem now was that it was at chest height and I needed to get the camera above it! Luckily with the swivel screen of the Nikon CP995 I was able to slowly hold the camera above the feeding moth and get a couple of snaps as well as a couple of snaps of its underside before it again took umbridge and headed off high in to the willow.

Moths sooned tailed off after 11.30 but this Angle Shades seemed very happy with his rag!

Angle Shades at sticky rag

For a full list of Toadsnatcher's garden moths click here

All images | Nikon Coolpix 995 | © Steve Dudley

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