IT SEEMS TO BE the rule with moth-trapping that you get one or two spectacular species along with 3 or 4 really obscure puzzlers, the moth equivalent of the birdwatcher’s ‘little brown jobs’. Today’s star was undoubtably this new species for our garden the eyed hawkmoth.
It was restless, repeatedly trying to whirr out through the plastic walls of its bug box prison so I sketched it quickly, took a few photographs when it occasionally paused for a break then released it in what I thought would be a safe and shady in the corner by the shed. But instead of heading for cover it zoomed up in the air and was immediately spotted by a female sparrow who chased it and seemed to make brief contact with it. Fortunately it escaped into the dense foliage of the crab apple and the sparrow touched down on the path near the rhubarb. I checked and she definitely didn’t have a large moth in her beak.
Perhaps she was recovering from the shock of seeing those staring eyes suddenly appear as the moth flew away.
- A silver ground carpet, which is getting to be a regular in our catch
- A confused, yes there really is a moth called the confused, although at first I guessed this was a variation of the common rustic. That just shows how confusing it is.
- An ingrailed clay. I’ve looked it up and I can’t find a definition of ‘ingrail’ but it is clay coloured. Perhaps you could say it looked as if it has been engraved with stippled markings and lines.
- A sooty moth
This is the only shot that I managed to get of the confused, as it rested in the bug box.
I did a bit better with the ingrailed clay because it hung around on the patio table as Barbara and I riffled through the field guides checking through a bewildering number of clay-coloured moths. But I’m confident that this is an ingrailed because I’ve been able to Google it and helpfully there are plenty of photographs of this variable moth, one or two of them just like ours.
Finally here’s the sooty moth resting on my sketchbook. I haven’t even attempted to identify this one!