Friday 4 June 2010

Moth Hating

My moth trap arrived yesterday morning. I finally cracked and bought a budget one with proper electrics after my home-made trap went a few nights with diddly squat, and at 300W, expensive diddly-squat. I quickly put it together and then spent the rest of the day waiting for it to get dark, which took AGES.

Up at five this morning, I tripped excitedly down the stairs and out into the garden, expecting to be awash with the majority of Wanstead's moth population. Three moths. Not three thousand, not even three hundred. Just three. THREE?!!! Pitiful, and very disappointing indeed. The description and accompanying pictures on the website I bought it from showed a catch-box almost overflowing with lovely pink Elephant Hawkmoths, and I get three beige ones. It's like fast food. Famished, you are enticed in by the photo in the window of a two-foot tall burger, crisp lettuce leaves still with dew on. You pay your money, getting hungrier by the second, oh the anticpation, and finally are passed a plastic bun containing a wafer-thin burger with a smear of ketchup, and a limp blob of decomposing green stuff poking feebly out of the side masquarading as the lettuce. Rubbish.

I'm sitting here thinking what might have gone wrong. Was it too cold last night? Perhaps I didn't place the egg boxes correctly? Was the trap even in the right place? Was it too obscured by foliage? Am I just crap?

The three moths? Well, one flew off before I could even photograph it, no change there but remember this is a full 33% of my catch. One I still can't identify, again, no change there, and the final one I have nailed as a Common Swift, which is great, but is going to play havoc with my photographic filing system.

We shall what tomorrow brings. In the meantime, have some garden wildlife that isn't an unidentified beige moth.

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