True royalty in moth world
ONE item I’ve long been promising myself but never got around to producing is a moth trap.
Once I finally get the show on the road, I might see wonderful sights like this one.
This impressive creature is an emperor moth, which was spotted by David Hatton when he was out walking on the moor edge above Guisborough. He snapped this picture with this mobile phone.
Although we don’t spot them too often, emperor moths are reasonably common throughout the country and are found both on moorland and in the countryside.
They are native to Britain and males fly throughout the daytime looking for female emperor moths, which are much less colourful.
I hope they don’t frighten off the females as easily as they quite obviously deter predators.
I’ve not spotted too many moths so far this year, but as they are basically night-flying insects then the investment in a moth trap makes sense.
However it’s great to have spotted so many butterflies in the air despite the vagaries in the weather.
There was a huge fall of green veined whites throughout the Tees estuary a couple of weeks ago but now other butterflies are emerging. I’ve spied a few common blues around and some large whites.
And the flowers move on at their usual pace. I had to make a brief visit to the South-west last week and noticed that there were a lot of southern marsh orchids in full bloom.
On the way I decided to drop in to Rutland Water to check out the famous nesting ospreys.
The nest is on the top of a high telegraph pole sticking out of the water and you can get reasonably good views of both adult ospreys and the nest from the main hide.
The male bird was sitting quietly on a nearby tree but declined to do any fishing during my visit, presumably because it was raining.
A hide guide told me that two eggs out of four had already hatched and the chicks were doing well.
The following day I was shocked to discover that one of the chicks was dead, possibly after having been accidentally trodden on by the female. It must have happened after I left Rutland Water to complete my journey.
The female apparently removed the dead chick from the nest the following day, only a short time before a third egg hatched. So the ospreys have two young again with one egg to go.
Nature is a wonderful thing for the creatures who survive to experience it.
Eric would like to hear from readers about what they have seen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org