Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Overnight frosts bring firsts of the winter

Its been quite frosty the last few nights which has killed off quite a few of the later flowering plants both in the garden and in the nearby hedgerows. Compensation was in that it brought the first Siskins of the winter to the bird table yesterday, when 2 were on the nut feeders first thing. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was very vocal nearby but I had to leave before I could see if it too visited the birdtable. Also vocal were the local Tawny Owls with two birds calling frequently now three nights in a row despite how cold and misty it had been.
The temperature last night was a bit higher and with it forecast 5-6C the next couple of nights I might risk putting the moth-trap out one night. What has also tempted me is that I was shown a moth that entered a house down the road and asked what sort it was. In fact it  was a nice Mottled Umber. This species though not uncommon, I don't see many of and it's also one of the species that has a female which is wingless.  The male's flight period is at the back end of the year from October into December and I had not seen one this year. This is a very variable species, the ones I usually get are quite brown and speckled but this one was of the much better banded forms with a yellowish tinge.

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