Sunday, 20 December 2015


Normally at this time of year the moth trap would be packed up for the winter, or at least the New Year when a new list can be started. This year though, there has been a unseasonably warm spell of weather, with night time lows staying in double digits - better than most of this year! A couple of other moth trappers in Bedfordshire had put their traps out on the previous two nights, and caught the first and second black-spotted chestnuts for the county, so I thought I'd have a go to and see what turned up.

A black-spotted chestnut was too much to ask for, but the single moth I did get was almost as good, a pristine Lead-coloured Drab. This is a scarce species that's meant to fly in early April, so this one has clearly been fooled by the springlike temperatures and emerged early. The feathered antennae show that it is a male, and give a handy way of separating it from the commoner Clouded Drab.

Lead-coloured Drab

Despite the warmth, the garden feeders have been a blur of activity, with today bringing the first ever Siskin to the garden, to join the redpolls, greenfinches, goldfinches and chaffinches that have been steadily increasing in numbers over the week. Yesterday I had another long-overdue garden tick in the form of a single male House Sparrow - who knows what might turn up if we get a proper cold snap!

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