Saturday, 27 June 2015

#30DaysWild day 27: Privet Hawkmoths and Musk Orchids

We put the moth trap out last night and were thrilled to open it this morning and find two Privet Hawkmoths inside, our largest resident moths. There's something very special about catching a hawkmoth and these two were huge. Bug Mad Girl couldn't resist holding them and one even ended up on her nose!

The moth trap has been a bit quiet so far this year, but there seemed to be much more in it last night including 2 Privet Hawkmoths, 1 Burnished Brass, 7 Small Magpies, 1 Mottled Beauty, 1 Common White Wave, 1 Beautiful Hook Tip, 1 Riband Wave, 18 Heart and Darts, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 1 Marbled Minor, 2 Brimstone Moths, 1 Common Footman, 2 Common Wainscots and 3 Dark Arches.

Burnished Brass

Beautiful Hook Tip

Common Wainscot

In the afternoon we took the dog for a walk around Pulpit Hill and Grangelands. It's such a fantastic place at this time of year, bursting with thousands of orchids and alive with butterflies.

We saw Common Spotted, Chalk-Fragrant and Pyramidal Orchids in abundance. We also found a beautiful Bee Orchid on Grangelands and checked on the very rare Musk Orchids that we'd found last week.
Chalk-fragrant Orchid with a dog
growing out of it!
Most Chalk-Fragrant orchids were pink, but
we saw several white ones as well

Bee Orchid
The musk Orchids had grown since our last visit and there were at least 40 within a small area. I tried to convince Bug Mad Girl that they were fabulous, but she was less than enthusiastic about them - I think they're too small and green for her!

Lovely Musk Orchids

Musk Orchid
It felt like there were butterflies everywhere and we saw lots of Meadow Browns, Speckled woods and Marbled Whites. We also saw several Large Skippers, a Brimstone and a Small Blue. A large orange butterfly dashed past us but I didn't get  a chance to look at it carefully. Although I'm fairly certain it was a Fritillary, probably a Dark-Green Fritillary.

Large Skipper

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