The moths have a fine record of being good to me on my birthday, so I wasn't concerned when yesterday morning's haul was modest. The birthday had many hours to go, I reasoned, at least three of them in darkness. When we got home from assorted treats laid on by Penny, my hopes rose higher still: the late evening was full of scent from Spring blossom and the air was reasonably warm.
Sure enough, this morning produced these beautiful visitors: two Eyed Hawks, a Poplar Hawk and a Puss Moth neatly positioned on one of the cross-bars of the trap's bulbholder. The moths were extremely sleepy and I had no trouble persuading them on to my fingers for a bit of fashion photography. They are now back in the eggboxes and will, I hope, stay sleepy long enough to be enjoyed by a family on a sponsored walk up the canal who are calling here for breakfast at 9am.
Things are lively here in another respect: my Emperor Moth eggs have hatched and we now have another nursery of aristocratic caterpillars. I am hoping that this time round, things will be less hectic as I am feeding them on hawthorn which lasts a little bit longer than the slender willow leaves on which I raised previous broods.
Also in the trap: the Cinnabar shown above with the Poplar Hawk, a couple of pretty White Ermines, a Powdered Quaker, a Bright-line Brown-eye, a lovely with its subtle hint of violet - and another, so far unidentified cattie which is sharing the hawthorn with the Emperorlets.
Thank you, moths!