Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tigers & Frogs!!

I enjoyed the opportunity to walk over Afton Down with Caroline, Roger & Jenny early yesterday evening.

The main purpose of our trek 'up hill and down dale' was to catch up with this year's wonderful display of Frog Orchids.This is just one of 60 or so spikes that have been counted, though we didn't manage that many! There are not only good numbers, but many of them are surprisingly tall!

Caroline suddenly noticed a Wood Tiger Moth which disappeared into the short vegetation. I gently parted it to find this:

Not one, but 2 Wood Tiger Moths. At first I thought they were a mating pair but it didn't seem right. If you look closely - at the bottom left of the left wing - there is a big clue as to what is actually going on. The original individual that Caroline had seen was obviously attracted to a mating pair.

When he wandered off, we were left with this scene! I've never seen a Wood Tiger...and now I've seen three at once. What is it they say about buses?? :-)

To cap it all, guess what was in the moth trap this morning? Another Tiger - a Garden Tiger this time. I haven't seen an adult one of these since a Venture Scout camp at Leek Wootten back in the late 70s, which demonstrates how much they have declined. This one appears to be very much in decline as an individual!

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