Moths at Elm Farm Field Trip - May 2024
12 of us went to Elm Farm in Burnett on 25th May, and were met by our VC Philippa Paget and fellow moth expert Alan Bone for a brilliant moth morning! The moth trap had been set the night before, when it hadn't rained (phew) and was inspected when we arrived. 44 moths were lured by the bright light, and found the safety of egg boxes when they failed to escape. The moths were from 23 different species, including 3 micromoths.
They had wonderful names like “Flame Shoulder”, “Foxglove Pug” and “Heart and Dart”. “Scorched Wing” really looked like someone had singed its wings, and “White Ermine” lived up to its name with its white wings and dark spots. 
Flame Shoulder
Foxglove Pug
Heart and Dart
White Ermine
After the moths were released into the surrounding shrubs, we walked around the environmentally-friendly farm to see where the moth larvae (caterpillars) feed. Nettles are allowed, thistles are cut back regularly and hedges pruned on a 3-year rotation so there are always shoots of varying maturity to suit different insects, birds and small mammals. 
As it was a sunny morning, we saw plenty of spiders, snails and 7-spot ladybirds, solitary bees, beetles and butterflies (including Brimstone, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood). At the pond were broad-bodied chasers laying eggs, blue damselflies, common newts and whirligig beetles. Many birds were seen and/or heard, among which were kestrel, great spotted woodpecker, blackcap and goldcrest.
Unidentified snail
Seven Spot Ladybird
Cardinal Beetle
False Oil Beetle

Thank you Philippa and Alan for a wonderful morning!

Report by Liz Wintle            Photos by Kathy & Martin Farrell

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Avon Wildlife Trust
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