A blue underwing

Today started very well (apart from the continuing covid!) with a wonderful moth in the trap – the very impressive Clifden nonpareil, or blue underwing. Brenda has only had this moth once before, in September 2021.

Later in the day we managed a short walk at Burnham Overy Staithe. Being a hot and sunny Sunday there were a lot of people out and about, but we did see a reasonable selection of the usual waders, plus a single spoonbill. Goldfinches were very busy on the thistles and swallows were still swooping around. There was a solitary little tern in among a roost of black-headed gulls.

Brenda writes: “The trap was very busy again and thankfully not wet. It has been one of the unexpected benefits of having covid that there has been time to carefully log what comes to the trap, both species and numbers. Today I would normally have been dashing out to take services. There were good numbers of vines rustic and lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing (32), 37 setaceous Hebrew character and 40 large yellow underwing, but today’s winners were the turnips (65)!

As I turned over the last egg box there was a thrill of excitement as I saw a moth comparable in size to some of the hawk moths and which I’ve seen only once before. Clifden nonpareil is also known as blue underwing for obvious reasons, and is a magnificent moth. It is a scarce immigrant which has recolonised the Isle of Wight and spots on the south coast since 2007. There’s no way of knowing whether this moth was a resident or an immigrant but it’s still a wonderful rarity to see and it made my day.”

A Clifden nonpareil, or blue underwing

New species for August 20th:
Moths: Clifden nonpareil

Birds = 215
Moths = 213
Wildflowers = 270