Ushering in spring?

For only, I think, the second time so far this year I didn’t manage to get out and about today. But – as I was doing various bits of work – I was reflecting on how much I’ve been enjoying writing this blog: Aside from the obvious merits of getting fresh air and exercise it’s had other positive side effects too. I’m tending to think more about what I might see in a specific habitat, and looking up identification pointers, habits and so on before heading out. And when I do see a new bird for the year, particularly if it’s a less than common one, I’m reading up about the species when I get home. You never know – I might actually be a better birdwatcher by the end of 2023!

At about 8pm this evening I was upstairs writing this blog when I heard Brenda calling me:

Brenda: “Could you come here a minute, something interesting to see.”
Steve: [comes downstairs…no sign of Brenda…finds the dining room door out into the back garden open…puts two and two together…goes outside]
Brenda: “There are three moths, of two different species.”

spring usher


Brenda writes: “The thing with moths is that you can’t really go out looking for them: Although there are some day flying moths most fly at night, which is why moth enthusiasts run moth traps. I’ve been running mine in our back garden since Steve bought it for my birthday in June 2020. I’m fortunate to have a moth guru to consult, James Halsey – cellist in our quartet – who has been a moth nut since he was a boy and is hugely experienced. WhatsApp has been an invaluable tool for sending him photos of the moths to confirm identifications, because it is very easy to make mistakes when you are inexperienced.

Once the frost lifted I knew there was a possibility that moths would start to fly and it finally happened just when I thought there wouldn’t be a single moth in January. Going out to retrieve some washing I was thrilled to see not one but three moths; not in the trap but on the wall of the house having been attracted to the light. We had two species – two pale brindled beauties, a moth I’ve seen quite often, and a new one for me, a very pretty moth called spring usher. So I’m finally off the duck in the moth department with two gorgeous moths.”

pale brindled beauty

New species for January 28th:
Moths: pale brindled beauty, spring usher

Birds = 110
Moths = 2
Wildflowers = 11