I love moth trapping. I adore the expectant thrill that abounds when venturing into the unknown each morning; as I carefully remove egg boxes and examine the various colourful critters disguised beneath. Mothing, for me, is addictive, exhilarating even – each morning bringing some different; whether in the form of a new species, a record count or a garden rarity. The anticipation that abounds when combing through the contents of a trap paramount to that of fishing, or birding in autumn – the same sense of the unexpected drawing me back time and time again.
Today’s catch looked promising at a glance: two of the first moth’s removed representing overdue firsts for my little urban garden – Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and Copper Underwing – the latter of which is rather more scarce up North where it’s commoner cousin, the Svensson’s Copper Underwing, reigns supreme. Sure enough, I caught eight Svensson’s this morning which, when coupled with other highlights of Gold Spot, Dark Marbled Carpet and only my second Garden Pebble, left me feeling satisfied. That is until a curious looking, striped moth in the final egg tray caught my attention – a new one for me which, after some advice from various people on Facebook revealed itself to be Hypsopygia glaucinalis or Double-striped Tabby. As seen in the cover photo of this post.
Now, the interesting thing about this species is that there had only been two previous records of it in the county. Making my individual only the third ever recorded in Northumberland. Easily my best garden record to date and right up there in the excitement stakes with the scant few notable records I have obtained in the past. Among these the first Small Dark Yellow Underwing and Black Mountain Moth for Angus since the 1970’s. Yes, today was a good day.
Said Small Dark Yellow Underwing from Angus in 2015