Last weekend (ie just over a week ago) an annual highlight came round again – the moth breakfast at Leighton Moss. B, who came last year, was telling a friend about the event beforehand and described it as “magical” which is spot on. After a cooked breakfast in the visitor centre cafe participants get to watch the emptying of the moth traps of keen local moth fanciers, some of which have been out on the reserve over night, others at Myer’s Allotment a patch of land nearby owned by a butterfly conservation group and others, I suspect, elsewhere. This year little S joined us for the first time, which meant that TBH could come too.
A fabulous time was had by all, but particularly B….
..who had various moths on his arms and hands through the morning, here a poplar hawkmoth and the same elephant hawkmoth seen in the photo above. Shortly before he had an eyed hawkmoth too.
S, seen here with a poplar hawkmoth frantically pumping its wings to warm them prior to flying off, was less confident, but enjoyed the event even so.
A was happier enjoying the moths from a distance, especially after the poplar hawkmoth seemed determined to crawl up her arm towards her face…
She also took over camera duties when the poplar hawkmoth landed on my shirt…
One more shot of the poplar hawkmoth…
….(hasn’t the shade rendered the colours differently!) just to show the rd flashes on the forewings which the moth uses to startle potential predators which get too close.
Burnished brass (this SHONE – the photo just doesn’t get it sadly)
The uncertain (I think).
Scarce footman (?)
One more shot of the poplar hawkmoth on B’s arm.
There were a lot more moths to be seen, but many of them were inside and I gave up on trying to photograph them. S was perturbed because he had noticed that whilst we had eaten a fulsome full English, we hadn’t fed the moths yet.
Before we left the reserve we took a stroll down to Lillian’s hide from where we had a fine view of a great crested grebe sitting on a nest.
And then watched a marsh harrier flying over the reedbeds behind the mere in front of the hide.
And had a little walk to the pond-dipping area.