Happy Natura 2000 Day …. moths & other matters?

The spate of sunny weather recently, with balmy evenings has been conducive to leaving out moth traps.  Whilst Actinic traps are not generally considered as productive in terms of range of species nor do they generally yield the volume that may visit Mercury Vapour light traps, they are however manageable on a regular basis and can help to build up a picture of the species present in your garden.

140520 2sp Swallow Pominent hrk 982

Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma and Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula (above) seen together allowing comparison (even allowing for ‘shortening’ effect of image).  The more distinct white wedge of P gnoma is evident in the image above, see also that via UK Moths website.

140519 Common Swift hrk 926

Common Swift Hepialus lupulinus

140520 mPHM hrk 959

 Poplar Hawk-moth Laothoe populi

140520 Chinese Character hrk 987

 Chinese Character Cilix glaucata

140521 Pale Tussock hrk 020

Pale Tussock (m) Calliteara pudibunda

Other species flying at the moment have included Blood Vein, Muslin Moth, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Pebble Hook-tip and Oak Hook-tip, White Ermine (actually a pale cream specimen), Buff Tip, Peppered Moth, Cinnabar but no sign of its foodplant Ragwort so it was clearly attracted to the light from a neighbouring agricultural area.

‘Campaign corner’:

Apparently today (21 May) is Natura 2000 Day!  Such sites are those which were designated under the Birds or Habitats Directive.  Thorne & Hatfield Moors are one (or two depending upon your interpretation) such local Natura 2000 site.  So, spare a thought for their future as the transition from National NATURE Reserves to Open Access changes the very essence of what local people fought to save.

How many of us will turn out and vote in tomorrow’s European Elections?  European and local council elections are not really top of most people’s agenda, yet it has to be said that there has been serious effort expended to generate interest and encourage turn out, see Mark Avery’s blog.  Lest we forget also that we can hardly grumble if we fail to register some endeavour.  Numerous campaign groups such as 38 degrees are also actively encouraging participation in politics.  Will the results be a barometer for 2015?  What is noticeable by its absence or at best low profile is the presence of environmental issues on politicians agendas.  The UK is bottom of the Natura 2000 barometer in terms of % of areas designated, but without Europe we would have no Natura 2000 sites.  The issue now for conservationists is how to persuade politicians bewteen now and the general election that the natural environment really is important, it is our legacy for future generations yet look around ….

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