Garden Robin

Garden Robin

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Garden Moths and Nesting News

Friday, 1st April

Min Temp 7.2 degrees Centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Common Quakers (Orthosia cerasi) x 5

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 2

Twin-spotted Quaker (Anorthoa munda) x 1 (New for Year)

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) x 1

If you were visiting my Ragged Robins Nature Notes blog 2 years ago you'll remember that I was given some Emperor Moth eggs and raised the caterpillars to pupae stage. A few males emerged from the cocoons last Spring but, as they can take several years to emerge,in the Summer I put the cage back in the coal house where its cooler to bring back indoors this Spring. Yesterday I noticed from Martin's Moth blog see here that his Emperor Moths had started emerging already. None of mine have appeared so far but I have now brought them indoors and placed the cocoons in a larger cage. I really do hope some females appear this year so I can try "assembling" to see if they attract some males. Alternatively, if I get just one female and male I will let them mate and raise some more caterpillars! Fingers crossed there will be some news soon!

Garden Birds

We had a visit from a Jay yesterday - a new garden species for the year.

Blue Tits appear to be lining the nest so will check the camera later to see if the female is roosting overnight as this is often a sign she will soon be laying eggs. Wren nesting activity continues, House Sparrows are collecting nesting material, the Robins appear to be feeding young and Blackbirds have built a nest in one of the shrubs.


  1. Fantastic to get another Oak Beauty, they are surely one of the most beautiful of the early spring moths.

    Good to see the Twin-spot as well. In my first year of moth-trapping I recorded a few of these but since then I don't think I have recorded another.

    Jay is a rare bird in the Woldgarth area and in twenty odd years I have seen them in the garden on only two occasions, so I am pretty envious of your own recent sighting. Great to read about all the breeding birds too and hopefully this year's Blue tits will be more successful than last years :-)

    Good luck with the Emperor Moths as well :-)

    1. Thanks so much David - yes, Oak Beauty is very lovely :)

      Very worn Twin-spot! I don't get many here either - have only recorded a few as well.

      We don't get too many Jays - usually a few visits a year although once one came to the bird table :)

      Thanks for the good wishes re: the Blue Tits and Emperor Moths - will keep you updated. Am hoping here too - the nest is more successful than last year - its at times like that you don't really want a camera (very distressing :( )

  2. David's right, Oak beauty is such a nice moth..
    Have put the trap out but in the end brought it in.. cold and wet.
    Have new projects coming up ( comment on Twitter) trying to get all photos up dated..
    I hope the moths do hatch, not recorded the Jay pair at the park so far this year, so good to get one in your garden.
    Amanda xx

    1. Thanks Amanda - overall I don't seem to trap that many of the "pretty" moths so I am always pleased to trap an Oak Beauty :)
      Haven't put trap out this week (rain!) - hope it will be drier for us at the weekend.
      Off now to check Twitter and read about your new projects! :)

  3. The Oak Beauty is lovely! I need to put my trap out again but it's so much dependant on the weather and having no April showers forecast overnight. We are also really hoping that we might catch an Emperor moth! Good luck with yours, I look forward to hearing what happens.

    1. Thanks so much Mandy. I haven't trapped over the weekend - same problem as you (overnight rain). Was hoping to put it out tonight but I see forecast has changed to heavy rain for hours :(

      Not sure whether Emperor Moths are yet emerging in the mild over here (it may be earlier though in France?) but certainly some of the captive bred one's are! Good Luck - do hope you trap one and thanks for the good wishes :)