Ok… So last night I did my very first, very impromptu, Mothing session.
It was a very simple setup. A white bed sheet thrown over the washing line with a light shining on it from a chair. I also had a chair off to the left with a cup of tea… But that isn’t relevant! B-)
I set it up and turned on the light before the sun set so the light would up to power (Is that even a thing?). I got visitors after mere seconds. It was mainly these tiny white moths and strangely… flies? I didn’t expect that.
Later on, after the sun set, I got some other visitors, The chap in the main pic was the largest of the moths I saw in any numbers, possibly Diamond-back Moth? (Plutella xylostella). I had about 5 of them in all at one time. There may have been more or they may have been the same ones flitting around. I also got a couple of Daddy long-legs (Crane flies) and finally what I would call a ‘proper’ moth. I can’t ID it though. It was a good inch and a half across and when it bounced off the light, as they often do, there was a puff of dust and he was gone! So I only got one shot of him, and that was a not very good!
Then there was this. I’m not sure why I was surprised to see a spider turn up… But (s?)he did. He started building a web off to the side. He did catch something later on so I’m calling this a win! Was this a simply a coincidence or could he have thought “I’m having some of that opportunity!” I guess I will never know.
Tonight brought up an issue. Photographing the moths was a real problem. my phone camera just wasn’t up to the job, my older phone was better but with the breeze catching the sheet every now and then it just refused to focus right.
Having said that I actually enjoyed it. I’m pretty damn sure I was buzzed a couple of times by bats. We used to have quite a few bats a few years ago, but when the council re-roofed the houses in the village in 2012 a LOT of them were disturbed, so I’m glad that they found another home, even though we don’t see them in anything like the numbers we did.
I gave up at about half past midnight because the wind was picking up and fluttering the sheet about. This was scaring off any moths that landed.
In the end I’m glad I did it. It was fun watching the tiny white moths flitting with each other up and down the sheet. And the hoot of an owl I heard was also quite something!
If I were to do this again I would try it properly, Maybe get a cheap UV light bulb, a fluorescent light bar and a clean, new sheet specially for Mothing… Mainly because it will be in contact with the grass for an extended period!