Orange Underwing too heavy for yer?

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 26 March 2011 15:51

Then try one of these Light Orange Underwings instead! Following on from Dave Monk's record of the first Light Orange Underwings in East Sussex for 26 years at Brede High Wood on the 24th March, I decided to go and look at the only big patch of Aspen that I know of, in Badlands at the Mens. At the south west end of the meadows is a large Aspen and as I walked up to it there were three orange moths in the air,  and one was in reach of the net. From entering the meadow to catching the moth, no more than 30 seconds had passed! I cooled it down for half an hour in my shadow before attempting a photo. I saw another three elsewhere making a minimum of six. The Aspens in this area are quite mature, full of catkins and one big tree has catkins pretty much down to eye level. The feathered antennae of the male are easy to see in this shot. Here it is from below so you can see the underside of the underwing. I have similar photos of Orange Underwing but they are on my computer at work, I'll update next week. Great to see this nationally scarce moth on Sussex Wildlife Trust managed land!This is only the second known modern site for this moth in West Sussex.
It was incredible how quickly the moth flew up to the canopy after I released it. I was really glad I took the time to call in (and it pays to always have your net in the car!) as I was driving along the A272. I also saw my first Orange-tip of the year that seems very early but is not at all surprising considering this amazing weather!

I finished the winter farmland bird surveys that I am doing for Natural England today too. I had my first Wheatears (3). I've walked around 330 miles in all and I am in need of night out before I start the summer surveys on the 1st April!

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