Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Plumming New Depths

I don't anyone to think that I think I am a perfect neighbour, 'cause I'm absolutely sure I'm not. I'm sure some neighbours would prefer that I didn't run light traps at night and loiter around my own garden with a camera. I'm sure some would prefer that I didn't look through my kitchen window at the bird feeder and adjacent scrubby embankment with binoculars. And I'm absolutely sure that some of our neighbours would prefer that we didn't have a cat (and to be honest I'm on their side on that one!). But .... some of our neighbours do things that really piss me off. Inconsiderate parking, footballs banging against our fence, replacing fence panels that are their responsibility with shit ones with the duff side facing our way. Etc.

One of our neighbours has managed to right royally piss me off in the last couple of days. Here's a couple of snaps of our flowering cherry tree at the front of the house.

05/05/2018

13/04/2019

Can you spot the difference (apart from our tree not being in full blossom yet!)?

Yes, there is now an open space to the left of the boundary wall where up until 12/04/2019 there was a lovely fruiting plum tree. If fact, before I left home on Friday morning I even commented to Nichola how the plum tree and our cherry tree were coming on nicely for blossom. I got home later in the day and found that the neighbour had had the tree completely felled and dug out by contractors. I am sure they have some perfectly rational reason for this, but FFS why do it in spring when the tree is just coming into blossom. I don't think anything was nesting in the tree, but I can't be certain.

Anyway, you will realise that there is a completely selfish reason why I liked that tree being there, and of course it is because it was a good host plant for a number of moth species, not least Grapholita funebrana which had just started turning up in the garden trap. I also thought that this tree was the source of my VC55 first Grapholita lobarzweski last year, but it seems that the info on UK Moths is incorrect and this species is actually on apple in the UK rather than plum. Luckily the neighbours at the back have not cut down their apple tree. Yet.

This has been one of those weekends when family committments and/or indifferent weather conspire against me and I've not had a chance to get out. The garden trap has also been pathetic with the very cold nights. Yesterday I knocked up a 2 x 22W synergetic rig to trial, but until we get some half decent conditions it's not worth running.

I have had a larval rearing success though ....

Mullein Moth - larva collected in May last year and reared on buddleia.

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