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Not many folk these days have seen a Garden Tiger – the moth that used to excite so many children. Sadly, numbers have declined by 90% over the last thirty years, which means more and more people are missing out on this glorious moth and its famous ‘woolly bear’ caterpillar… so it was quite wonderful to find one in the moth trap this morning!

And in its honour there’s now a locally-produced Cotswold gin called Garden Tiger!

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One purple emperor seen at Oversley Wood today – and lots of purple hairstreaks too.

We’ve seen this little metallic spider before on this blog…

But now someone in the village has been quite clever and I’m sure David Bowie would have approved!

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars…

It’s baking outside today but this Mars Bar won’t melt becasue, like the spider, it is a nice piece of artistic endeavour!

An immature great tit was floundering around in the moth trap this morning, fluttering round and round as if it were stuck on a Scalextric track or riding a fairground carousel. It must have been there a while judging by the sad remains of a couple of elephant hawk moths.

Not a red letter day, but a white letter day – White-letter Hairstreak next to the by-pass roundabout at Ettington.

This butterfly has seen a 96% decline since the 1980s so this was an excellent first sighting – even though you always feel a bit of a plonker striding along the side of the road cutting! They breed in the small clumps of elms which linger on at the top of the embankment. Not easy to spot but on the wing at the moment and I saw three or four in a half hour spell.

If it wasn’t for the traffic the roadside here would be a nice picnic spot! Orchids, ox-eye daisies, marbled whites, skippers, etc.

National Moth Night last night and the trap lights were on until 1am at Loxley Meadow, the unimproved pasture just by the church in Loxley. Seven traps looked a bit like Blackpool illuminations as they were dotted around the perimeter of the field and passing cars may have been worried there was something spooky afoot.

Strange lights – but the moths we caught had strange names! 48 species in total including the target species of Grass rivulet.

A few highlights:

Tawny marbled minor
Ribbon wave
Green pug
Ingrained clay
Barred yellow
Flame carpet
Double square spot
Barred straw
Large nutmag
Blotched emerald
Figure of 80