Point Break: Who’d have thought moths could be so wonderful? Day Four.

15:31 06 July 2012

100th anniversary of the National Trust buying Blakeney Point and turning it into Norfolk

100th anniversary of the National Trust buying Blakeney Point and turning it into Norfolk's first nature reserve. The seals resting on the beach. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY


Reporter STEVE DOWNES provides his latest update as he spends five days working with wardens on Blakeney Point.

When it comes to flying insects, butterflies grab the glory and moths are rather undervalued.

Not by me, though – at least, not any more.

An overnight moth trap yielded up a myriad of moths of all shapes, sizes and shades.

The trap was set as part of a weekly Blakeney Point moth survey, and the species caught included the splendid elephant hawkmoth, small fan-footed wave, shore wainscot, lime-speck pug and a mystery brown micro moth.

The mystery was solved thanks to the social networking website Twitter.

Within minutes of “tweeting” a photo of the creature, @dorsetmoths had replied with a name – the snappily-titled orthopygia glaucinalis.

I was hoping that it was a new species, that I could christen Pointia Breakus.

But never mind.

To continue the lepidoptera theme, warden Paul Nichols and I carried out a butterfly transect – a walk along a designated route that happens each week to produce comparable records.

An hour of trudging resulted in just two butterflies, a painted lady and a red admiral, plus a few more moths. The cold winter apparently put paid to many of the caterpillars, hence the disappointing summer crop.

Oh, alongside the hardship of looking at pretty insects, I repositioned a National Trust sign near the landing stage, and cleaned the toilets.

But please don’t tell my wife that last fact, in case she thinks I have acquired a new skill.

● For the next update, see tomorrow’s EDP. For up-to-the-minute news, follow @stevedownes1973 on Twitter.


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