Tuesday 14 May 2024

Going, going... arrived!

The penultimate post from Orkney became the last post, although I might write about some of the final observations later.

My new resolution is to post more frequently and more briefly, but whether that will occur time will tell.

Literate Herring This Way is now based in a place called The Ross, which is on the edge of Comrie, a village in Perthshire. Moving house has been one of the most stressful things I've done for a very long time, but anyway we managed it. The last element was the failure of the wagon to arrive yesterday evening. Fortunately, thanks to a very kind neighbour lending us something soft to sleep on, we were able to camp out in our new home. And, in the end, it turned out to be a better arrangement as the removal crew and ourselves were more up for the rigours of shifting all our stuff this morn. 

Many thanks to both the packing and unpacking crews.

First moth in the garden was Common Carpet (rubbish pic). Several beetles were seen or captured, two of which are NFM; but my books and equipment are mostly still deep within boxes, so no IDs, yet. Fourth bird from the garden was Red Kite, Robin was first. This is a very different place from Orkney. There are loads of trees of many different species. Obsidentify is helping with my rather primitive botanical "skills".

Here's a plant tick, American Skunk Cabbage, an invasive adventive.

Lysichiton americanus

This plant is a problematic invasive, it damages woodland habitats by blocking drainage channels and causing water retention.

Various other plants have been identified in the garden and round and about, I'm making an effort to improve my botanical knowledge.

A wander around The Ross this afternoon, during a brief respite from the rain and the boxes, found Micropterix aureatella, a moth I think I've only seen once before. Small (5mm), but stunning.

Micropterix aureatella

I found the moth because I was looking at some leaf mines on the young Beech leaves. All along the roadside the Beech was getting seriously hammered.

Beech Fagus sylvatica, upper leaf surface.

Leaf underside.

My expectation was that this was moth larvae doing this but I was wrong. And I thought I found an adult culprit, but knocked it off the leaf whilst trying to get some photos. Orchestes fagi is the culprit, a weevil. However, the weevil I dislodged was too large, and looked more like a "blunt nose". I'll need to go back and try to find adults of O. fagi and of the other species. However, larvae were visible in the leaf mines. There's also some Ransoms Allium ursinum along the same lane, I have a feeling that can host some interesting beasts at this time of year.

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