Friday, 19 July 2013

Bat and Moth Night
Wed 17th July 2013

The increased numbers of visitors to our Bat and Moth Night this year, perhaps reflects the dramatic increase in our membership, but also indicates just how popular these events are.

Some of our visitors listening to Gordon

Once again, our favourite Moth Man, Gordon Redford, kicked off proceedings with a very interesting and informative talk about the life cycle of the moth and his experiences in getting certain species to breed in his back garden. This year, however, Gordon had brought along samples of Moth eggs, pupae cases and some very active caterpillars.

Gordon explains one of his exhibits

Following Gordon onto the stage came our new Bat expert Colin Savage - Colin works for the Parks Trust by day - but by night, he becomes a walking encyclopedia of Bat knowledge, with over 25 years experience of working with and studying British bats. Colin told us about the different species to be found in Britain and also gave as us an interesting insight into the lifestyle of the bat.

Colin in full flow

Both our speakers were incredibly well received and kept their audiences totally engrossed with a mixture of fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes.

Unlike last years damp Summer, this year the delightfully warm evening allowed for our visitors to sit outside for the presentations, which was just as well given the numbers of attendees.

As Colin closed his presentation the Bat Detector Boxes were handed out to our keen Bat seekers. Thanks to support from not only Colin, but also Carla Boswell from the North Bucks Bat Group, Martin Kincaid from the Parks Trust and Diane Evans from MK Council there were plenty of detectors to go around and our thirty plus group were well equipped, ready to go into the night.
Checking out a Moth Trap before it gets dark

Our intrepid photographic team, have not yet been able to invest in infra-red equipment, so, I'm afraid that you will have to take my word for it, that we saw and heard many bats that evening. Mostly we encountered Common Pipistrelle, but, as last year, we also picked up on the calls of a few of Noctules as they whizzed overhead.

Not a Secret Coven Meeting - Just Keen FoHESC Moth Hunters

Back at the Centre Gordon's traps had attracted an eclectic variety of Moths including the strikingly beautiful Scarlet Tiger, the intricately patterned Peppered Moth, a couple of Swallow-tailed and some bright yellow Brimstones.

Swallow-tailed Moth

We also had one of Gordon's favourite moths the Drinker.

I don't know what it is but something about Gordon's and Drinker seems to have struck a chord in me?


Peppered Moth

I have asked Gordon to forward me a list of his top finds on the night and will add it to our species list on this blog as soon as it arrives.

Scarlet Tiger Moth

The evening finished around 11.30pm when just like the bats and moths, our happy visitors faded silently into the night.


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