Saturday, 13 October 2012

Buff Tip Moth Caterpillars

For a while now I have been following the fortunes of some fairly numerous caterpillars on the Willows in my garden. Some weeks ago I wrongly identified them as Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars when in fact I have since found out they are the caterpillars of the Buff Tip moth. Below is a picture of how they looked a few weeks ago. Initially they feed in groups by day and night, and later singly.

At the moment they are a good 4-5 cm long and are dropping off the Willows one by one and heading across the garden looking for a location to pupate. I'll look forward to a decent catch off Buff Tips in my trap next summer! Below is how they look now and this is a photograph of an individual that I took on Gail's hand that was heading out across the garden in search of a pupation site.

The forecast is looking as though it should be mainly clear over night, although there is still the chance of a shower or two along the coast, with the wind starting SE at 0600, becoming E by 1000 and NE by 1200. That's the forecast on the BBC, but rather confusingly XC shows it being W - NW. Ah well, I'll just have to get up, take a look and decide whether to bird or ring, or both. Whichever it is I will be at the obs.

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