to Otmoor for insects

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Saturday afternoon was spent in brilliant sunshine at the RSPB’s Otmoor reserve, for a BENHS field trip. Great to feel the warmth of the sun after the grey summer. The evening’s mothing was cooler – see photo of moth-trap in the mist.

Some leisurely bug-hunting produced a range of craneflies, snail-killing flies and other odds and ends. One of the really good things about going on group field trips is that you can see so much more thanks to others sharing their interests and knowledge, and my colleagues pointed out birds including lots of Snipe, a Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier and Cetti’s Warbler. A small number of moths braved the evening chill, including reedbed resident the Large Wainscot (photo).

The meeting was led by Paul Waring, whose enthusiasm is matched only by his expertise. Although we didn’t catch many moths, and those we did were nothing unusual, Paul still managed to give the impression that he was immensely pleased to see each species and each person he encountered. There’s a lot to be said for enthusiasm.

A final surprise when packing up the following morning was a bat roosting in an outbuilding – it hadn’t been there the evening before so must have flown in while we were mothing. Not yet sure of the species, but always a thrill to see.

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