Stalking the Barred Tooth-striped

/ in Field Trips by Marek
Close up front shot of a Barred Tooth-striped
And what exactly do you think you are up too eh? – This is Privit!

Our planned return to Seaford Head, as mentioned in a previous post, neared as the flight season had arrived and sightings had already been made.

This time we would be better prepared and scheduled for an evening when the temperature was warmish with no howling wind as on our previous visit.

Unfortunately, one of our team members would not be able to join us as being in the latter stages of pregnancy had decided that struggling through undergrowth in the dark with a torch might not be such a good idea.

At this juncture it is worth mentioning that Seaford Head is home to a thriving population of Adders, so I tend to advise wearing boots as oppose to trainers if you are venturing far off the beaten track.

This advice is offered not so much for protection against a snake bite as in my experience over the years snakes tend to hear you coming and make a hasty retreat but you can never be sure if one might be hard of hearing so the more noise made the better especially in the dark.

Although short in numbers there was not lack of enthusiasm as my youngest son has enough for all of us and as it grew dark, he was off torch in hand searching hither and thither for our quest.

After our last trip I had decided that led torches would be enough for our purposes as no insects appeared to be attracted any more readily to the filament ones and they tend to be a lot lighter.

As an experiment I had also purchased a UV torch to see if this would yield better results but prior to the trip had decided to build a makeshift trap to mount it in so that I could leave it in place in the hope that it may attract some micro moths.

A cardboard box, the lid folded in on itself, wedging in a high-powered UV LED torch, with openings for species to enter, and clear-covered cutout areas to view from
A good contender for a Blue Peter Badge maybe!

My son had teamed with his mother to cover the larger area whilst I stayed near to my trap in order to monitor any activity around it.

My team managed many sightings of moths as they delved into the undergrowth impervious to scratches and discomfort, but the ones identified were a Chinese character and a Double-striped Pug whilst I only managed an Early Grey.

It was only when my son passed me in pursuit of a possible candidate, and I asked him the time that we discovered that it was later than thought and we would have to end proceedings if were going to make the Indian in time.

I removed the UV torch and sealed the trap for transport home in the unlikely event that some strange bug had managed to find its way in that might decide to take residence in the boot of my car not that any indication that anything had been near it.

Just as we were about to leave my son noticed a moth sitting on a privet leaf looking with keen interest at what we were up to.

I must admit we were all a bit deflated at our lack of success as were preparing to leave and could not really believe our luck as the moth in question was indeed our quarry.

It was on our hasty journey into Seaford in search of food that my son questioned had I not reset the clock in my car to British Summer Time when it suddenly dawned on us all that we had been caught out in the same way last year.

It is apparent that phone reception is rather better from France when you are standing on the cliffs of Seaford head with the consequence being that the time on your phone is reset for you.

We could have spent another hour in our activities but as it was starting to rain, and we had achieved our goal the thought of the Feast from the East was far too tempting and guess who ended up paying again.