Night-flying Hebrew Characters, Torbreck

May 4th 2016

Night-flying Hebrew Characters

The Hebrew Character moth Orthosia gothica gets its name from its dark saddle-shaped mark, which resembles the Hebrew letter, ‘Nun’. Flying late in the night, during April to early June, it feeds on sallow catkins. It is very common throughout Britain and Europe and some years ago, about forty were caught in a small light-trap at Little Assynt on the same night.

These three moths were light-trapped recently, in Torbreck, near Lochinver and show how the species may vary in appearance. The moth on the left, with the saddle mark the same shade as the ground colour, is the form which occurs as a small percentage of the population on moorland, here in Northern Scotland. The moth in the centre represents the most common form seen in this area.

Gwen Richards

Hebrew Character moths Orthosia gothica Torbreck. Photo G. Richards
Hebrew Character moths Orthosia gothica Torbreck. Photo G. Richards

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Recent Sightings

Kittiwake

c100 adult and 1st-winter birds feeding off Clachtoll (DAH) (24/09)

Tufted Duck

two male birds on Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (22/09)

Merlin

single bird near Stoer Village Hall (DAH) (21/09)

UPDATE on colour-ringed Oystercatcher

we have heard back from the Icelandic Wader Group regarding the colour-ringed Oystercatcher spotted at Bay of Culkein on Tuesday. It was ringed, as an adult, near its nest while it was territory-guarding on 19th May this year; the location was Eskifjorour which is on the east coast of Iceland. We will post a short article on the Field Club's website in the next few days regarding other sightings of colour-ringed birds recorded in Assynt (DAH) (20/09)

Pink-footed Goose

c225, in four skeins, heading east over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH). Oh boy, it's autumn! (20/09)

Wigeon

single male in eclipse plumage Loch Inver (DAH) (20/09)

Manx Shearwater

young bird rescued from a garden at Inchnadamph (Chris Rix/Andy Summers). The bird, which was well off-course, was successfully released at Stoer the next day. (18/09)

Oystercatcher

four birds resting on rocks Bay of Culkein (DAH). One of these birds, an adult, had a combination of coloured rings on its legs. The details have been submitted to the appropriate ringing scheme, which appears to be the International Wader Study Group, and we will report back once we hear from them. (18/09)

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