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It has been an exciting year for a keen moth-spotter, with so many caterpillars and moths emerging at each of our garden centres, especially back in July when we spent three solid days collecting and spotting for Living Records. Out of the hundreds that we identified, one particular variety stood out from the crowd, none other than the elusive Buff tip. At first we saw teams of little green ‘wriggly things’ working together to eat leaves on some of our specimen birch trees and it wasn’t long before they had grown to about the length of my finger and were feeding alone, merrily stripping through the foliage. The full size caterpillars will soon be found in all sorts of odd places as they seek somewhere to overwinter and I can’t wait to see them transform into the brilliantly disguised Buff tip moths.

I am also really looking forward to discovering more native and immigrant moths this October at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Centre. The five day course will see us searching the beautiful ancient grassland and coastline around Kingcombe for as many varieties of special autumn moths as we can find – and with any luck we’ll catch sight of the infamous Blair’s Wainscot.

Steve

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