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This beautiful moth, which flies during the day at this time of year, appears to be under-recorded in D&G. There are only 24 records (1981 to 2015) from 12 sites but I am guessing that there will be many more – probably everywhere where there are mature birch woodlands. However, it is difficult to find because it spends most of its time flying around the tops of birch trees just as they are just coming into leaf. It chooses to fly on warm, still, sunny days, normally in late morning although it does come down to the ground on occasions.

Look for this moth (perhaps with binoculars?) flying rapidly over the tree tops in the sunshine with its orange underwings showing up very obviously. Although you might be a long way away there is nothing else that behaves and looks like this making ID fairly straight forward. Most records seem to have come from birch growing on peat mosses and it has been found in all three vice-counties.

My appeal for you all to look for this moth is a bit late in the year as it has been found from 30th March to 29th April in our area although it continues into the first two weeks of May elsewhere in Scotland. However, the current unseasonable period of fine weather might give us the next few days when this moth might still be on the wing.

I would, of course, be very pleased to hear from anyone who has spotted this exquisite spring species.

MOTW – Orange Underwing
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