I have recently been organising all my moth photographs, adding the new ABH checklist numbers and changing the names where necessary. It was a long job with photographs of moths and dissections on both my computer and Flickr. During the process I repeatedly found myself thinking ‘I haven’t seen that species in the garden for ages’ so I decided to check my records for the facts.
I remember the summer of 2006 as being the best season for moths since I became seriously interested in 2003. A good year for migrants too, when even my poor-for-migrants garden recorded Bordered Straw, Scarce Bordered Straw and Small Mottled Willow. In checking the records I discovered there were no less than 50 species recorded that year that I have not recorded since, including lovely moths like Scallop Shell and Netted Pug.
A decade on the general decline of moths is also, probably, partly responsible for my failure to record some of those 50 species since 2006, although I continue to record a handful of new ones each year and in 2015 a friend of mine, just a stone’s throw away, recorded several species in his garden I have not seen here, so there is still potential for more garden firsts.
Whatever the reasons behind fluctuating moth records, here’s hoping 2016 is a good one for all of us!