Thursday, 28 January 2016

Since 2006

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.
Netted Pug, Halesowen 2006
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!
Patrick Clement


  1. It's all in the location I think Patrick. In 2015, I recorded more Scallop Shell here than I've ever seen before. Maybe the Bilberry plants I've put in might increase the numbers even more (if those pesky rabbits and pheasants leave the plugs alone). An interesting post though.

    1. Just one clump of introduced Bilberry here but plenty of alternative food plant in the form of Sallows along the damp stream valley.

  2. Very envious of the Netted pug - I would love to see one of those! I looked for larvae on Bredon Hill a couple of seasons ago but failed to find them.
    Maybe 2016 is the year!

    1. They are certainly better looking than the average Pug!


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