Friday, 31 August 2012

Moths and Napton Reservoir

If you were up and about between 3 and 4am this morning and looked up you would have been treated to stunning display of the night sky.
I have become engrossed in moth recording and keep putting blogging off till tomorrow - apologies to you all. While inputting and updating Dave’s and my own records I started wondering what the impact of a wet year is having on our moth catches. June was poor with only recoding 79 species compared to 130 in 2011 in my own garden but I actually had my best July since I began mothing so the variety of species is not a problem, What is horrifying is that in the period January to July I only trapped 6000 moths compared to 10,000 last year in the same period. Dave is showing an even more dramatic decline in his garden with 14,000 last year to 5000 this year. Ok its only 2 gardens but when I rang round trapping friends they all were reporting at least a 40% decline so that starts to become a frightening statistic if you start thinking on a county or National level, and that’s just moths. Dragonfly and Butterfly recorders are reporting a bad year as well so not surprisingly many bird species have either failed to breed or did not bother having a second brood and cleared out early. Certainly the lack of second broods amongst the warblers at the pond is very noticeable.
I also discovered we had been a wee too enthusiastic in our identification with some of our micro moths so had to revisit our photos and knock a few off. Might have been disastrous for us but we have already caught another potential 24 micros to add to our list this month so no harm done and a good learning curve.
Met up with Dave at the Just So for lunch had a walk around the Bridge Nursery garden and Napton Reservoir. A few butterflies and dragonflies noted at the nursery while Napton Reservoir had 2 Pochard, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Raven and Buzzard. There were high numbers of Southern and Brown Hawker dragonflies plus 3 Grass Snake sunning themselves despite a cool light north westerly breeze.

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