Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Firing blanks

What do you know? After sending the MV out into the garden to reignite the 'Warren Road Back Garden Moth Year List', and being successful with a Spring Usher, the past two nights trapping have produced... bugger all! Both nights have been very mild, mostly cloudy and I have even inspected the trap in the wee small hours dressed but in my jimjams - and not felt even chilly. I'm not being greedy, a Chestnut would have done!

So, how do I break this blank spell? Make a sacrifice to the Moth Gods? Should I just accept that in suburbia at this time of year a blank night is the norm? Change the bulb? Ah, that jogs a memory. I seem to remember reading somewhere that you should change your MV bulb every season as it loses some of its ability to function at 100%. Is that something that the bulb manufacturers invented to ensure that we buy them more frequently? Whatever the truth is, I will replace the bulb tonight that is, admittedly, at least into its third year.

There is no doubt that those MVs operating in woodland at this time of year are the ones that are going to catch higher numbers. One chilly December night I drove from Brighton back to north Surrey and was amazed at the number of moths that the car headlights picked up as I drove through the countryside, particularly well wooded areas. Literally hundreds of them. I put the MV out in the garden as soon as I got home, even though it was quite cold, convinced by my drive home that I would be successful. The next morning the trap was empty.

3 comments:

  1. Suburban effect I think. I've had my Synergetic/CFL combo trap out a few nights - scored absolutely nothing so far. I rarely get anything in the winter months (last Jan was exceptional), and I think that the absence of decent woodland close to my house is the major factor.
    Meanwhile a recorder only a few miles south of me but in a more rural setting has recorded a Brimstone Moth already this year!

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  2. High hopes tonight Skev - new bulb in situ plus quite a few gnat-like things buzzing about and it's only 19.30hrs...

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  3. That is exactly the same case for me. Driving back twice from family in Bradninch, I come over a high hill and see a few moths up there. Inspired, I put the trap out thinking it is warmer down at lower elevations and zilch.

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