Friday, 9 March 2012

No data = data

I think it was Bill Oddie who advocated the practice of wringing birding mileage out of 'nothing'. The example he used (if it were indeed he) was the art of turning a perceived lack of data into bird report entries, such as 'No breeding Stonechats at Empty Common this year', or 'observer reports no spring passage of Whinchat at Boring Reservoir' and 'No Wood Sandpipers at Smelly Sewage Farm for the first time since 1957'.

So, in light of nothing to talk about, let me present my very own post about - lack of data.

So far this year I have not recorded a single Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana). This is highly unusual in that over the past few years it has become one of my commoner winter moths. Am I facing a local extinction or a plummet in the local population? Has this lack of presence been noticed elsewhere?

No data = data. As the Americans would say (and also our increasingly brainwashed youth), go figure...


  1. Big decline in my garden. See page 42 of my 2010 Whetstone Moth Report (and note that only 86 individuals in 2011 so not a temporary blip after all):

  2. Massive drop for me too Steve. I think you could be onto something very serious for this antipodean settler. I have none to report either, even though by this time last year I had seen a highly significant one. Also no Clouded Drab, well not until today that is.

  3. By the way, if you are looking for some more positive news - Gordon phoned me during the week to say he'd had a Shag at Mercer's Park and not for the first time either). I don't know how he does it!

  4. Thanks Skev and Jerry, maybe something like a parasite has got at them?