Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A big anticlimax

The Phoenix - one of the few moths that bothered to turn up to the gathering last night

With low cloud, oppressive mugginess and the promise of thunder, I switched the MV on at dusk and rubbed my hands together in an act of anticipation and excitement. There was no moth beyond the bounds of possibility in such conditions!

Such expectation was further fuelled when I took a break from the 'Royal-baby-TV-lovefest' that was dominating all 268 channels that I can receive, and found 30+ moths dancing around the light and resting on a nearby wall, including a Beautiful Hook-tip and two Small Emeralds. I went to bed full of hope and even set the alarm to go off a bit earlier as I was bound to take longer to process the massive catch that would be there in the morning.

When morning came I near as damn it ran to the MV. The first sign that all had not gone according to the script was a virtually empty wall by the trap - when numbers are good there can be 30-40 moths resting here. I peered through the clear plastic funnel and could see the sparsely populated egg boxes. This was not good. It did not take me long to process the 100+ macro moths present. There was not much of note, apart from there being not one Heart and Dart or Large Yellow Underwing, only two Dark Arches and a few piffling Uncertains and Rustics - these largely 'brown jobs' are the bulk staple biomass of MV traps up and down Britain.

Where are they?

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