We have been recording moths at Natural Surroundings for as long as the Centre has been here and that is almost 30 years! In those early days, the grounds were basically just a grassy field, with three lime trees, the wet woodland and floodplain meadow. We recorded large numbers of moths then (I wish I could find a list from those days) now with many additional native tree and flower species and ponds the habitat is very diverse and here at Bayfield our totals are over 700 species of moth. This is quite incredible for one site and we are lucky to have the attention of a group of ‘Mothers’ who regularly attend our trap openings and are largely responsible for the identification of many moths. This year has been no exception and we have put three traps out on Monday nights on 35 occasions from March to December.
The total numbers of moths counted this year was 4485 of 337 species This was a good total, bearing in mind, some Monday nights were very cold (remember the spring was decidedly cool!) and others were very windy. We of course only see a tiny fraction of the moths that are on the wing each evening and the Tuesday morning counts do not include any day-flying moths. Natural Surroundings continues to be one of the most consistantly recorded and diverse moth sites in the county. The highlight of the year was finding a Cliften Nonpareil or Blue Underwing, an immigrant moth not often recorded. Ours was spotted by a visitor during the daytime, resting on a poplar tree beside the river. It coincided with a warm wind from the south which brought in many migrants to sites around the east coast.
The most recorded moth was the Large Yellow Underwing, no surprises here, as it is a very common and widespread species and has probably been the most recorded moth each year.