Moths - lack of

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Primrose
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Primrose » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:23 am

Colin, that is a big increase in bat population over two years. I guess it must be down to a combination of favourable weather and insect availability.
I was thinking that there ought to be a good bat population in Scotland. There always seem to be plenty of midges up there !
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby vivienz » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:18 pm

I've noticed a reasonable number of moths around in the garden so far. Not many butterflies, mind. We had a real treat on one of the hot evenings last week - sitting out in the garden and a hummingbird hawk moth was feeding for a good long time from a clump of verbena bonariensis. We've also had quite a few stag beetles in the garden this year and seen the males and females. Fantastic creatures.
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Colin Miles » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:02 pm

I counted 227 bats last night which is good. They are the 'normal' Pipistrelles, not the soprano ones. A maternity roost so maybe double that number with the youngsters. On Friday we have the bat experts in so am hoping they will find more elsewhere. Previously we have found Daubentons and others.

And today lots of Meadows Browns and Ringlets in the NBGW. We also did a Moth trap last night and this yielded quite a good variety, including a Sandy Carpet not seen there before.
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Primrose
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Primrose » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:30 am

Colin, intrigued to know how you actually count the bats if they are flying around. How do you know you're not counting the same one twice? Or do you count them when they are stationary in a roosting position?
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Colin Miles » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:10 pm

Primrose - the method of counting bats is to find the exit point, position yourself comfortably and count them as they come out. They started at 9.38 pm, a few minutes later than usual, and finished at around 10.23pm. Previous counts were
23rd June 2012 - 231

22nd June 2013 - 61

2014 - no survey

20th June 2015 - 222

18th June 2016 - 284
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Monika » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:19 pm

Still not many moths about, compared to previous years, but at last quite a few garden butterflies have appeared: several red admirals and a few small tortoiseshell, peacock and comma. Earlier counts of meadowbrown, ringlet and speckled wood were dismal and even worse for large and small skippers.
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby tigerburnie » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:58 pm

My Buddleias are covered with Red Admirals, but scarcely anything else, no Peacocks or Painted Ladies and few Cabbage Whites(shame but my brassicas are happy).
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Johnboy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:57 pm

When I moved here nearing 40 years ago night driving was nightmare because of the flying insects and on say a 50 mile journey at night you would have to stop and physically clean the windscreen and today I can do the same journey without even stopping. Perhaps we did have too many night insects then but there certainly is a distinct lack of them now. We do not seem to get the balmy humid nights we got back then and here a fortnight ago our night temperature was 3C and this entire year we have had very cold night temperatures. In the Welsh Marches this has been quite a cold year and may account for the lack of night flying insects. These insects need heat to give them mobility.
This is only my personal thought. Does anybody agree with me?
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Monika
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Monika » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:17 pm

Johnboy, I so agree with you. We can have windows open at night with the lights on and hardly anything comes in, no moths or daddy longlegs and, as you say, windscreens remain clean after evening drives. When I wrote a letter to that effect to a national newspaper last summer, it was pointed out in a reply that the reason was cars' aerodynamic designs. Some 30 years ago, a wildlife organisation (and I can't remember which one) conducted an insect survey by asking people to count the squashed insects on their number plates after an evening drive. If this survey could be repeated and the results compared, I am sure the difference would be very obvious.
We sit outside most dry evenings (no TV, you see) in the dark and even in our garden which is covered in insect-attracting flowers at the moment: red valerian, lavender, evening primrose, hemp agrimony, purple loosestrife, the last buddleias etc etc, there are very, very few moths about, quite different from the time we moved here nearly 40 years ago.
Butterflies put in quite a good performance lately with a lot of red admirals and a few peacocks, small tortoiseshell, painted lady and whites, but it's the meadow butterflies and the moths which are missing, I think!
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby oldherbaceous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:38 am

Very interesting, Johnboy, definitely low in numbers here too.....I wonder if it will have a knock on effect on the Bat population.
And whether it is anything to do with the Moth population, or the wet weather, I have noticed quite a few Bats out hunting early in the evening, before it is completely dark.
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Johnboy
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Johnboy » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:50 pm

Hi OH,
I haven't noticed a decrease in bat activity but to be honest I haven't been looking. I have three different species of bats here two in my loft, pipistrelle and long eared, and daubenton in the barn. I need something to distract me at present as I have managed to break my left arm and can't really do very much. A bat watch maybe!
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Johnboy » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:06 pm

Hi Monika,
Stream-lining I think not. It may cut a few out but I very often do an 80 mile round journey and I go through mainly very rural meadow and woodland and these insects simply are not about. Theories are fine but theories have to be proven. My house doesn't have streamline windows and on a balmy night my kitchen windows would be covered trying to get to the light and as yet we haven't had a balmy night for several years now.
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby robo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:21 pm

I've never seen a bat around were we live but that's not surprising as we live in a very large town that had a lot of heavy industry but not these days ,we probably have them down the plot as that backs on to wild fields , when we had the chalet in Wales there were hundreds in fact that many it was impossible to fish the river at dusk with bats flying into your line
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby oldherbaceous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:27 pm

Sorry to hear about your arm, Johnboy.......I broke mine many years ago, and it makes so many jobs, very awkward to do. Hope it is soon on the mend for you!
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Gerry » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:24 pm

A thought about modern car's aerodynamics being the reason for lack of insects on windscreens. I presume anyone driving a Landrover will still get a lot on the windscreen.

I bet they don't.
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