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Seeing more moths...

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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 14:10   #1
Andy1979
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Seeing more moths...

I have been moth-ing since 2005 (very slowly at first and increasingly so nowadays). Most of my time has been spent in Kent with fairly frequent trips to Dorset. I have now recorded over 1000 species of moth (macro and micro and leafmine/early stage etc).

Things naturally slow down and new species become less frequent with the more you see. So how can I up my species list with visits outside of Kent? I would love to do the Highlands one spring, but what other speciality sites might offer a good increase in species numbers without needing to trap regularly?

Cheers,

Andy M
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 16:04   #2
andyadcock
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The obvious thing to do, as with birds, would be to trap a range of habitats. Here in Russia, I live amidst mixed Pine / Birch forest and heath / bog and I get some speciality species that I just wouldn't get in any other habitat.
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 17:08   #3
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I would suggest the same. A change of habitat could do wonders.
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Old Monday 5th November 2018, 18:07   #4
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Andy

Are you running your own traps off generators? If so, how many?

In no particular order:-
(1) maximising your coverage when you trap;
(2) joining events and field trips to take advantage of local knowledge and broader coverage; &
(3) finding out good local habitat where locations/reserves will welcome records.

That said, 1,000 is a lot of moths so any increase will be incremental.

All the best
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 07:16   #5
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With 1000 already under the belt it may be time to start targeting species or habitats: get the guides out and read up on the ones you haven't got.

Establish:

- what habitat you should be in
- where that is
- flight periods especially maximum numbers

and see what that tells you about where and when to take your holidays and weekend breaks next year.

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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 20:43   #6
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It's quite an interesting problem - I imagine you can't just swing up somewhere in a target moth's range, pop out the trap and bingo - you'd need to be quite specific in locating the trap (as a few hundred yards could make all the difference) and it would need to be at a location where trapping was allowed and your gear would be safe. Is there any kind of "network" amongst moth-ers, where you can visit people who regularly trap moths you'd like to see? If you want to run your own traps maybe they could give advice about nearby sites, if you're happy just to see the moths you could do the rounds of various bird observatories?
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Old Monday 12th November 2018, 06:31   #7
Andy1979
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Thanks all. I am part of a small crew but we have only really done a great deal in Kent (across most habitats in Kent as well). I guess Scotland is one option then perhaps the fens etc. There are still plenty to see in Kent but seeing as how limited time always is, I was looking for some top speciality sites away from Kent that we could visit to maximise our potential for new moths.
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Old Monday 12th November 2018, 08:07   #8
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A week on the Scillies for autumn migrants? (+birds maybe). Presumably not many other SW specialities otherwise. Might be a bit hit and miss though - presume Dungeness or other Kent sites would get the same or better?
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2018, 18:19   #9
Paul Chapman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSA View Post
It's quite an interesting problem - I imagine you can't just swing up somewhere in a target moth's range, pop out the trap and bingo - you'd need to be quite specific in locating the trap (as a few hundred yards could make all the difference).
Which is why accurate information on location and timing and the ability to run a number of traps is important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSA View Post
Is there any kind of "network" amongst moth-ers, where you can visit people who regularly trap moths you'd like to see? If you want to run your own traps maybe they could give advice about nearby sites, if you're happy just to see the moths you could do the rounds of various bird observatories?
Building a network is important. Local moth groups field events at locations can be a good way of seeing a selection of species from a range of traps. Otherwise if trapping separately contact in advance and see if permission is possible and obtain any permits or similar permissions. Some sites such as public picnic sites or open public sites are known by mothers as good sites generally.

If travelling a distance, staying at a holiday cottage or a B&B in habitat where you can run traps off mains electricity can be a good move over a few days so increasing the chance of a weather window.

All the best
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Last edited by Paul Chapman : Tuesday 13th November 2018 at 18:23.
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Old Tuesday 13th November 2018, 18:44   #10
Paul Chapman
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If not already a member, I recommend BENHS membership:-

http://www.benhs.org.uk/membership/

And events:-

http://www.benhs.org.uk/events/event...loadable-list/

All the best
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