Our last moth survey for 2018 took place on 20 October, our lovely nocturnal moth-ers staying up half the night trapping, recording and releasing the late season flyers, between cups of hot tea. With many thanks to Alan Prior and his team, we now have the figures for the year.
Over 13 000 moths have been counted at Sun Rising since Alan began surveying in 2014. And of those many thousands, there are 473 different species, from the tiny little grass moths to the great big hawkmoths. Even with such great numbers, though, the news isn’t easy: generally moth numbers are still reducing around the country. On 20 October, the Figure of Eight was found, an increasingly rare autumn moth, which gives hope that Sun Rising is offering a haven for creatures that are struggling elsewhere.
I know some don’t much like moths – they flutter around in the darkness, seemingly clumsily. But up close they are an absolute delight. Who wouldn’t fall for a furry little orange fellow like this, the feathered thorn, photographed at Sun Rising last year … ?