After hearing so many reports of great December catches (especially the epic catches of around 1500 Mottled Umber in one heath trap) I chose to do my monthly surveys at Bagley Woods and Harcourt Arboretum last night, having waited for the promised 12oC and cloud to maximise the catch. The wind blew the cover off some electrics which then got wet and shorted meaning my Bagley traps were all empty though there were still 8 Mottled Umber on a nearby wall suggesting it could have been fairly good. This gave me some hope that my Harcourt traps would make up for an extremely disappointing start to the day. One trap was empty, the other had 7 Mottled Umber and 1 Scrobipalpa costella. Not a single Winter Moth or December Moth. My new garden, despite the mild weather, has yielded nothing but the odd Epiphyas postvittana, to the point where I am considering saving electricity and turning it off for a few weeks or so. What this so-far lack of winter will mean for next year's moths I don't know, but it isn't usually a good thing so I'm praying for some frosts. Marc Botham, Didcot
P.S Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!!