Wednesday 7 February 2024

New annual reports from Les Finch and Martin Finch

For many years Les Finch and Martin Finch have been producing a series of fascinating reports that explore and analyse the huge amount of moth recording that they carry out. Three new reports for 2023 have been uploaded to the Berkshire Moth Group website, and are now available from the publications page.

At their main trapping site in a Maidenhead garden, up to seven traps were run on each of 337 nights across the year, totalling 2,041 ‘trap nights’. As a result, they saw a few moths: 33,758 macro moths, of 277 species, including 6 species new to the tetrad.

The report analyses these records in relation to previous years, to weather conditions, to longer-term changes in climate and much more, providing lots to think about and to compare to experience at other sites. Here is just one of the many charts included, this one summarising the accumulation of species and individuals during the years 2022 and 2023. Intriguingly, moth abundance recovered well in 2023 compared to the very hot summer of 2022, but the total number of species seen was a little lower in 2023:

Somehow Les also found time to record at two other sites during the year, and has provided shorter reports summarising the results from Bisham Woods and a privately-owned site in Cookham Dean.

Many thanks to Les and Martin for putting so much effort into their recording and analysis, and for sharing the reports with the Berks Moth Group. Well worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these links, Martin. The reports make interesting reading, as always!

    As it happens I've just finished my own garden summary for the annual Bucks Invertebrate Group newsletter. During 2023 I ran at least one light on 320 nights, equating to 529 of Les's "trap nights" (I can only manage a maximum of two traps in my back garden rather than his seven!). The total number of moths for the year came to 34,986 (of which 23,884 were macros), drawn from 712 species (of which 350 were macros). Compared to 2022 both diversity and abundance were down, but only marginally and I suspect that was mostly due to the generally poor weather we had in July. 13 species were new to the site list, comprising eleven micros and two macros. As Les also found, the year's best performer was Large Yellow Underwing (2,055 counted) but in second place here was Dark Arches (1,804).