30 Days Wild - Day Two - Treasure a moth

Mischa Cross

A passion for moths on Day two of 30 Days Wild...

I am very fortunate that I start every working day doing something Wild! I am responsible for checking the two permanent moth traps that run 365 days a year at Pitsford Water nature reserve in Northants (with the help of some wonderful volunteers so I can have weekends and holidays!). 

First thing in the morning, I will check the traps, count and record all the moths that are hiding in the egg boxes in the traps, and set them free again. I use the species that I find in the traps as a barometer to tell me when the seasons are changing. The start of spring always kicks off for me when the Hebrew Characters and Common Quakers come out in force.

This year their flight season was very abruptly cut short by the ‘Beast from the East’ and the traps were quite empty for a while until the start of the late spring and early summer species start to arrive. They started to trickle in this year very slowly as the weather was still so changeable for a while, with one or two Flame Shoulders and Swallow Prominents.

But now with the weather appearing more stable (for now), the traps are starting to fill up with old friends I have not seen for a year like the Lime Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Buff Tip, White Ermine and Muslin Moth.

Every year I hope to see a new species for the site, and most years I do, despite us having been trapping continuously for nearly 20 years and having a species list of 406 macro moths.



Ways to Go Wild this June...

Set up a simple light trap and see what moths you can spot in your own garden or local park

Events during June for 30 Days Wild...

We've got loads going on all through June to help you go wild in our three counties. Visit our calendar for a full list of events.