Moths at Lyndon

It is true to say that the focus of the Lyndon Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve is on our pair of breeding ospreys and their young. However, there is a lot more than ospreys to discover here at Lyndon, and one of the many non-avian wildlife wonders are moths! Moths can be found all over the reserve, however it’s closer to the centre where we have a team of experts and enthusiasts who monitor the moth population.

Moth trapping has been taking place at Lyndon for a number of years. The moths are caught overnight in designed traps and are then identified and recorded the next morning, before being released back into the wild. These records are sent to the county recorder who forwards them to Butterfly Conservation. These surveys and records are very important indicators of the species of moths we have on the reserve and the state of their population.

Sadly, moth populations in the UK are in decline. The factors behind this include pesticide use in agriculture, residential development and poor habitat management. The effects of climate change are still being worked out.

The variety of habitats found on the Lyndon reserve, ranging from woodland to grassland, reedbed to scrub, helps to attract a wide range of moths – to date over 270 species have been recorded in the small area around the visitor centre!

The moths are always handled with care, of course, are only kept in the identifying pots for short periods of time and are released in safe places afterwards. The group are always happy to show moths to visitors and explain what they are doing. If anyone is interested in coming along and learning more about moths, please email me at kbrookes@rutlandwater.org.uk and we can let you know when the next trapping session will be held.

Here are some photographs of the moths we have caught this year, taken by Brian Webster.

Eyed hawkmoth

Eyed hawkmoth

Privet hawkmoth

Privet hawkmoth

Buff-tip

Buff-tip

Burnished brass

Burnished brass

Peach blossom

Peach blossom

Bordered sallow

Bordered sallow

Spectacle

Spectacle

Micro moth - Acleris forsskaleana

Micro moth – Acleris forsskaleana

Yellow tail

Yellow tail