31 October, 2011

I Don't Like Street Lights

As Autumn moves on, you'll be glad to know that the constant hijacking by moths of this blog should be coming to an end.

... but for now, you'll have to endure some recent autumnal additions to the garden this past October...

Barred Sallow; a classic yellow, orange and brown autumnal moth

Black Rustic, such an unflattering name for quite a smart moth

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Hoary Footman

Just 10 years ago, this species was confined to a few coastal locations in the South-west, but more recently has seen an expansion in its range into many south London gardens. It appears to be thriving here, with 6 moths caught in 2011. This tatty example on 3rd October must have been part of a smaller 2nd generation, that flies later in the Autumn, after the summer generation.

Red-line Quaker

Just as it looked like October moth trapping was going to end on a high, I came home the other night to find that the whole of our road had been installed with new extra bright white street light, replacing the standard orange light. This is very annoying, and every moth trappers worst nightmare (along with blowing ballasts, and a trap full of Hornets). Light pollution is bad enough around here, and the garden is now lit up like a bloody Christmas tree, so its doesn't take an expert to work out whats probably going to happen to my catches next year.*

Anyway, I'm off to catch me a Death's Head Hawk-moth to mark this seasonal occasion.

*if you happen to have a few days worth of free time on your hands with nothing better to do, and you don't know what artificial light; including moth traps, can do to insect populations, then this and this article make for a long, boring good read ).


Bob Bushell said...

Really nice Bill.

Fay said...

I'm an amateur astronomer - and wildlife enthusiast - and I hate artificial lights at night. Yes, we do need some lights, of course, but what we have now is excessive, with security lights and street lighting. Not only does it block our view of the night sky, it also does untold harm to insects, birds and other wildlife - and there's evidence it has adverse effects on human health, too.
Great blog.