9th August 2018 was the first proper day of rain in VC29 (Vice county Cambridgeshire) since May, there were a few spots and a bit of storminess earlier in the month, but a proper drizzle turned downpour yesterday. I was not holding out much hope of a night of mothing. So, I asked the members of the Moths UK Flying Tonight Facebook group thought about “lighting up” on a wet night.
First response was not a positive one: “Don’t bother if it’s raining, nothing much will be flying.” But, subsequent responders said that they “had some great moths on rainy nights!” And suggested it might be worth lighting up after all.
“Some of my best catches have been on wet nights especially if it is drizzly and not too heavy…I have trapped on many a rainy night and had some of my best catches on them, I don’t usually bother if its heavy rain but drizzle to light rain is still worth it as long as not too windy I find…Moths don’t mind the rain. I’ve had some of my best nights during drizzle, even steady rain. As long as you waterproof everything you will be fine…It’s the wind, not the rain, that I find is dire for mothing..cold wet and windy being fatal.”
So after all that I let the moths make their choice and was rewarded with a few: Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Mother of Pearl, 3-4 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, a Turnip, 1 a Silver Y, and 4-5 unidentified micro moths. That was it. It was worth a try but I think the rain got heavier in the night and the wind picked up. I reckon I will set up on the garden table next time if it’s raining and put some white sheeting under our patio umbrella…