Meet our Moth Tutor Dave Grundy!
Dave Grundy is an experienced naturalist and wildlife consultant specialising in bird, butterfly and moth surveying. He has a particular interest in micro-moths and regularly leads training courses and public events in this Lepidoptera group, as well as in other natural history subjects. Since 2003 he has organised and administered the Garden Moth Scheme, which now covers over 300 gardens across Britain and Ireland. The scheme monitors changes in the fortunes of common moth species and uses the data as indicators of environmental change.
We recently caught up with Dave to talk about all things moths…
What inspired you to first study moths and how long have you been studying them?
I’ve now been looking at moths for 25 years and I started because I felt that by looking at moths I could make a difference to nature conservation in Britain. Moths are such great indicators of the health of our countryside and we know so little about them. Every moth we record adds value!
What is your favourite moth and why?
Such a difficult question – usually it is the last moth that I saw or the last moth that I saw for the first time! So, in Europe that was the Moon Moth in Spain in May, but in Britain was the Marsh Moth in Lincolnshire last week, and last exciting moth I saw was on a moth course last weekend where we saw 3 stunning Buff-tip Moths together, looking like broken twigs!
What is the best advice you could give to someone who is interested in learning about moths?
Get started right now! Come on a moth course with any of the great instructors of FSC moth courses. Buy a copy of the great moth field guide by Waring and Townsend and get looking by torchlight.
What moth course are you most excited to run this year?
I can’t really say because I have 2 favourite field centres for moths - both surrounded by great coastal countryside – so I have to name 2 courses – Moths of the Pembrokeshire Coast and Beginners Moths of the Devon Coast (also suitable for those with some previous experience as well as beginners).
What is the most useful item you never leave home without when you go moth trapping/releasing?
My torch, never go anywhere looking for moths without a torch and look out for the moth’s eyes reflecting in the torchlight – it makes them easier to spot!
What is your best memory of leading an FSC moth course?
That’s a tough one! Maybe pulling a rare Jersey Mocha out of the moth trap with a group in the grounds of FSC Slapton Ley, Devon the year before last!
Do you have any exciting moth plans or projects coming up in the future?
I was amazed to be asked, but I’ve been invited to help out at the Asian Lepidopterists Conference in Kolkata, India and to look at some of the stunning Indian moths with moth recorders there – it should be the trip of a lifetime in September this year.
What is your best moth fact?!
There’s so many fascinating moth facts, that it’s difficult to pick one! – How about this one? Emperor Moth males have such sensitive antennae that they can ‘smell’ the pheromones of a female from over 2 miles away!
Moth trapping at FSC Preston Montford Eyed Hawkmoth and Light Emerald Moths
Friday, June 14, 2019