Ivy Blossom

Searching ivy blossom at night is a particularly effective way of recording moths during the late autumn period and even on the coldest of nights it is surprising how many moths make it to blossom.

Simply search by torchlight, looking for the reflection of the moths’ eyes. By carrying out a daytime recce it is possible to plan a walk route to pass by lots of ivy blossom, searching as you go.

At this time of year it can be a draw for migrant insects as well as resident species. In recent years birdwatchers on the Isles of Scilly have adopted this method of recording moths with particular effectiveness. You don’t have to be in such far-flung places to adopt this method of recording moths, however, and most places in the country should have ivy blossom within reach.

You never know what other nocturnal nightlife you might bump into on your walk, and the organisers of Moth Night bumped into a Natterer’s bat hanging up in ivy during an experimental walk in 2016!

Images (left to right): Dark Swordgrass, Red Underwing, Vestal, Pale Pinion and Bloxworth Snout. (All images courtesy of Mel Bellingham)


Last updated: 01 September 2017