As some of you may be already know, Tony Prichard has decided to stand down as County recorder for moths after many years of doing the job. Thanks must go to him for all the good work he has done over the years in promoting moths in Suffolk and beyond. Rest assured, Tony intends to keep studying moths so will still be out recording in the field.
After much thought I have decided to take on the job. As the County recorder role involves quite a number of different tasks it was decided at a recent meeting of some of the core members of the Suffolk group that others would help out with these. I will still be the main point of contact for all records, queries etc. My first main task will be to get the County database up to date including any outstanding verification of records. This may take some time as I don’t want to be stuck behind a computer screen for ages now the field season has begun! My priority will always be to go out in the field and record moths, followed by dealing with any work generated from my recording. Some of the other members of the group have offered to help with the data entry so this will hopefully speed up the process. I’ll be using Mapmate as my recording software so those who use that will be able to transfer records over easily once I’ve set up the new system. Excel spreadsheets will also be OK, but I’m happy to receive records in whatever format at the moment. In the future I hope to put together an ‘ideal format’ recording form that I hope people will adopt. Now is also the chance for any of you that have outstanding records from previous years that you haven’t sent in to Tony to get them in to me for entry into the County database. The preferred E:Mail for records is firstname.lastname@example.org. As the switchover process has only just begun please bear with me if I do not respond straight away to any messages.
Part of the County recorders job is to report back to recorders. This will be done in two ways. Firstly, the annual report on moths for the SNS transactions will begin again. As there hasn’t been a report for a few years the first one will be a catch-up on all the new species recorded in that time along with notable sightings of other moths. This report will be quite a big task so it will be split between myself covering the micro-moths and Matthew Deans covering the macro-moths. Also, starting with 2019, at the end of each year once most of the records are in I intend to write a report on all notable sightings during the year in the County for anyone who has sent in records. This is done by other Counties and I thought it was a good idea for Suffolk. Another reason to get those records in!
With the rise of online social media platforms the group has moved into some of these as another way of getting information out about Suffolk’s moths. The Suffolk Moths blog will continue as it has done, so this is a good place to find out about events and recent sightings. It does rely on people putting posts on there though, something I want to encourage more of. There is also a Suffolk Moth group page on Facebook now – ‘Recording moths in Suffolk’. This will be another way to find out news and events that are planned. This is being run by other moth group members not by myself. Matthew Deans has set up a Suffolk Moths Whatsapp group, contact him for more details on this.
Another development is a new Suffolk Moth Group website. As the old one has broken down in parts it was decided to build a new one. This is only just beginning production and will be kindly put together for us by the Norfolk County recorder Jim Wheeler along similar lines to their excellent website. It’s going to be a while before this comes online so watch this space.
With regard to field events, there are no official ones for the group this year as I haven’t had the time to put a programme together. There will be moth meetings going on, but they will be at more short notice so if you are interested in getting out with the group I would encourage you to watch the moth blog or the Facebook page for details of these. The group’s annual indoor meeting will also continue. Hopefully next year when things have settled down there will be time to organize an events programme.
Finally, a word from me. I know in today’s modern world people want answers to questions and messages instantly. If you do contact me, please bear in mind that I am a very busy person working a full-time job and I have other things that take up my time away from the world of moths. So please be patient, remember that I am a volunteer giving up some of my free time for this. I will respond when time allows or get someone else to help you. If you have a moth you can’t identify, try using one of the group’s online platforms and there will be someone out there who can help as well as myself.
Good luck for the coming season ahead – Happy moth-ing. Neil