My name is and I am the author of Views From an Urban Lake and Mothin' in The Garden blogs, I have been a birdwatcher my whole life, with a father like mine (Bo Beolens AKA the Fatbirder) it was always likely, but with my twitching days long gone (Yes I did a bit, no I don't miss it) I have found myself more interested in my local patch and a more varid selection of wildlife, and I am not totally focused on birds any more, I love Dragonflies, Moths (as you can see from this site) are a huge passion, butterflies and other insects also interest me, basically if it walks, swims or flies in the wild I want to see it.

I have 3 kids (Owen, Toby and Bo) and a wonderful partner (Zoe)

What is this blog about? 


This blog is all about my exploits into moth trapping in my small urban garden (it actually covers 2 gardens as I have moved since I first started the blog and any trapping I do away from home). I should also point out that I release the moths the following evening, I do my best to never harm them or keep them from doing their thing for long.


Why I Started:


Over the years, as a birdwatcher I have seen a few memorable moths, I recall seeing Elephant Hawk Moths while doing volunteer wardening at RSPB Minsmere (1992), I recall seeing both Convolvulus and Deaths-head Hawk Moth on the isles of Scilly (and October sometime, the year eludes me), but it was finding a mint moth in my garden one year (around 4 years ago) that really sparked my intereset, and it was from there that I decided to build a moth trap.


My first Trap:


My first trap was home made and really shoddy, it used a fish tank light bulb holder (they are water proof after all!!) in a plastic tub with a lamp shade as a funnel, and I used that for around two years until it broke. It never really caught much. but it did me.


Current Set Up:


I then had to wait until 2013 when my lovely lady bought me a new skinner trap from Paul Batty, which is what I now use. This can either be fitted with an Actinic bulb (as pictured) or a much more powerful MVB which I use during the summer. This trap has increased my trapping in a way I could not have imagined.

Skinner Moth trap
My current setup with Actinic bulb (I use this a MVB bulb over the summer months)


Trapping and Me:


I trap in my small urban garden, there is a lake on the same estate as me (which I blog about on the Views From An Urban Lake blog) but otherwise I am surrounded by other gardens and houses, and little else. My companion for moth trapping is my daughter (born 2009) she, like me loves all things wild but really likes the moths and bugs we discover, my two sons show an interest sometimes but my partner does not. 

My favourite moth I have trapped is the Orange Swift, a stunning moth by all accounts but tiny in real life. I would love to trap a Drinker, they look fab and I dream of seeing a Hornet moth (I know where to find some but have not yet managed to see one!

Orange Swift
Orange Swift (my favourite moth)

More of Me:


Outside of trapping I love all wildlife, especially birds, having been brought up in a family of birdwatchers, and I love photographing all the wildlife I can, I work in IT, have 3 kids and like to cycle, hey you don't need to know much about me really.

I just hope people enjoy the blog, and especially the photos I take.




I am always happy to review anything moth related (assuming it does no harm to moths), be they aimed at adults or children (my children would only be too happy to help me), if you are interested in us reviewing something for you please contact us via ashley(dot)beolens(at)sky(dot)com, leave a comment here, or on Facebook and I'd be happy to talk to you.

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