August 31st

The cooler evening theme continues and numbers dropped a bit more to 403 moths of 39 species. Another Vestal was the pick of the bunch.

August 30th

A much cooler evening with the temperature dropping below 10°C, to 9.6°C, for the first time for a while. The variety of moths dropped accordingly to 578 moths of 42 species. The Setaceous Hebrew Characters barely noticed and there were another 230. Lunar Underwing was new for the year as was Red Underwing. Sadly the latter was detected by the one wing left on the ground by the Haven.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the Observatory garden early this morning.

August 29th

The moths continue to enjoy warm nights with 653 individuals of 60 species last night. Setaceous Hebrew Characters increased to 275. Migrants have moved on though with only four Diamond-backs and seven Silver Ys. There was a new Vestal.

August 28th

A return to a warm night ( minimum 15.9°C) meant the moth trap was very busy providing lots of moths to show the visitors on our Open Day. The car park trap held 717 moths of 76 species. An extra trap was run the other side of the observatory and turned up a different variety of moths despite being less than a 100 metres away 570 moths of 95 species.

Highlights included two Vestals, a Small Mottled Willow, the first Frosted Orange of the year and the scarce Ethmia dodecea.

There were 201 Setaceous Hebrew Characters in the car park trap along with at least 115 Silver Ys. Diamond- back led the way in the other trap with 194.

August 26th

Despite some thundery cloud it was a degree cooler and there were 473 moths of 66 species. Feathered Gothic was new for the year and there was a Gem in very good condition.

As it has not got its own section I will mention  another record of Ant-Lion. This time it settled on my face whilst I was in the Whitehouse!

August 25th

The overnight temperature did not drop below 16°C and so it was a busy night at the trap. Five hundred and eighty three moths of 101 species were recorded. Rosy Wave was new for the year and a Twin-spot Carpet was the first since 2004. This is a moth that is recorded as common until 1984.

August 24th

Another warm night with a beautiful (unless you are mothing) bright moon. 416 moths of 82 species including several second generations such as Scarce Footman. Rest Harrows continue their strong showing with seven. Sitochroa palealis and Oncocera semirubella were of note.

August 23rd

A warm but dry night resulted in 344 moths of 77 species. Saltern Ear was new for the year and there was a very late Dingy Shell.

August 22nd

Despite the wind the overcast conditions ensured it was a mild night and moth numbers increased to 486 of 62 species. One hundred and fifty nine were Setaceous Hebrew Characters but there were also 32 Silver Ys, 21 White-points, a Dark Swordgrass and another Small Mottled Willow. Hedge Rustic, Matthew’s Wainscot and Pearly Underwing were new for the year.

August 21st

The strength of the wind last night meant the trap had to be set in a sheltered spot. Seventy eight moths of 35 species were caught but 48 of these were Setaceous Hebrew Characters. A very worn Evergestis limbata did manage to fit in as well.

August 20th

A bit warmer last night and so a few more moths. Setaceous Hebrew Character led the way with 53. Dusky Thorn was new for the year and there was a very worn Small Mottled Willow– the migrant which arrived in record numbers last year. Also new for theyear was Adoxophyes orana a migrant tortrix moth which seems to have settled this century.

August 19th

A clear start to the night and a very bright moon ensured that the moth catch was very low. Forty two species were identified with only Setaceous Hebrew Character making it into double figures with 11, there were also 8 Diamond-backs.

We were lucky to have any catch as a visitor managed to reverse into the electronics box, despite the bright light and two flourescent bollards. It will be interesting to see if any one comes forward and if any contribution is made to the not cheap cost of replacement.

August 17th

101 of 31 species the best of which was a Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing – and a Roesel’s Bush-cricket.  An ear moth sp and a plume have been referred to the umpires and we await their verdict with interest.

Of particular note yesterday was the number of Rest Harrows seen during a walk along the dunes to the north. My initial concerns are happily wrong as at least 50 were seen.

August 16th

Peacock was recorded for the first time this year last night, in a catch that for the second successive night was very disappointing, with fewer than 80 moths.

August 14th

Hopes of a new species for the Bay were dashed when it was realised that this was a Golden Twin-spot with fused marks- still a good record though.

Golden Twin-spot with fused marks 14 August 2016 I Hunter
Golden Twin-spot with fused marks 14 August 2016 I Hunter

August 13th

As the nights warm up the number of moths increases. There were 41 very fresh, large, Silver Ys which at first we assumed might be locally reared but the presence of a Golden Twin-spot might indicate otherwise.

Golden Twin-spot 13 August 2016 I Hunter
Golden Twin-spot 13 August 2016 I Hunter

August 12th

A warmer night increased the catch to 454 moths of 77 species. There was a second Saltmarsh Plume and nine Rush Veneers.

August 11th

The night time temperature dropped below 10°C and so it was another quiet night. Hedge Rustic was new for the year.

August 10th

The cooler night more than halved the catch but Bulrush Wainscot was new for the year. There was another Rest Harrow.

August 9th

The Rest Harrows have responded to my comment and two more were caught. Twin-spotted Wainscot was new for the year. Flame Shoulder (74) replaced Common Rustic agg.(65) as the commonest moth.

August 7th

Now the lists are in for yesterday I can see Webbs Wainscot, Flame Carpet and Chevron were new for the year. There was also the first record I have heard of for this year of the Rest Harrow. This is in contrast to last year when there were several records of this extremely local moth in our traps.

Last night there was a second Scarce Bordered Straw. The first trapped Sitochroa palealis this year plus the first Starwort and Brown-veined Wainscot of the year.

Sarwort 7 August 2016 I Hunter
Starwort 7 August 2016 I Hunter

August 6th

Rather quiet on numbers despite 3 traps being run on the Estate. Quite a few Rush Veneers and a good variety of species but the pick of the bunch found over a short period in the Whitehouse by Francis Solly were Scarce Bordered Straw, Ant Lion and Oak Processionary (yes I know Ant Lion is not a moth!), while a Red-tipped Clearwing was lured to pheromones.

Oak Processionary 6 August 2016 I Hunter
Oak Processionary 6 August 2016 I Hunter
Ant Lion. 6 August 2016 I Hunter
Ant Lion. 6 August 2016 I Hunter

August 5th

Canary-shouldered Thorn and only the third SBBO record of Black Arches were recorded last night, but equally notable was a strongly marked example of the badiofasciata form of Dun-bar.

Two extremes of the Dunbar. 5th August 2016. I Hunter
Two extremes of the Dunbar. 5th August 2016. I Hunter

August 4th

The overnight wind increased to force 5 and so the catch dropped to 330 moths of 54 species. The second Lunar Thorn for the obs and a Lesser Treble Bar were new for the year.

The weather forecast for Friday night is much better and so we should get a good variety to examine on Saturday evenings moth night and members BBQ.

Archers Dart 4 August 2016 I Hunter
Archers Dart 4 August 2016 I Hunter
Lunar Thorn 4August 2016 I Hunter
Lunar Thorn 4August 2016 I Hunter

August 3rd

A stiif breeze reduced the catch to 423 moths of 65 species. This did include a Tree-lichen Beauty, a Dark Swordgrass and 26 Silver Ys.

August 1st

Another overcast night resulted in a good catch  of 523 moths of 101 species. Diamond-back was the most frequent with 84, but 25 Swallow Prominents was a record. Other highlights were our second ever Cosmopterix lienigiella, our 3rd Catoptria verellus, another Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing and a Grass Rivulet, which is about 2 weeks after they normally finish.