Friday 31st

The daytime heat continues to be countered by the clear sky and moon although it was warmer last night at 14.9°C. The catch was 442 moths of 105 species. There were only three moths- a Silver Y and two Dark Swordgrass- directly related to migration. The rest were residents, some of them recent, which are showing in good numbers.

Dark Spinach was new for the year as was Vitula biviella and there was a second Plumed Fanfoot. Of note were five Pigmy Footman and 34 Pedasia contaminellas. The next generation of Vine’s Rustic is emerging to add more fun to separating the Rustics and Uncertains.

Plumed Fanfoot 31 July 2020 I Hunter

Thursday 30th

It might be hot during the day but the nights are clear and the moon getting bright. The catch was 295 moths of 74 species. Small Bood-vein was nice to see. The only migrant origin moth was a Silver Y. Langmaids Yellow Underwings continue their excellent run with another fresh example.

Brown-line Bright-eye 27 July I Hunter

Wednesday 29th

The wind finally started dropping last night but with a clear sky the temperature dipped below 10 to 9.5°C. The catch dropped likewise to 253 moths of 78 species. Straw Underwing and Canary-shouldered Thorn were new for the year along with an example of the micro Prays ruficeps. Also of note was the fact that there were no examples of the common grassmoth Chrysoteucha culmella, which has been common for the last few weeks.

The second generation of Rest Harrows are beginning to appear along the beach whilst a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was at the Observatory.

Tuesday 28th

The strength of the wind continues to be the main feature of the overnight weather and so a catch of 391 moths of 87 species was good. It continues to be the regulars although Flounced Rustic is beginning to put in an appearance. Breckland Plume was new for the year in the main trap but a couple have been seen elsewhere on the Estate. Three Diamondbacks were the first of these for a couple of weeks.

Monday 27th

The overcast conditions compensated for the strong breeze and the catch rose to 347 moths of 88 species. Brown-line Bright-eye was new for the year and is more often seen in traps away from the main site. Golden Twin-spot was also new for the year. Twelve Southern Wainscots was a good count.

Sunday 26th

The wind continues to have a significant effect and the catch was 254 moths of 68 species. There was the first Plumed Fan-foot of the year. The two Pigmy Footman included one of each form- the grey pigmeola and the yellowish pallifrons. A mating pair of Hummingbird Hawk-moths were seen on New Downs.

Hummingbird Hawk-moths by H.Willis

A distinctive appearing pyralid from two nights ago has been confirmed as the second ever record of Moitrelia obductella, the first was in 2010.

Saturday 25th

Although it was overcast and mild ( 15.8°C ) it was very windy and the catch was 314 moths of 85 species. As usual numbers were maintained by Common Rustic agg. with 65. Hedge Rustic was new for the year. The only migrant related moth was a Dark Sword-grass.

Friday 24th

Cloud gathered and the temperature did not drop below 15.8°C resulting in a much improved catch of 569 moths of 98 species. A Small Scallop was a good catch, with very few records in the last decade. Also new for the year in the main trap were Marbled Green and Mullein Wave. Records for Ypsolopha sequella are in single figures and so it was good to get one of these as well. The next generation of Rest Harrow and Early Thorn emerged and there were three Silver Y’s and two Dark Sword-grasses.

A Red Underwing was also found on the side of the Warden’s flat, and is also new for the year.

Ypsolopha sequella. 24 July 2020. I Hunter

Thursday 23rd

The temperature kept just above 10 at 11.2°C and the catch increased to 229 moths of 66 species. Catoptria verellus was new for the year. For the first time recently there were no Langmaid’s Yellow Underwings but there were five Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings. The most interesting capture was a completely black Peppered Moth. Although a staple of school genetics/environment lessons at one time I do not remember seeing one here in the last ten years.

Wednesday 22nd

The same as the previous night with the temperature dropping below 10°C, to 8.3°C, again. There were 187 moths of 50 species. The moth of note was an Ancylosis oblitella. This can be a migrant but given the lack of other migrants is probably of local origin.

Tuesday 21st

Another clear, cool, night – excellent for spotting comets and planets, but not great for moth activity. There were 163 moths of 57 species. Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing finally overtook Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing four to three. The next generation of Chocolate-tip emerged as well.

Cynaeda dentalis. I Hunter july 18th 2020

Black Arches,July 18th 2020. I Hunter

A visitor also trapped Scorched Carpet, new for the year.

Monday 20th

Once the rain cleared it was a clear, cool, night with the temperature down to 8.5°C. The catch was only 181 moths of 53 species- quite a change. There were no migrant species and only a few micros. The incredible run of Langmaid’s Yellow Underwings continued with another four. A Broad-barred White and a Pigmy Footman were also of interest.

Sunday 19th

The humid nights continued and there were 413 moths of 97 species. Webb’s Wainscot, Black Arches, and Brown-veined Wainscot were all new this year. The attractive grass moth Catropia falsella was also new for the year.

Saturday 18th

Another warm, humid, night but the sky cleared and there was less activity with 365 moths of 89 species. The biggest surprise was a butterfly with a Large White seen to flutter into the trap during the night. Buff Footman was new for the year and other moths of note were Lunar-spotted Pinion, Cynaeda dentalis, Oncocera semirubella and 13 European Corn-borers.

An Old Lady found flattened on Sandown Road was a first for the year.

Friday 17th

Last night was muggy feeling and the temperature did not fall below 17.3°C. The catch increased to 705 of 120 species. Hawk-moths put in a re-appearance with a Lime (probably a month since the last one) and two Small Elephants. Yellow-tail was new for the year along with the silver striped micro Eulamprotes wilkella. Four Pigmy Footmen and seven Aphomia zelleri were good counts of these local specialities for the car park trap. Sixteen Silver Y’s, three Diamondbacks and two Dark Sword-grasses perhaps reflected the good conditions for migration.

Thursday 16th

Maybe there were some clear spells overnight but the catch reduced to 408 moths of 99 species. This included the second Flounced Rustic of the year in the main trap. Four Dark Sword-grasses, seven Silver Y’s and a Diamondback were possibly new in or progeny of earlier arrivals. Small Emerald was new for the year.

Wednesday 15th

It was cloudy and humid again and the moths were active. This time there were 651 moths of 134 species. The highlight was the first confirmed record of Small Purple-barred. We do not have much Milkwort here so it must have wandered in from a site nearby. There is a report of one in 2008 but we cannot find any details of it at all. Other new for the years moths were Oak Eggar, Channel Island’s Pug, Ear agg., Flounced Rustic, Dioryctria sylvestrella and Eucosma conterminana. Another Scallop Shell continued their excellent run this year.

Small Purple Barred. 15th July 2020. I Hunter
Small Purple-barred. 15th July 2020. I Hunter

Tuesday 14th

It clouded over last night and there was even a very light spot of rain. This kept the temperature above 15.2°C and resulted in a big catch of 836+ moths of at least 146 species. Drinker, Rosy Footman, Lunar-spotted PinionTree-lichen Beauty, Fen Wainscot, Dingy Shell, and Small Rufous were all new for the year. Although we only saw one of the first generation of Reed Dagger three of the second generation emerged. Also of note was Leopard Moth, two Matthew’s Wainscots, and the amazingly designed Stathmoda pedella.

Lunar- spotted Pinion. 14th July. I Hunter
Lunar-spotted Pinion. 14th July. I Hunter
A slightly worn Stathmopoda pedella. 14th July 2020. I Hunter
A slightly worn Stathmopoda pedella. 14th July 2020. I Hunter

Monday 13th

The run of cool nights continues, this time the minimum was 8.4°C. The catch increased very slightly to 156 moths of 50 species. Rosy Rustic was new for the year. Also of note were singles of Bright Wave, Silver Y and Dark Sword-grass. The first of the next generation of White-point emerged and there was one more Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing.

Sunday 12th

Another cool, clear night took the temperature down to 7.5°C. The catch was 123 moths of 44 species. This included four species of Hawk-moth namely Pine, Privet, Poplar and Elephant. Having recorded hundreds of grass moths earlier there was only one this time – Agriphila straminella. A Pigmy Footman was of note.

Saturday 11th

It was clear and cool last night, the temperature fell below 10 degrees for the first time for a while, dropping to 9.8°C. The catch dropped accordingly to 138 moths of 47 species. Bright Waves seem to be trickling on with another single last night. There were also two more Aethes margaritanas.

Friday 10th

The wind returned on Wednesday night and there was nothing new to report however it clouded over last night enough to give a light shower and keep the temperature up. The catch increased to 455 moths of 70 species. Dusky Brocade, Mouse Moth, Dusky Sallow, Ypsolopha scabrella and Caloptilia rufipennella were all new for the year. Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing continued its excellent run leading Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 16 to 11.

The best mothing was reserved for a targeted visit to the south end of the Estate by our warden. This yielded our second record of Maple Pug (the first was in 2002) beside the Field Maple. Even better was the first record ever of Acleris umbrana. There was also one of the pine specialists which rarely make it to the main site namely Rhyacionia pinicolana and the Elm specialist Rhodophaea formosa. Dingy Footman and Wormwood Pug were new for the year and the next generation of Early Thorn appeared.

Wednesday 8th

The wind dropped further and the cloud rolled in bringing on and off light rain and drizzle. The temperature did not drop below 14.6°C and the catch shot up to 562 moths of 101 species. Garden Tiger was new this year. Other notable records were singles of Matthew’s Wainscot and Blackneck plus restricted micros such as Aphomia zelleri and Aethes margaritana. Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing continues to have an excellent year with 15 recorded, all separated individually from the nine Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings (not because they fight but because they look very similar).

Tuesday 7th

The wind dropped enough for the catch to increase to 238 moths of 58 species. Once again there were no new species for the year but there was clearly an emergence of Common Footman with 31 counted. There were singles of Acrobasis repandana and Sciota adelphella.

Monday 6th

No drop in the wind and even the local species are beginning to dwindle. Last night yielded only 125 moths of 39 species. The forecast is for the wind to lessen and there are even rumours of a bit of rain which will be welcome by all the wildlife.

Sunday 5th

The wind continues to dominate but it was a bit more humid so there were a few more grass moths. There were 163 moths of 37 species. This included five Langmaid’s Yellow Underwings, three Silver Y’s, a Dark Sword-grass and a Diamondback.

A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was nectaring along Guilford Road.

Saturday 4th

Considering the strength of the wind a catch of 109 moths of 24 species was not bad. No new species for the year or migrants stuck their heads above the parapet. Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing kept up their good run with three more. The pattern on Archer’s Dart always draws admiring looks. More wind tonight so prospects are not good.

Friday 3rd

The wind returned and the catch dropped to 223 moths of 65 species. Scallop Shell and Ethmia bipunctella were nice to see.

Ethmia bipunctella. July 3rd 2020. I Hunter
Ethmia bipunctella. July 3rd 2020. I Hunter

Thursday 2nd

Another good night with 415 moths of 81 species. The interest was again provided by local species and Sallow Kitten, Dunbar, and Pine Carpet were all new this year. There were six more Langmaid’s Yellow Underwings, a Silver-barred, and an Evergestis limbata. The only migrants were two Silver Y’s, two Diamondbacks and a Dark Sword-grass.

Wednesday 1st

Although it drizzled on and off most of yesterday the droplets only occasionally joined up to make rain. The cloud persisted overnight and the wind dropped a bit and the temperature did not fall below 15.8°C. This resulted in a better catch of 389 moths of 77 species, not surprisingly considering the wind there were relatively few micros. New for the year were Sycamore, Scarce Footman, and Least Yellow Underwing. Seven Silver Ys, four Dark Sword-grasses and three Diamondbacks were the only hints of migration. There was clearly an emergence of Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing with eight being recorded. Two Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings meant each of these ten had to be checked carefully.