Moths: October 2017
As the overnight temperature dropped to 2.1°C it was no shock that there were only two moths. A Feathered Thorn in the trap and a November Moth agg. on the outside.
As expected the catch plummeted and the two traps managed 12 moths between them eight of these were Large Wainscots.
A reverse of the previous night this time it started overcast and drizzly before clearing and cooling. This time no-one interfered with the trap. The temperatures are due to drop and so, although we have had some late, common, migrants we are not likely to get any of the megas which have occured elsewhere. There were 48 moths of ten species. Thirty Large Wainscots led the way. There were two Delicates and a Vestal.
We were lucky to catch anything in the main trap as it was interfered with and we were extremely lucky it did not catch alight. Despite this there were still 19 moths of 12 species left in the trap. This included our first Merveille du Jour of the year, a Vestal, A Udea ferrugalis and a Scarce Bordered Straw. The other trap was thankfully left alone and held more moths including five Vestals, Five Rusty-dot Pearls and singles of Delicate, Rush Veneer and Pearly Underwing.
It continues mild but breezy and so there are still some moths but not lots. Thirty nine moths of 16 species included two more Scarce Bordered Straws and single Pearly Underwing, Rush Veneer and Udea ferrugalis. There was also a Burnished Brass our latest by over two weeks.
Not much difference in cloud and wind but the temperature stayed above 11.8°C. This resulted in 82 moths of 29 species in the car park trap which held most moths. Four Vestals, two Scarce Bordered Straws, two Delicates and single Palpita vitrealis, Dark Swordgrass and Rusty Dot Pearl were of note.
There was enough drop in the wind to put the trap out and, although the temperature dropped to 5.3°C 33 moths of 12 species were caught. The run of Delicates continued with one more example.
No where to get the trap out of the wind and rain except inside so no trap last night. However a picture of the P.vitrealis from the other night.
It looks as if the present mild spell is going to become more autumnal and certainly windy. However the cloud kept the temperature at 11°C and there were 28 moths of 11 species despite the wind. This included yet another Vestal, a Delicate and a Scarce Bordered Straw.
The main trap held 78 moths of 24 species including five Rusty-dot Pearls,two Palpita vitrealis and single Vestal, Silver Y and Dark Swordgrass. There was the first example for the year of the November Moth group and our latest by ten days Gold-spot.
The trackside trap held our second ever Oak Rustic, a Scarce Bordered Straw and four Rusty-dot Pearls.
There were three Rush Veneers in the Elms.
A bit more activity last night and the main trap held two Delicates, a Vestal and a Dark Swordgrass. The track-side trap had three more Vestals and a Scarce Bordered Straw.
Although it was cloudy there was a stiff breeze for the first half of the night. Ninety eight moths of 21 species were caught, 31 were Large Wainscots. There was no strong evidence of migrants dragged up by Ophelia. Two Turnips and single Dark Swordgrass, Silver Y and Scarce Bordered Straw were all fresh and could have been local.
A thin covering of cloud kept the temperature above 12.8°C and with the day time temperature in the low 20’s the catch increased slightly to 103 moths of 26 species. There was no real evidence of moths being pushed ahead of the storm. Single Delicate, Silver Y, Rush Veneer and Udea ferrugalis were all potential migrants but could easily be progeny of earlier arrivals.
It was clear again last night so the temperature dipped below 10 to 9.9°C. The traps were not busy but the main trap had 71 moths of 18 species. Scarce Bordered Straw was the most notable. The trap by the track held less but did have a Silver Y.
Although it was mostly clear overnight it was an indication of how warm the south westerly air flow is that the temperature did not drop below 11.3°C.
The main trap held 112 moths of 28 species. This included a Rush Veneer, a C. plebejana, two Delicates and two Dusky-lemon Sallows plus the first Red-green Carpet of the year.
The trap by the track went for quality rather than quantity and had a very fresh Golden Twin-spot
The first of the National Moth Nights was not particularly exciting and it will be interesting to see if thye promised warm nights arrive. Last night it dropped to 5.7°C. The main trap held 67 moths of 19 species. This included another Dusky-lemon Sallow.
The trap by the main track held our latest Straw Dot and an Actinic trap by the Havenhad our latest, by a few weeks, Shaded Broad-bar.
The range of temperature each night, depending on cloud cover, continues. This time early clear spells allowed the temperature to drop to 7.1°C. There were 88 moths of 22 species. Single Pearly Underwing, Delicate and Rusty-dotted Pearl were eclipsed by our first record of Oak Rustic.
The cloud kept the temperature above 10 out of the strong breeze. There were 103 moths of 25 species. This included a Scarce Bordered Straw, a Dusky-lemon Sallow and the first Dark Chestnut of the year.
Last night was overcast with occassional drizzle this stopped the temperature dropping below 7.8°C and there were 95 moths. This included the first Green-brindled Crecent of the year and the latest evet Straw Dot. There was a Delicate and four species of Sallow including two more Dusky-lemon Sallows and a Barred Sallow.
A clear start to the night dropped the temperature to 5.4°C but then it clouded over and got a bit warmer. There were 64 moths of 18 species in the main trap including our latest ever Pinion-streaked Snout. The other traps had a Scarce Bordered Straw and the latest ever Kent Black Arches.
Though the temperature increased to a balmy 9°C there was little change in the number of moths caught. A Delicate was the only migrant of note and Dusky-lemon Sallow continued it’s decent run of late. Another Brimstone broke the latest Bay record again, but nothing compared to a surprise Swallow-tailed Moth. The previous latest record was 12th August!
Once again the sky cleared and this time the wind dropped this led to the lowest temperature of the autumn at 3.6°C. However it clouded over later and the temperature rose a bit as the cloud covered the moon. Twenty-three moths of nine species were caught. This included a Silver Y, a Cypress Carpet and three Mallows. A late Garden Carpet will have to hang around another 12 days to become the latest ever.
The sky cleared and an extremely bright moon totally outcompeted the trap light. There were just 13 moths of six species, led by six Lunar Underwings.
With the strength of the wind it was good to catch some moths. A Scarce Bordered Straw joined the usual suspects.
Another cool night but some cloud reduced the bright moonlight. The catch was down to 60 moths of 14 species. Half of these were Lunar Underwings. There were three Dusky-lemon Sallows, two Delicates and a Rush Veneer.
The most interesting record emerged when a neighbour showed me a long dead large moth they had found hidden in their conservatory.
It was a very battered Death’s Head Hawk. Although now dried out it was from this year the body was clearly marked and coloured.
The sky cleared and the temperature quickly dropped to 6.8°C. Moths did not respond quite was quickly and there were still 115 of 28 species. Grey Pine Carpet was new for the year. There were five Delicates, a Dark Swordgrass and another Dusky-lemon Sallow. Knotgrass was our latest by a week and Nutmeg the latest by three weeks.
Another damp and windy start to the night but it did improve and there were 196 moths of 23 species. There were two Turnips and a Delicate. Feathered Thorn was new for the autumn. Species such as Deep-brown Dart, Black Rustic and Feathered Brindle are still trundling along in single figures.
Although it was windy and wet 153 moths of 24 species made it into the trap. The highlight was another Dusky-lemon Sallow.