Moths: March 17
It continues mild and dry. Nut-tree Tussock and two Scorched Carpets were new for the year. A Chinese Character was our earliest ever.
Another mild,dry night was reflected in 63 moths in the main trap and 27 from the Middle Field. An Oak Beauty was in good condition and there were two more Shoulder Stripes. Caloptilia stigmatella and Common Plume were new small moths for the year.
The wind swung around to the west keeping the temperature up to 8.5°C, but it remained dry. This change reversed the fortunes of the traps. The car park held 62 moths including the first Double-striped Pug of the year plus Powdered Quaker and Diurnea fagella. There were 15 moths in the Whitehouse trap.
Another cool but windless night.For the first time for a long time there was moisture in the air but unfortunately it was in the form of thick fog. There was the usual mixture of early spring moths in the trap. The extra moisture in the air was reflected in the presence of a Great Silver Diving Beetle and a Dytiscus beetle in the car park trap.
The clear sky ensured the temperature dropped to 2.6°C but the breeze dropped a bit as well.Whitehouse beat car park 37 v 23. The highlight was the first Shoulder Stripe for three years.
Despite the only moth of the night before, a Clouded Drab, not even making it into the inside of the trap and that the cold Easterly continues to blast there were more moths. A bit of cloud kept the temperature at 7.7°C and there 11 moths in the exposed trap. These included the first Pale Pinion and Bright-line Brown-eye of the year. In the sheltered Whitehouse there were 39 moyhs including a Twin-spot Quaker.
The cold wind continues and the temperature dropped to 2.6°C but it remains extremely dry. It will be interesting to see if this has an effect on the moths as well. Only ten moths in the main trap but a run out for a new portable trap in the Whitehouse showed moths were still around in sheltered spots. 27 moths included the first Powdered Quaker of the year.
Despite the strong cold wind continuing there were 38 moths in the trap including the first teo Early Thorns of the year.
The return of strong wind did not reduce the night time minimum below 10°C but drastically reduced moths to 23, this included 2 more Red Chestnuts.
An excellent haul, for us in March, of 85 moths was bulked up by Hebrew Characters and Common Quakers. It did include another Lead-coloured Drab, three Red Chestnuts and a Diurnea fagella. The second migrant Diamond-back of the spring reflected last weeks mild spell.
A decent night again that produced Oak Beauty, which we failed to record last year, and only the Bay’s third record of Lead-coloured Drab.
An excellent total of 63 moths included Twin-spotted Quaker, Double-striped Pug and Red Chestnut for the first time this year.
Even cooler, down to 1.6°C, but still 28 moths. Two March Moths, an Engrailed and an Early Grey were new for the year.
Slightly cooler, down to 5°C, and a bright moon at times but this did not deter the moths there were still 24. Clouded Drab, Chestnut and Acleris schalleriana were new for the year. The latter is only about the third adult record but its larvae have been found.
The mild spell is finally having an effect and there were 28 moths in the trap. All four species were new for the year; Hebrew Character 20, Common Quaker six, Small Quaker one and one Epiphyas postvitana.
The forecasts are generally not good enough to risk the trap surviving in such an open spot, but they have been wrong overnight at least twice. A Pale Brindled Beauty was attracted to the car park floodlight tonight.