Moths: April 2018
The catch remains tiny, just eight today, but there are one or two patterns. The early species such as Common Quaker and Hebrew Character seem to be finishing, there has not been one of the former for a couple of days. The moths we would expect now are not moving around yet which is not suprising considering the conditions, there is even the possibility of sleet on the nearby Downs. One or two are creeping out as shown by the first Cabbage (3) and Shuttle-shaped Dart for the year.
Well, I got part of my wish and the temperature just kept in double figures. The breeze and showers made it feel much cooler and the moths were not impressed. There were just four made up of two Hebrew Characters (do not a spring make), an Oblique-striped and the first Pyrausta despicata to make it into the trap this year.
Even cooler last night, down to 4.9°C, and so only four moths. The sunny days are resulting in a sprinkling of daytime records which suggests that things will improve.
The moths are unlikely to improve until the nights get warmer. Last nights 6.4°C resulted in a very poor seven moths of five species. It did include Pebble Prominent, Early Thorn and Red Chestnut.
A stiff breeze with stronger gusts all night ensured that in our exposed position the catch was a mere six moths of five species. A Bright-line Brown-eye was probably regretting its decision to be the first example of that species this year.
Although the temperature just kept in double figures it was breezy and the catch dropped to 20 moths of seven species. There was one Diamond-back and a Brimstone was new for the year.
A bit cooler and so the catch dropped to 29 moths of ten species. Iron Prominent and Pine Beauty were new for the year.
The temperature just kept in double figures at 10.6°C. There were 53 moths of 11 species. Oak-tree Pug and Pebble Hook-tip were new for the year.
I do not know where the double figure nights are which they keep forecasting, it was down to 6.5°C last night. The warm days continue to encourage some moths out. This time there were 36 moths of 11 species. This included the first Pale, Pebble and Swallow Prominents (2) plus a Dotted Chestnut. The best moth was our 4th ever Seraphim.
Although the daytime temperature is hot its still drops significantly at night and does not stay above 10 as forecast. Moth numbers continue to slowly increase. The car park trap had 55 moths of nine species including the first Muslin of the year. There was also another Great Silver Diving beetle.
A trap in the Elms went for quality not quantity and had 17 moths of 12 species. This included an early Oblique Striped, the first Brindled Pug of the year plus Streamer, Shoulder-stripe and Engrailed.
The temperature still drops below 10°C at night and moth activity remains low. There were 52 moths of ten species. Muslin was new for the year. There was another Great Silver Diving Beetle.
A clear night kept moth activity down and there were only 30 moths of six species. None of these were migrants.
The Brindled Beauty from the other night.
A clear sky helped the temperature drop to 4.8°C. This kept moth activity down and 38 moths of six species were caught. A Lead-coloured Drab kept up the run of this species and there were two more Powdered Quakers. No sign of any migrants although the presence of a Painted Lady in a sunny Whitehouse raises hopes for some moths as well in the next few days.
Following our first Pine Beauty for the year night before last, last night’s session produced Herald and the rather irregular Brindled Beauty. We’re slowly getting somewhere near spring!
A small return to form with 30+ moths in the carpark trap including two new species for the year, Dark Sword-grass and Powdered Quaker. Three Lead-coloured Drabs was most unusual, as alluded to yesterday, whilst a Shoulder Stripe put in an appearance.
It’s been a quite few days as fog and cold temperatures drastically reduced the number of moths in the traps (just 13 moths in total from three traps yesterday!). However, three Lead-coloured Drabs during this period was some compensation. Either this species was overlooked in the past (first record in 2015) or is colonising the area as the Aspen matures. Singles of Diamondback on the 11th and 12th were against the run of play but perhaps local breeders.
Misty conditions overnight but still a decent catch of 70 moths in the main trap. Dotted Chestnut and Twenty Plume moth were both present again, with the first Agonopterix alstromerianas and purpureas of the season. There was a noticeable increase in Small Quakers too. An Engrailed caught in an actinic in the Elms was the first of the year.
Although there was some heavy rain overnight the cloud kept the temperature up at 8.9°C and there was the best catch so far this year.It was the first night above 100 moths in one trap with 104. Common Quaker led the way with 34 closely followed by Hebrew Character with 31. An Early Thorn and a Twenty-plume were both firsts for the year. Two Dotted Chestnuts and a Satellite added variety.
In keeping with the aquatic theme instigated by the Beaver on the beach there were two Great Silver Diving Beetles in the trap.
The wind dropped and the temperature did not drop below 7.1°C resulting in a reasonable catch.
The Actinic in the Elms had five Diurnea fagellas, a Dotted Chestnut and a Shoulder-stripe as its highlights. The car park trap had 78 moths including the first Twin-spotted Quakers (2) and
Caloptilia stigmellas (2) for the year.
A slightly bigger catch but the only change was March Moth instead of Small Quaker.
The catch dropped to 13 of the usual suspects plus a Small Quaker.
Although we have avoided the snow and cold it has been windy with rain at night. Last night the wind dropped enough for a few moths to show. These were eleven Hebrew Characters, six Common Quakers,four Clouded Drabs and a Red Chestnut.