Tuesday 30th

Overnight cloud meant the temperature did not drop below 8.6°C. The catch continued to improve to 26 moths of 16 species. Shuttle-shaped Dart and Bright-line Brown-eye were new for the year. There was another hint of migration in the form of a single Diamond-back.

Monday 29th

Another clear fairly calm, night allowed the temperature down to 4.2°C. As the daytime is getting warmer the number of moths is creeping up. There were eight moths of seven species. Two Mulleins were of note and a Silver Y offered hope for things to come.

Our trap is situated in an open space surrounded by four fluorescent yellow traffic cones. Quite how someone managed to drive into one of the bollards and push it into the side of the trap is difficult to understand. The damage to the trap was patchable.

Muslin. April 29th 2024. I Hunter

Whilst taking this photo of a male Muslin (I have never seen a female in our trap) I realised this is one of the few none geometer type moths we record which has the underwing the same colour as the upperwing. It pays to keep looking.

Mullein. April 29th 2024. I Hunter

Saturday 27th

An unsettled night with some heavy rain. This reduced the catch to just two moths - a Muslin and a Green Carpet. The latter was new for the year

Thursday 25th

The wind dropped but so did the temperature- to 1.7°C. There were six moths- five Muslins and a Hebrew Character. I keep muttering it will get warmer and hopefully this will be right one day.

Wednesday 24th

A bit of cloud gathered last night meaning the temperature did not fall below a balmy (barmy?) 4.5°C. This was not enough to impress the moths and there were just three, all Muslins, in the trap.

The best chance to see moths at present is to find a sheltered and sunny spot where attractive species such as Adela reaumurella are dancing in the sunlight.

Tuesday 23rd

The weather is appalling for moths. The wind dropped last night so the trap was out but the sky cleared and the temperature fell to -0.5°C. I was pleased to find eight moths- four Muslins, three Hebrew Characters, and a micro (the first for a while); Cochylis atricapitana.

Monday 22nd

The weather has been either cold, wet, or windy and moon very bright. So little trapping has been done. A few moths still are seen during the day. Drinker caterpillars seem to be frequent.

Drinker by A.Lipczynski

Wednesday 17th

A much cooler night with the temperature down to 3.2°C. There were four moths-one each of Powdered Quaker, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab and Early Grey.

Monday 15th

The last settled night for a few days with little cloud and so feeling cooler. There were 18 moths of six species. Least Black Arches was new for the year and there was another Silver Y.

Sunday 14th

The sky cleared and it was not quite as mild with a minimum of 7.9°C. The catch went down to 32 moths of 13 species. Powdered Quaker and Silver Y were most numerous with five of each. The number of ichneumon wasps also reduced a lot. In The Elms there was good variety and included Streamer, Yellow-barred Brindle, Nutmeg, Nut-tree Tussock, and Spectacle all new for the year.

A Common Carpet was seen on RSPB Worth marshes and a Red Twin-spot Carpet in Waldershare Gully.

Saturday 13th

Another mild night (9.5°C this time) with thin, high, cloud and just a light breeze.

The catch increased to 66 moths of 20 species plus around a 100 of the large red ichneumon wasp group.

Pine Beauty, Mullein, Turnip and a female Emperor Moth were all new for the trap this year. As the light breeze had plenty of south in it it would suggest the three Dark Sword-grasses and five Silver Ys were migrants.

Chinese Character, Grey Pine Carpet, Common Wave, and a male Emperor were all trapped in the Elms and an Adela reaumurella was dancing in the sun by the Oasis.

Female Emperor Moth April 13th 2024. I Hunter
Emperor Moth wing. I Hunter
Pine Beauty with photo-bombing beetle. April 13th 2024. I Hunter

Friday 12th

I always take it as a clear indication nights are getting warmer when you can hear the Marsh Frogs croaking away over night, the minimum temperature was 9.6°C. Equally importantly the wind deceased significantly. A catch of 22 moths of 10 species was therefore a bit disappointing. It did include a very early Delicate, the problem with this species is was this one a migrant or are they actually overwintering now? There was also a Dark Sword-grass which may even pose a similar question. New for the year were three Muslins, a Flame Shoulder and a Lesser Swallow Prominent. The first generation of the latter is usually quite scarce in our trap.

Thursday 11th

Our first Emperor Moth and Oblique-striped were on Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course.

Monday 8th

The wind was forecast to have a rest last night and although the temperature went down to 6.8°C there were 27 moths of 13 species, several of which were new for the year. These were Brimstone, Brindled Pug, White-spotted Pug, Brindled Beauty and three species of Prominent - Swallow, Pebble and Iron. A Silver Y was indicative of some migration.

A trap in the Elms added Dotted Chestnut for the year.

Saturday 6th

The wind was forecast to reduce last night and it did for a while. It also remained mild with a minimum of 12.6°C. There were 28 moths of 10 species. None were new for the year but there was the first micro for a while, a Light Brown Apple Moth, and a Shoulder Stripe was notable.

Shoulder Stripe. April 6th 2024. I Hunter

Friday 5th

A Drinker caterpillar was along the Guilford Rd.

Tuesday 2nd

Suitable nights are few and far and so the chance was tried last night before more forecast wet and windy nights. Although it was breezier than expected cloud cover kept the minimum temperature to 8.2°C. There were nine moths - three each of Powdered Quaker and Clouded Drab, two Common Quakers, and a Hebrew Character. It is a while since there have been any 'micros'. The most interesting record was of a Common Carder Bee, what was it doing out last night?