Friday 30th

A much reduced trap today after the clear sky, bright moon, and slightly cooler temperatures. The clear highlight was Anarsia spartiella which is, surprisingly, new for Sandwich Bay.

Thursday 29th

I was wrong. The thermometer stayed upright and the temperature minimum was 18.8°C so it is warm out there. The catch was even larger - 884 moths of 116 species. Three hundred and forty Dark Arches is probably one of the biggest hauls of that species, I will have to delve into the records. Despite the species total Rosy Footman was the only new for the year in this trap. Of note were four Leopard Moths and a very smart Pempelia genistella.

There was clearly some migration going on as there were 44 Silver Ys, 19 Delicates, eight Dark Sword-grasses, six Diamondbacks and a Rush Veneer.

Wednesday 28th

The thermometer gave a minimum of 19.3°C but that was due to the fact it had fallen face first onto the ground, it did not feel quite that warm. It was humid and there were 593 moths of 90 species. This is an under-count as I was delayed in checking the trap and on opening it it was like standing in the way of the first day of the sales.

Dark Arches were up to 169. There were 20 Silver Ys and three each of Dark Sword-grass and Diamondback. There was a nice fresh example of the distinctive Ethmia bipunctella. Of note was the first Varied Coronet since 2016 on the Estate and a second Splendid Brocade.

Lime Hawk-moth form brunnea. 26th June. I Hunter

Tuesday 27th

A bit fresher at 13.8°C but there were still 453 moths of 79 species. Dark Arches continues to lead the way with 110. Migrants included five Silver Ys, two Diamondbacks, a Rusty-dot Pearl and a Dark Sword-grass. Of note were two Black-necks, a Poplar Kitten, a Poplar Lutestring, and the pyralids Vitula biviella and Scoparia basistrigalis. The later is not recorded annually.

Monday 26th

With the minimum being 16.5°C it was not a surprise that the trap was busy. There were 582 moths of 100 species.

Dark Arches was most numerous with 123 followed by Chrysoteucha culmella with 64. 36 Reddish Light Arches was a good total. Cloaked Minor, Poplar Lutestring, and Leopard Moth were new for the year. There were also four more Figure of 80s. There were only a few migrant related species namely seven Silver Ys and two Diamondbacks but these could well be locally hatched now.

Sunday 25th

The warm nights continue to yield reasonable catches. Last night it was just the one trap in the car park and there were 293 moths of 83 species.

Reddish Light Arches is now numerous (e.g. 19 last night), Dark Arches is the most numerous (59), Figure of Eighty continues its excellent run (3 more last night), as does Delicate with 4 more. Clay, Barred Rivulet, and Archers Dart were new this year.

Interestingly the migrants which showed up the previous night seem to have moved on and there were no Diamondbacks for instance. Visitors did catch the first Palpita vitrealis for the year though.

Rest Harrows and Bright Waves are showing well and after a year of not being recorded the larvae of Fig Leaf Skeletoniser have been found again. Box Tree moths show no sign of diminishing and are showing most nights, thankfully Box is only a garden plant here.

Two Hummingbird Hawk-moths were reported from the sea front, which is pleasing after a quiet spell for these during the persistent north-easterly spell. Can we remind visitors to put these sort of records into the non-avian log at the Obs otherwise they will be lost in the mists of time.

Saturday 24th

The catch for the moth display was good and varied and helped by the home-made biscuits made for a successful evening for the 25 visitors.

The Feeders trap had 227 moths of 73 species, including Tawny Shears and Water Ermine. The ringing room trap had 147 moths of 59 species including Clancy's Rustic and Sciota adelphella. The main trap was busy with 328 moths of 81 species. This included Buff Arches, Langmaid's Yellow Underwing(2), and Bright Wave. A very attractive and scarce record was Lilac Beauty with one caught in the Middle Field.

Lilac Beauty by S.Walton

Thursday 22nd

A handful of Bright Wave were along the path across Royal St George's Golf Course, plus singles of Mother Shipton, Oblique-striped, and Hummingbird Hawk-moth.

Wednesday 21st

Not so many today but Kent Black Arches and Pinion-streaked Snout were new.

Tuesday 20th

A busy trap last night with 553 moths of 101 species. There some nice local species such as Bright Wave, Silver-barred, Ethmia terminella, Evergestis limbata, and Oxypteryx wilkella, plus our first Pigmy Footman of the year.

Monday 19th

Dark Arches led the way with 42, followed by 20 Large Yellow Underwings. Splendid Brocade was the highlight. It is just about annual here. Common Footman, Bordered Sallow, White-line Dart, and Common Emerald were all new for the year whilst there were two of the smart brunnea form of Lime Hawk-moth.

Friday 16th

There were 237 moths of 60 species. Phycitodes binaevella, Eucosma metzeneriana, Cream-bordered Green Pea, and Southern Wainscot were all new.

Thursday 15th

There wasn't as much in the trap this morning but Privet Hawk-moth and Crambus perlella were both first for the year. In Middle Field there was Treble Brown-spot, July Highflyer, Dingy shell, Bordered Pug, and Tawny-barred Angle new for the year.

Wednesday 14th

There were 63 species in the Observatory carpark mv. Green Oak Tortrix went back up to 73 and Marbled Minor aggs were next best with 34. Saltmarsh Plume, Poplar Kitten, Water Ermine, Foxglove Pug (first since 2018), Round-winged Muslin, and White Satin were all new for the year. Visitors also trapped a Concolorous. Only our fourth record.

Concolorous by S.Bird

Tuesday 13th

Another good trap last night but not as busy as the last few nights. Green Oak Tortrix dropped to a far more manageable 22 individuals. Scorched Wing was new for the year.

Visitors trapped Dotted Fan-foot around the Whitehouse and a walk along the beach front produced Bright Waves and Rest Harrows.

Monday 12th

The minimum continues to creep up-14.9°C this time. It remained calm and humid. It is so dry at present one or two trees are starting to drop a few leaves. The Green Oak Tortrix orgy continues This time there were 657 out of a total of 1,058 moths. The range of species also continues to increase with 75 identified so far. Diamondbacks also are numerous with 73. New species for the year included Scorched Carpet, Rustic, Uncertain, Dog's Tooth, Pale Tussock (of the dark form), Barred Straw, Common Carpet, Platytes cerusella (4), and two of the local Anerastia lotella. Other migrants were scarce with one Silver Y, one Red-necked Footman, and one Evergestis extimalis.

The feeders trap was not quite as busy but added Clancy's Rustic and Riband Wave.

If you have ever seen a Mother Shipton moth you will know why it is so called with a very distinctive face pattern on each wing. One was seen during the day.

Sunday 11th

A slightly warmer-13.9°C- night which was definitely more humid. The catch in the main trap increased to 565 moths of 57 species and the Feeders trap held 536 moths of 64 species. There were two big arrivals, Diamondbacks with 61 in the car park and 242 at the Feeders. and Green Oak Tortrix with 280 in the car park and 117 at the Feeders. There were eight Delicates in the car park trap and three at the feeders. Other migrants were three Silver Ys. The car park trap also held the following new species for the year- Buff-tip, Figure of 80 (4), Cypress Carpet, Blood-vein, Obscure Wainscot, Pale Oak Beauty, Green Pug, Chinese Character, Small China-mark, and of particular note, Clouded Buff.

The Feeders trap added Beautiful China-mark, Common Footman, Buff Ermine, plus of particular note two Red-necked Footmen, Ethmia terminella and the tortrix Chloristoneura hebenstreitiella. The last previous record of the latter was back in 2005.

Saturday 10th

Not only did the wind have another rest but any remaining bits moved towards south-east and it was more humid. This led to another doubling in catch to 375 moths of 71 species. This impressive catch was headlined by our second ever record of Confused. There was clearly an arrival as there were 23 Diamondbacks in the main trap and another 23 by the Feeders. There were also two Rusty-dot Pearls. There was also a significant emergence/arrival of Green Oak Tortrix with 69 in the main trap and 27 by the Feeders. Other new species for the year at the main trap were Sharp-angled Peacock, Snout, Grass Rivulet, Peppered Moth, Clouded Silver, Single-dotted Wave, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Silky Wainscot, Straw Dot, Lime-speck Pug, Spruce Carpet, Grey Pug and Schoenobious gigantella.

The feeders trap added Burnished Brass, Sallow Kitten, Buttoned Snout, Beautiful Hook-tip, May Highflyer, Light Arches, Reddish Light Arches, Silver-barred, Hoary Footman, Reed Dagger and Bird's Wing.

The outlook is also very promising with more humis and warm nights.

Friday 9th

Last night the wind had a rest for a while and although the minimum only increased by 0.4 to 12.5°C there was a doubling in the number of moths. The catch was 166 moths of 37 species. Elephant Hawk-moth, three Cream-spot Tigers, Willow Beauty and Light Emerald were all new this year for the main trap. Marbled Minor agg. was most numerous with 20 and Crambus lathoniellus became the first micro to make it to double figures with 12.

There were two Diamondbacks and a Silver Y.

Cream-spot Tiger. June 9th 2023. I Hunter
Elephant Hawk June 9th 2023.
I Hunter

Thursday 8th

Weather-ditto. Shark was new for the year and only Setaceous Hebrew Character made it to double figures with 13 out of the 71 moths.

Gold Spot. June 8th 2023 I Hunter

Wednesday 7th

No change in the wind or temperature (minimum 11.8°C) but a slight drop in catch to 85 moths 0f 25 species. A Silver Y and two Poplar Hawk-moths added variety.

Tuesday 6th

The total almost made three figures but just fell short at 97 (of 29 species). Twenty-one Treble Lines and 12 each of Setaceous Hebrew Character and Marbled Minor agg. helped reach this biggest count of the year.

Yellow Shell, Lychnis, Small Clouded Brindle, Ringed China-mark, Clepsis spectrana and the amazingly long antennae of Nematopogon schwarziellus were all new for the year.

Monday 5th

The gradual increase continues despite the cold wind. Last night there were 70 moths of 25 species. Dark Arches, Mottled Rustic and Satin Wave were all new for this year in the car park trap. There was also the first Delicate but it is difficult to judge if this is a migrant or now establishing itself as White-point did a few years ago, there were five of these last night.

Sunday 4th

Last night there was no cloud but the catch increased to 62 moths of 22 species. Twenty-two of these were evenly split between Rustic Shoulder-knot and Marbled Minor agg. Delicate was new for the year as was Crambus lathoniellus. The trickle of Small Seraphims kept going with another single. Although one or two have been seen in the field an Oblique-striped was new for the trap this year.

Saturday 3rd

The cloud cleared and the catch reduced to 27 moths of 13 species. Six White-points led the way followed by five Yellow Belles.

Friday 2nd

The same sort of conditions saw a catch of 58 moths of 21 species. Straw Dot, Flame and Middle-barred Minor were new for the year and there was a Silver Y. Treble Lines was most numerous with 13.

Alabonia geofrella by J.Draper

Thursday 1st

Some indication that the moths are still actually there but just keeping out of the continuing north-easterly blast. There were 57 moths of 18 species. Common Swift and Sandy Carpet were new for the car park trap this year. There was a nice female Poplar Hawk-moth and four White-points but no migrants.

A trap in the Elms added Coronet and Willow Beauty.