Monday 31st

Although it was still mild (11.3°C) last night the approach of stormy weather might have had an effect as the catch was down to 100 moths of 23 species.

Rush Veneers went down to 37, Scarce Bordered Straws to six, and Vestals to one. The most extraordinary catch however was a very fresh looking Garden Tiger. Checking the Kent database there are no records at all after the first week of September and the peak is a good month before that. This is one of a number of unusual records of common moths this year in Kent.

Sunday 30th

The mild spell (12.2°C minimum last night) allows the amazing run of migrants to continue. In total there were 270 moths of 31 species. Counts of 151 Rush Veneers and 18 Scarce Bordered Straws were both record counts for the one trap. There were also 13 Udea ferrugalis, eight Vestals, three Silver Y's, two Small Mottled Willows, a Dark Sword-grass and a Diamondback. Two Oak Rustics were probably of local origin and 23 Large Wainscots definitely were.

The Sandown Road trap had a Dewick's Plusia, three Palpita vitrealis, and another Scarce Bordered Straw.

The two 'extremes' of Vestal. October 30th 2022. I Hunter

Saturday 29th

It felt a bit cooler at first with the temperature down to 9.1°C, which is still mild, but the temperature actually picked up a couple of degrees during the night. There were 174 moths of 28 species. Of note were 81 Rush Veneers, 13 Udea ferrugalis, four Scarce Bordered Straws, four Vestals, three Silver Ys, two Pearly Underwings, two Merveille du Jours, and single Delicate, Gem, Oak Rustic and Hoary Footman. A good mix.

Friday 28th

A minimum of 13.3°C continues the mild spell despite the sky clearing. The main trap had 106 Rush veneers, 14 Udea ferrugalis, three Vestals and a Diamondback. Two Feathered Thorns were new for the autumn and there was another white form of Oak Rustic.

The Sandown Road trap held 32 Rush Veneers, two Vestals, a Scarce Bordered Straw and another Palpita vitrealis. Best of all were three Merveille du Jours.

I have put pictures of these on before but you cannot have too many!

Merveille du Jour head on. 28/10/22. I Hunter
Merveille du Jour. 28/10/22. I Hunter

Thursday 27th

The main trap held 96 Rush Veneers, three Vestals, four Scarce Bordered Straws, two Silver Ys and five Udea ferrugalis. There was also the first Radford's Flame Shoulder and Merveille du Jour for the year, after last autumns arrival it is difficult to know if the former was a migrant or not. The feeders trap had 25 Rush Veneers, five Udea ferrugalis and single Vestal and Scarce Bordered Straw. There was another Vestal and a Palpita vitrealis on Sandown Road.

Wednesday 26th

Continuing mild with a minimum of 11.8°C but much more breezy than expected. The latter restricted the catch to 96 moths of 22 species. Nearly half were migrants - 38 Rush Veneers, four Scarce Bordered Straws, two Diamondbacks, and a Silver Y. There was also an Oak Rustic, of the orange-spotted form this time.

Tuesday 25th

We were just beginning to wonder if we would miss out on the Crimson Speckled fest when a random check of the trap in the evening revealed our very own Crimson Speckled waiting on the outside. It was not given the chance to consider whether to go in or not and was potted up. This is our first record of CRIMSON SPECKLED.

There were other migrants amongst the catch of 119 moths of 27 species. These were 29 Rush Veneers, four Scarce Bordered Straws, four Udea ferrugalis, a Small Mottled Willow and a Vestal.

Crimson Speckled. October 25th 2022. G.Lee, I Hunter
Crimson Speckled October 25th 2022. G.Lee, I Hunter

Monday 24th

They forecast that it would be windy and it was, in fact I was grateful most of the trap was still there this morning! With lots of south in the wind it kept mild at 15.5°C but the strength of the wind reduced the catch to 26 moths of 10 species. This included ten Rush Veneers and a Vestal.

Sunday 23rd

The mild spell continued and the wind dropped at times allowing another wave of Rush Veneers - 52 in total. There were 154 moths of 33 species. Other migrants included three Scarce Bordered Straws, a Small Mottled Willow, plus single Silver Y, Dark Sword-grass, Vestal and Udea ferrugalis.

New for the yar was November Moth agg. plus there was a Dusky-lemon Sallow and another Oak Rustic of the white-spotted form.

Saturday 22nd

It remains very mild (minimum 11.7°C and up to 20 during the day) but the strong wind reduced the catch to 55 moths of 21 species. A quarter of these were migrants - eight Rush Veneers, two Scarce Bordered Straws, and single Pearly Underwing, Silver Y, Diamond-back and, best of all, our fifth ever record of Ni Moth.

Ni Moth October 22nd 2022. I Hunter

Friday 21st

I was surprised to see that the minimum was as low as 9.1°C as it felt milder. The wind dropped enough to yield a good catch of 187 moths of 22 species. Nearly half of these were Rush Veneers - 87. Other migrants were six Udea ferrugalis, two Vestals and a Palpits vitrealis. A Delicate and seven Deep-brown Darts were also of note. The peace in the trap was disturbed by three Great Silver Diving Beetles scrambling about.

Thursday 20th

The brief day of easterly came to an end as cloud pushed in from the west. It was another mild night with a minimum of 13.9°C. There was a slight increase in the number of moths to 87 of 18 species. The most numerous was Large Wainscot with 15. There was another upsurge in Rush Veneers with 15 plus a Vestal and a Dark Sword-grass.

Wednesday 19th

A fresh easterly continued to increase through the night and even though it was surprisingly mild (minimum 12.6°C) moth activity was very limited. There were 66 moths of 17 species. Lunar Underwing was most numerous with 29 and there was one Rusty-dot Pearl.

Tuesday 18th

The sky cleared overnight allowing the temperature to fall to 6.2°C but there was no wind. This allowed a small arrival to occur the headline being our first ever FLAME BROCADE. It was accompanied by 27 Rush Veneers and two Turnips.

Flame Brocade. October 18th 2022. 1st Observatory record. I Hunter


Monday 17th

The cloud which brought showers was enough to keep it a mild night, not falling below 14.8°C. There were 136 moths of 25 species. This included the first Oak Rustic for the year, 11 Rush Veneers and a Scarce Bordered Straw.

Oak Rustic. 17 October 2022. I Hunter
Caloptilia falconipennella
October 15th 2022. I Hunter

Sunday 16th

An unsettled night did not completely deter moth activity and there were 91 moths of 19 species. Feathered Brindle was most numerous with 17. Now that species such as White-point are so well established it is difficult to know if the ten last night were locals or new arrivals. There was a Pearly Underwing and two Rush Veneers.

Saturday 15th

Cloud gathered overnight and by early morning there had been some rain but the temperature was 4°C warmer than the 8°C minimum reached overnight. There were 81 moths of 23 species. By this time of year most of the Rusty-dot Pearls could be local progeny, there was one last night.

Friday 14th

Not as cloudy last night but there was enough to keep the temperature above 10.6°C. The catch reduced to 104 of 29 species. Lunar Underwing reclaimed top spot with 26. The run of Deep-brown Darts continued with five more. It is just as well we only have two tiny Box bushes as there was another Box-tree Moth. Singles of both Mottled Rustic and Vine's Rustic are getting to be late examples. There was one Rush Veneer.

Thursday 13th

Thick cloud gathered to mask the moon and keep the temperature above 12.5°C. The number of moths shot up to 229 of 34 species. Spruce Carpet was new for the year. Of note were 111 Large Yellow Underwings, two each of Rush Veneer and Hoary Footman, plus a Barred Sallow.

Wednesday 12th

The night started very clear and with a very bright moon although cloud gathered later. With the temperature down to 3.8°C there were only 11 moths of five species.

Tuesday 11th

Cool and clear overnight with the first bit of ground frost this morning. There were only 19 moths of eight species. Even Lunar Underwing was down to single figures-eight. Given all that a Dark Sword-grass was a surprise.

Monday 10th

The night started cold and clear but cloud gathered stopping the temperature dropping below 9°C. This encouraged a few more species but barely any more moths. There were 26 moths of 15 species. This included seven Lunar Underwings, six Feathered Brindles and the first Chestnut of the autumn.

There was a Western Conifer Seed-bug on a wall nearby.

Sunday 9th

With a clear sky helping the temperature to fall to 4.8°C and a very bright moon a drop in the catch was expected however the scale was a surprise. There were 23 moths of eight species. Fourteen of the catch were Lunar Underwings.

Saturday 8th

A belt of wind and rain was forecast to pass through from the west and indeed the wind picked up before the sky cleared and the temperature dropped to 7.9°C. The catch was 93 moths of 21 species. This did include the first Green-brindled Crescent of the year plus a Dusky-lemon Sallow and a Vestal.

Friday 7th

We are going to be competing with a very bright moon for the next few nights and this will reduce the catch. The temperature did stay in double figures at 11.7°C. There were 188 moths of 32 species. Large Yellow Underwing and Lunar Underwing shared the lead with 52 each but 20 Feathered Brindles stole the show. Also of note were a Dark Sword-grass, a Rush Veneer, a Clancy's Rustic and three Delicates.

Thursday 6th

After yesterdays gales it calmed down enough for some moth activity despite a low of 7.8°C. There were 151 moths of 19 species. Lunar Underwing continued to lead the way with 82.

Wednesday 5th

Considering it was windy I was surprised the temperature did not fall below 15.5°C. The wind did reduce the number of moths to 257 of 24 species. Variety was added by single Silver Y, Scarce Bordered Straw, Rush Veneer, Gold Spot and Rusty-dot Pearl.

Ever hopeful we continue to scratch our heads about potential examples of the latest macro to be hiding in plain sight Noctua tertia.

Tuesday 4th

Cloud gathered and kept the temperature above 10.2°C. The moth of the night was sat on the outside of the trap - a brilliant Death's Head Hawk-moth.

In all there were 270 moths of 30 species. Other interesting records were singles of Rush Veneer, Clancy's Rustic, and Scarce Bordered Straw.

Deaths-Head-Hawkmoth.-October-4th-2022-I Hunter

Monday 3rd

Once it cleared last night the temperature dropped to 7.2°C. Before that there was enough warmth for 245 moths of 21 species. Red-line Quaker was new for the year and another generation of Hoary Footmen started appearing. More than two-thirds of the moths were Lunar Underwings - 173 in total.

Sunday 2nd

Cloud gathered overnight keeping the temperature above 13.1°C. This encouraged moth activity and there were 343 of 34 species.

Lunar Underwing reached its century closely followed by Large Yellow Underwing. Of note were two Scarce Bordered Straws, three Silver Ys, three Rush Veneers and single Dark Sword-grass and Clancy's Rustic. The best moth was an Orange Sallow of which we have less than ten records.

With the publication of the paper on a third species in the Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing group three examples underwent close scrutiny.

Saturday 1st

The trap was carefully placed in a sheltered spot out of the teeth of the storm. There were 136 moths of 26 species including the first Blair's Shoulder-knot of the year.