Saturday 30th

Last night started clear and breezy allowing the temperature to drop to 8.4°C. This, combined with a bright full moon, dropped the catch to 41 moths of 19 species. Red-green Carpet, outside the trap, was new for the autumn.

There are still Hummingbird Hawk-moths around.

Friday 29th

It was cloudy overnight, which is just as well as the moon is big and bright, and this kept the temperature above 16.4°C. Unfortunately the breeze was fresher than expected and the catch was just 112 moths of 24 species. This did include a new species for us Uresiphita gilvata. There have been regular reports along the south coast and it was good to join in the fun with this scarce migrant.

Thursday 28th

Although it was breezy enough to reduce the catch there was nothing like the winds to the west of the country. There were 192 moths of 26 species. The only migrant was a Vestal.

Wednesday 27th

Not as breezy and with some cloud but only 0.6°C warmer. There were 229 moths of 36 species. Lunar Underwing took over as most numerous with 66.The rest was much the same including another five Clancy's Rustics. There was one Scarce Bordered Straw and one Dark Sword-grass.

2022 was notable for the influx of the tiny Beet Moth. This year things are back to normal and we had our first two last night.

Tuesday 26th

It was a bit cooler, at 11.4°C, and breezier but the day was very warm and the residual heat encouraged moth activity. There were 293 moths of 41 species. This was mostly made up of a good variety of resident species. Brown-spot Pinion (2), Dusky-lemon Sallow, and Red-line Quaker all appeared for the first time this year. Delicate increased to 31 (yesterdays 104 was a typo). There were also five Clancy's Rustics, another species which seems to have established in Kent. A Vestal and a Scarce Bordered Straw have not achieved that status yet. Rush Veneer and Bulrush Wainscot were the other notables.

Monday 25th

Although it started windy the wind was from the south and it was warmer, with a minimum of 15.4°C. This led to an increase in numbers to 332 moths of 27 species.

Square-spot Rustic dominated with 105. Delicate increased to 14 and there were 16 of the very attractive Autumnal Rustic. There was another Clancy's Rustic and Scarce Bordered Straw. A Flounced Rustic was late, we have not had one for at least two weeks.

News from yesterday of larval signs of two very rare micros- Acroclita subsequana and Lobesia occidentalis.

Sunday 24th

Similar to the night before and the temperature went down to 8.5°C. There were 173 moths of 27 species.

Large Yellow Underwing just beat Square-spot Rustic 37 v 36. Mallow was new for the year and there were two Scarce Bordered Straws

Saturday 23rd

Cooler, clearer, nights mean the temperature and the catch is reducing. Last night the minimum was 8.8°C and 185 moths of 29 species were caught. Delicate continues to show well with another seven. There was also a Dark Sword-grass, a Clancy's Rustic, a Silver Y and a Rusty-dot Pearl. Lunar Underwings are beginning their autumn surge and reached 17.

There was a Hummingbird Hawk-moth along the Green Wall.

Friday 22nd

After a rest whilst I was away the trap was back out despite the forecast of rain to start the night. It rained heavily at times but this helped keep the temperature up until the skies cleared and the temperature dropped to 8.9°C.

There were 258 moths of 32 species. An indication of the affect of the rain was that there was only one micro - a C. plebejana. Setaceous Hebrew remained most numerous with 78, followed by 42 Large Yellow Underwings. Delicate continued to show strongly with 25.

Large Wainscot (2), Feathered Brindle (2), Deep-brown Dart (2) and Beaded Chestnut (5) were all new for the year.

Monday 18th

Thank you to everyone who attended the Moth Night on Saturday evening. It was another great success. After a night off without setting the trap, today's contents included similar fare to recent traps with an abundance of Large Yellow Underwings, Square-spot Rustics, and Setaceous Hebrew Characters. There were ten more Delicates.

Saturday 16th

Two traps were set in preparation for Moth Night. The carpark trap contained 376 moths of 50 species. Over half of the moths were Square-spot Rustics and Setaceous Hebrew Characters. There were 20 Delicates, two Convolvulus Hawk-moths, two Scarce Bordered Straws, and a female Gem. Our first Autumnal Rustics (two) and Lunar Underwing of the year appeared and a male Vapourer was unusual in the trap. The Obs feeders trap was far quieter but delivered another seven Delicates, a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, and two Clancy's Rustics.

Friday 15th

Two Convolvulus Hawk-moths were in the Obs trap. Two Feathered Ranunculus and Black Rustic were new for the year.

Wednesday 13th

A quieter trap but the highlights were two Scarce Bordered Straws, a Centre-barred Sallow, two Sallows, and a Frosted Orange.

Tuesday 12th

The only difference last night was a slight westerly but it was still warm with a minimum of 16.6°C. The catch fell to 289 moths of 5 species.

Willow Beauty reached a new peak of 23 and Delicate 25. A Red Underwing raised hopes for something more exotic briefly when first seen in the trap but could not be anything else. Evergestis limbata in its next generation and there were two more Scarce Bordered Straws.

Monday 11th

Very similar to the previous night and it was another big catch. Setaceous Hebrew Character increased to 115 and there were four species of Footman- Hoary (2), Common (1), Scarce (1) and Dingy (1). A Fern and a Silky Wainscot were of note from local species. Migrant related activity included a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Palpita vitrealis, Silver Y and two Scarce Bordered Straws.

Sunday 10th

Hot and humid with no wind and a minimum of 16°C. This time there were 429 moths of 60 species. The flow of Box-tree Moths looking for more food continues with another 17. A Dark Sword-grass and a Palpita vitrealis were the only migrant related activity. A Cynaeda dentalis was a surprise.

There are still plenty of regular species to appear e.g. some of the Sallows and Black Rustic.

Saturday 9th

The hot and humid nights are keeping the temperature (15.2°C) and catch high. It is mostly resident species with just a few migrants. Five hundred moths of 69 species were identified. Setaceous Hebrew Character made it into three figures with 103. There was one Pearly Underwing, one Diamondback, one Dark Sword-grass and two Silver Ys. Twelve Delicates showed they are still doing well. A fresh Tree Lichen Beauty hinted at another generation.

Friday 8th

Just a degree cooler last night with less fog. The catch went down to 369 moths of 49 species. The run of Jersey Tigers continued.

Traps at the south end were more fruitful with our third Portland Ribbon Wave and Lilac Beauty the highlights, along with a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, seven Large Thorns and the next generation of Hoary Footman.

Perhaps a reflection of the amount of box planted on the Estate was the presence of over 100 Box-tree Moths.

Thursday 7th

Warm (15.3°C) and calm again leading to a catch of 490 moths of 66 species. Setaceous Hebrew Character was most numerous with 117. Box-tree Moths reached a new high of 12, not a lot compared to some inland gardens but we only have two tiny bushes. Feathered Gothics increased to 17 and there were seven Beautiful Hook-tips. A Large Thorn did its regular trick of lurking outside the trap. Barred Sallow and Lunar Underwing were new for the year.

Migrants included a Convolvulus Hawk-moth and a Palpita vitrealis.

Wednesday 6th

We could not ask for much better conditions, the moon is waning and it is warm at night with little wind. The minimum was 15.8°C. There were 406 moths of 55 species. Setaceous Hebrew Character led with 106 followed by 75 Large Yellow Underwings. Of note was the first Old Lady to enter the trap this year plus Jersey Tiger, Scarce Bordered Straw and Palpita vitrealis.

A further sign of the approach of autumn was the presence of two Western Conifer Seed Bugs on the side of the trap.

A Large Thorn was recorded from the Feeders trap

Tuesday 5th

There must have been some cloud at some time last night as the minimum was 15.5°C. The catch doubled to 379 moths of 58 species. There was evidence of immigration with Small Mottled Willow, Gem, Pearly Underwing and three Dark Sword-grasses. Our first record since 2019 of the tortrix Adoxophyes orana might also have been an immigrant. Fifteen Feathered Gothics were impressive and there was another Silky Wainscot.

Monday 4th

The moon is slowly receding and the catch increasing. There was only a gentle easterly last night and with a clear sky the temperature dropped to 11.6°C. The number of moths increased to 181 but species reduced to 40. There was a Scarce Bordered Straw, a Palpita vitrealis and the first Sallow of the year.

A Convolvulus Hawk-moth was caught in the Elms.

Sunday 3rd

Although it was warm overnight, with a minimum of 15.5°C the sky cleared allowing the moon to continue its influence. The main trap held 110 moths of 43 species. Six Feathered Gothics were of note and the next generation of Smoky Wainscot put in its first appearance. The delicate plume moth Adaina microdactyla was a bonus.

Elsewhere there were four Large Thorns, a Scarce Bordered Straw and a possible new species of tortrix Acleris emargana. There has been a small influx of Celypha rufana with another three being noted.

Saturday 2nd

The night started clear and that was not good news with a bright moon. The catch was only 91 moths of 29 species. There were no migrants.

A Trap in the Elms faired better with the first two Large Thorns for the year.

Friday 1st

Rain overnight lasted well into the morning but the cloud kept the temperature up. It was quite a small catch not helped by another trap within 20 metres. However what it lacked in quantity it made up for with a bit of quality, namely our second ever (and first at the Obs) record of Portland Ribbon Wave. The supporting cast included another Convolvulus Hawk-moth and Cydia amplana plus, the not common, pyrail Evergestis extimalis and a Silky Wainscot.

Cydia amplana. September 1st 2023. I Hunter
Portland Ribbon Wave.2nd Observatory record. September 1st 2023. I Hunter