The winter is a quiet time for moths but think of it as a perfect time for planning your year. Sandwich Bay is rapidly cementing itself as one of the UK’s premier sites for moth trapping with over 1,100 species recorded and more BAP species than anywhere else. Particularly notable are RDB3 species such as Bright Wave and Restharrow with almost their entire UK distribution centered right here. So why not plan a visit to us this year and see some great moths for yourself? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about accommodation and moths
Early cloud kept the temperature up before a strong, cold, easterly set in. The catch was 44 of eleven species. This included Oak Beauty, Muslin and Lead-coloured Drab all new for the year and singles of Ypsolopha mucronellus and Pine Beauty.
The temperature dropped to 1.5°C and the catch dropped to 26 moths of eight species. This did include another Pine Beauty.
The sky cleared and although the temperature did not drop below 1°C there was a heavy ground frost and fog rolled in. The catch plummeted to 15 moths of six species.
Similar conditions yielded 87 moths of 14 species. It was the usual early spring species but a single Ypsolopha mucronella added interest. There was also two more Great Silver Diving Beetles.
Thick cloud cover ensured the temperature did not drop below 4.9°C. The catch increased to 80 moths of 12 species. There were three new species for the year namely Dark Swordgrass (the first migrant of the year), Engrailed and Shoulder-stripe.
Another cold night, down to -0.7°C, and so only 19 moths. Powdered Quaker was new for the year.
This Pine beauty was new for the year.
With the overnight temperature down to-1.1°C it was a reflection of the pleasant daytime temperatures that there were 21 moths of five species. Hebrew Character led the way with nine.
Although the temperature halved to 4.2°C the catch went back up to 38 moths of ten species. Early Grey, Twin-spotted Quaker, Common Plume and Agonopterix yeatiana were all firsts for the year.
Not a big difference to the previous night apart from the odd glint of bright moon. This was enough to drop the catch to 22 moths. Agonopterix alstroemeriana was the only new species for the year.
More cloud and arise to 8.9°C led to a catch of 47 moths of nine species. Early Thorn was the only new one for the year.
A layer of cloud kept the temperature above 6.1°C and covered the moon leading to an improved catch of 34 moths of eight species. Five Clouded Drabs, a Red Chestnut, a Pale Pinion and a March Moth were new for the year. A single Depressaria daucella was also new and is surprisingly uncommon here.
A clear night meant the temperature dropped to 0.2°C but there were still twelve moths in the trap. Diurnea fagella was new for the year.
The wind dropped enough to tempt the trap out. With the temperature down to 3.1°C not a great deal was expected. There were eleven moths of three species, eight Hebrew Characters, two Common Quakers and a Small Quaker.
Far too windy to risk putting the trap out. However another species for the year was added when I found an Angle Shades clinging to the dunes as I walked across the golf course path.
A damp, drizzly, night but the cloud kept the temperature above 5.4°C. This resulted in the first double figure count of the year. Fourteen moths included ten Common Quakers and singles of Small Quaker, Satellite and Hebrew Character.