Tuesday 31st

Although the wind and cloud is not helping most of the wildlife the thick cloud means the nights remain relatively warm. Catches of resident species are good. Last night there were 333 moths of 53 species. Setaceous Hebrew Character further stamped its authority with 87 and White-point continued in second place with 38.

A Frosted Orange was noted on the outside of the trap but did not make it in, it was new for the year. A visitors trap yielded the first Cryptic Fern of the year.
Monday 30th

The cool wind continued but a thick layer of cloud formed and kept the temperature 3.5°C warmer at 15.8°C. The catch increased to 287 moths of 42 species. Setaceous Hebrew Character reached 76 and there was another Hedge Rustic.

Sunday 29th

In preparation for today’s visitor day two traps were operated. The feeders trap held 170 moths of 53 species and the main trap 171 moths of 41 species. Considering the NE breeze remains cool it was an interesting catch. Large Thorn was new for the year. Other moths of note were a second generation Dog’s Tooth, two Small Wainscots, Rush Veneer and two Bricks. A sure sign of the approach of autumn was that Setaceous Hebrew Character shot to top ranking with 43 in one trap and 38 in the other.

Saturday 28th

Another slight drop in temperature to 12.9°C but there were 186 moths of 51 species. The only migrant related activity was a Silver Y and a Diamondback. The other feature was a couple of species going on later than usual – a Small Seraphim and a Brown Plume.

Friday 27th

This time the cloud cleared and it was a bit cooler. The catch reduced to 179 moths of 49 species.  There was another second generation Rest Harrow and fresh Poplar Hawk-moths continue to appear.

Thursday 26th

The hoped for cloud arrived and it was a much improved catch of 348 moths of 74 species in the trap. White-point led the way with 33 and new for the year were Star-wort, Feathered Gothic and Treble-bar. Migrants include another Cydia amplana and Willow Ermine plus a Pearly Underwing.

Wednesday 25th

A clear start to the night and a stiff NNE wind reduced the catch to 85 moths of 34 species. Despite this there were eight Diamondbacks in the trap. Jersey Tiger continues its bid for world domination with one flying around a garden in Sandown Road in the morning.

Hopefully the forecast of more overcast conditions will help increase the catch again.

Tuesday 24th

The north-easterly continued to freshen and was enough to drive the brave souls trying to trap on the seafront back to base. The main trap was much reduced as well with 115 moths of 48 species. This did include a fine male Gypsy moth and a second brood Dog’s Tooth. There was also the first Willow Ermine of the summer. This summer has been an excellent year for the small ermine moths nationally but until now all our identifiable ones have been Bird-cherry Ermines (Yponomeuta evonymella).

Male Gypsy Moth. 24/8/21. I Hunter

Monday 23rd

No storms last night but a steady north-easterly cleared the sky. There were 240 moths of 77 species. Old Lady was new for the trap (after last years only record being found flat on the road!). There was another Cydia amplana and a Jersey Tiger. Trapping near the Whitehouse yielded two more Jersey Tigers and four male Gypsy Moths.

Old Lady.23/8/21. I Hunter

Sunday 22nd

The trap and its contents survived a big thunderstorm which completely flooded the car park for a while. There were 234 moths of 71 species. Hedge Rustic was new for the year. Spinnings of the recent colonist Choreutis nemorana were also found on Fig along Sandown Rd.

Pyrausta purpuralis 21/8/21. I Hunter

Saturday 21st

It remains dry here and the amount of cloud reduced giving a minimum temperature of 13°C and revealing the bright moon at times. There was still a very interesting catch of 277 moths of 73 species. The highlight was our second record this year of Sussex Emerald. There were also two more Jersey Tigers. Pigmy Footman reappeared after a gap of 20 days with two of the local grey form. Two Oblique-striped and two Dusky Sallows were also new after a gap of a few weeks.

Two of the weevil sp. were also in the trap, I have not had any feedback on what species they might be. It is interesting to think of a species with such design flying any distance.

Sussex Emerald. 21/8/21 I Hunter

Friday 20th

There was enough cloud to mask most of the bright moon which is developing and there were 346 moths of 94 species. There was one of the once very scarce pyrail Acrobasis tumidana plus a good variety of the local species. The most numerous were Archer’s Dart and Flame Shoulder with 27 each.

Thursday 19th

Although it started unexpectedly clear the cloud gathered and kept the temperature above 15.6°C. It was another busy night with 370 moths of 83 species. Common Rustic agg.(29) and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (27) continue to battle it out at the top of the numbers chart. There was another Jersey Tiger and two Dark Spinach. Seventeen Silver Ys and eight Tree-lichen Beauties were also of note.

Wednesday 18th

Thick cloud and a falling breeze provided good conditions with a minimum of 16.0°C. There were 393 moths of 82 species. There was a mixture of notable records including a large, female, Convolvulus Hawk-moth (not the first this year as there was an early summer record), and yet another Cydia amplana. Bulrush Wainscot has become very scarce, perhaps due to the annual mowing of the dyke edges, and so it was good to get one. Also new for the year was Six-striped Rustic. Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings continued their good show with 31 individuals. There were also two Rush Veneers and 15 Silver Ys.

On the non-lepidopteran front there were at least ten examples of this long-nosed Weevil, possibly Acorn?? but I am not a coleopterist.

Weevil. 18/8/21. I Hunter
Bulrush Wainscot. 18/8/21. I Hunter

Tuesday 17th

Cooler weather is forecast but last nights minimum just kept in double figures at 10.2°C. The catch dropped to 202 moths of 52 species. Although Jersey Tigers to be taking over urban gardens in the South-east two in our trap was notable. White-point was most numerous with 18. The second generation of Angle-barred Pug put in an appearance.

Jersey Tiger Moth. 17/8/21. I Hunter

Monday 16th

Last night was windy but cloudy and this kept the temperature above 15.1°C. There were 314 moths of 73 species. The highlight was two Cydia amplana, White-line Dart was most numerous with 31. Twenty-one Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow underwings and 15 Archers’ Darts were also good counts. A very worn Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing tried to sneak past under the cover of the LBBYUs.

A spell looking at Hawthorn in the area produced Stigmella hybnerella, Phyllonorycter oxycanthae, Bucculatrix bechsteinella, and Coleophora potentillae. The latter was new for Sandwich Bay. Larva of Clouded Silver, Pale Oak Beauty, and Brimstone were also around around the Elms and Gullies.

Sunday 15th

I am not noticing something, the sky was fairly clear and the temperature was down to 12.3°C but the catch increased to 368 moths of 88 species. Interesting counts included 13 Archer’s Darts, nine Garden Tigers, eight Silver Ys and two Tree-lichen Beauties. The latter is well down on last years strong showing. Both Twin-spotted and Brown-veined Wainscots are appearing now.

Perhaps it was more humid last night than I realised as Great Silver Diving Beetle reappeared after a couple of months gap.

Saturday 14th

A temperature drop by just 0.4°C to 13.3°C did not explain the catch dropping to 229 moths of 65 species. It still contained a good mix of resident species for the moth event. Colourful moths such as Peach Blossom are always popular. Less colourful species were represented by freshly emerged Uncertains and a Rustic. There were nine Silver Ys and another Cydia amplana.

Friday 13th

It seems set fair for tonight as the nagging breeze is forecast to drop and there should be some cloud.

Last night was slightly warmer at 13.7°C minimum and there were 303 moths of 88 species. There was the first Webb’s Wainscot and Beautiful Plume for the year plus the very infrequent Small Scallop. The four Silver Ys and a Dark Sword-grass all looked in fresh condition.

Thursday 12th

It felt a bit more humid despite a clear start to the night and the temperature did not drop below 13.1°C. The catch was 270 moths of 84 species. The most interesting feature was the reappearance of some species which had not been recorded for a couple of weeks namely Pigmy Footman, Light Arches and Elephant Hawk-moth. The latter looked as if it had been around for sometime. Three Small Wainscots were new for the year in this trap as was a Twin-spotted Wainscot. There were nine Silver Ys and a Dark Sword-grass.

Wednesday 11th

The ants yesterday were a forerunner of a reasonable variety of moths. The sky cleared enough at times for the temperature to fall to 11°C but there was still a catch of 289 moths of 92 species. White-line Dart one the numbers game with 24 to 22 Common Rustic aggs. There was an interesting variety in the supporting role the most notable being a Cydia amplana. After no records since 2013 there was our second Phoenix, a species rising from the ashes? There was also the first Straw Underwing and Lunar Thorn of the year plus the first Dusky Thorn in the main trap. The first Copper Underwing of the year turned out to be a Svensson’s Copper Underwing. Six Goldspots added a bit of sparkle to the catch.

Tuesday 10th

It started very windy but there was enough of a calm spell to give another reasonable catch. Two pyralids were the highlight, both being our second record. They were Moitrelia obductella and Anania verbascalis. A Red Underwing was sat on the Observatory building and a Jersey Tiger was disturbed from vegetation in Waldershare Gully, both new for the year.

The weather seems to be heading in the right sort of direction for Saturdays moth night. For the first time this year there was a mass emergence of flying ants, it will be interesting to see if these conditions encourage more moths as well.

Anania verbascalis. 10/8/21. I Hunter
Moitrelia obductella. 10/8/21. I Hunter

Monday 9th

I did not approach the trap with much hope after a very windy night with some heavy showers. However, I was pleasantly surprised with 242 moths of 73 species. Breckland Plume, and a second Barred Rivulet were of particular note.

Breckland Plume. 9/8/21. I Hunter

Sunday 8th

Yet more unsettled and windy weather still yielded 137 moths of 47 species. Twenty-one Common Rustic aggs were joined by 15 White-line Darts. The disappointing run of Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing continued with just a single but Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing trundled along with another four.

Pammene aurita. 7/8/21. I Hunter

Those who saw the cult comedy show- The Young Ones- might remember this caterpillars hair style.

Sycamore Moth larva. August 21. I Hunter

Saturday 7th

Despite the strength of the wind last night it was not a complete write off. There were 125 moths of 59 species. This included  a Dark Sword-grass and a Diamondback plus the second generation of White-points. Evergestis limbata seems to have settled in around here and continues to turn up regularly and Sciota adelphella made a reappearance.

Friday 6th

A very unsettled, windy, and showery night but the cloud kept the temperature above 15.2°C. There were 202 moths of 62 species. Twelve Ruby Tigers and eight Silver Ys were of note. This year has been very poor for Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing and so two was a pleasing catch. A Brown-veined Wainscot and a late Heart and Dart added to the variety.

Lets hope the variety keeps up for next Saturdays ( 14th) moth night.

Thursday 5th

We are fortunate with the daytime sun and warmth but the nights are remaining cool with another minimum below 10 at 9.9°C The trap was quiet with 131 moths of 47 species. 28 Common Rustic aggs were joined by 11 Dark Arches as the only double figure counts. There were singles of Diamondback, Silver Y and Dark Sword-grass.

Wednesday 4th

The overnight temperature dipped down to 9.4°C and the catch dipped accordingly. There were 122 moths of 62 species. Common Rustic agg. was the only one to make double figures with 21. There must have been a female Drinker Moth around somewhere as there were six males in the main trap and another in the Feeders trap which also yielded the first Small Waved Umber of the year.

Tuesday 3rd

The rollercoaster continues as, although the temperature dropped another degree celsius, cloudy conditions ensured a catch of 289 moths of 91 species. Barred Rivulet was new for the year and a Fen Wainscot was the first to make it to this trap this year.

Monday 2nd

The weather is forecast to get cooler and an unsettled night dropped to 13.1°C. There were only 112 moths of 53 species of which only Common Rustic agg. made it into double figures (15). Dingy Shell was new for the year and there was a Plumed Fan-foot and yet another Pine Hawk-moth. A second trap held seven Swallow Prominents.

Sunday 1st

The rollercoaster continues, this time showery clouds kept the temperature above 14.4°C. There were 239 moths of 76 species, it actually looked as if there would be more but most were resting at the top of the trap. Flounced Rustic was new for the year, a reminder of autumn coming. Also of note were five Silver Ys, two Dark sword-grasses, 15 Scarce Footmen and yet another yellow form of Pigmy Footman. Even more unexpected was another all black Peppered Moth.

A trap set along the Haven yielded a Four-spotted Footman.