Last night’s haul was a triumph of quality over quantity, with the Observatory’s first confirmed record of SVENSSON’S COPPER UNDERWING.


After a couple of unsettled and unproductive nights last night’s session was much better, with Orange Swift and Straw Underwing new for the year. 


Plumed Fan-foot by Ken Chapman
Plumed Fan-foot by Ken Chapman

Last night was fairly quiet but the previous night brought Small Wainscot and the Observatory’s first ever record of PLUMED FAN-FOOT. First recorded in the UK in 1995 it was regarded as a rare immigrant from the south but is suspected of establishing several small colonies along the coast, so its appearance was not entirely unexpected.


Last night’s new macros were Marbled Beauty, Small Blood-vein and Twin-spot Wainscot.


Recent new macros for the year have been Barred Rivulet on the 23rd and Star-wort and Copper Underwing last night, along with a second Bedstraw Hawk-moth, Vestal and only the third Observatory record of Haworth’s Pug.


Toadflax Brocade was trapped last night, along with Small Waved Umber.


Tawny Shears, another species that is rather erratic in its appearances here, was added last night.


The irregular Golden Twin-spot and Burush Wainscot were added to the year’s macro list last night, together with Square-spot Rustic.


Last night’s captures included Canary-shouldered Thorn, the irregular Mere Wainscot, Flounced Rustic and Crescent.


Another very warm night produced only the second Observatory record of Lunar Thorn, Pimpinel Pug, which has only previously been recorded at light in the Whitehouse, and Lesser Cream Wave, along with hundreds of Diamond-backs.


Last night’s haul of 1,312 moths included new species in the shape of Small Emerald and DARK UMBER – a new species for the Observatory. Use of pheromones in the afternoon proved hugely successful, luring 5 Red-tipped Clearwings.


An excellent set of records included Scarce Silver Lines, recorded only once before, in 2011, the Observatory’s tenth Bedstraw Hawk-moth and the first since 2000, the fifth Observatory record of Satin Lutestring, the fairly scarce Brown-line Bright-eye and Silky Wainscot.


Saltern Ear, Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing and Scarce Chocolate-tip in the trap last night, bringing this year’s macro species total past the 300 mark, which is exceptional for mid July.


Many more moths were caught overnight, with traps operating around the Observatory, in the Elms and in the Restharrow Field. The course members spent a very intensive day identifying hundreds of moths of many different species. 6 new moths for the year were found – Oak Eggar, Green Arches, (not a common moth here), Plain Pug, Lilac Beauty, Tree-lichen Beauty and Marbled Green.

A very successful course, with lots of fun and some serious mothing involved. Many thanks to all of the course members and we hope to see you back here as soon as possible!


The first full day of a residential mothing course lead by Dave Grundy of DG Countryside, (dgcountryside@btinternet.com), saw some 16 moth enthusiasts from many parts of the country taking over the Observatory for the weekend.

Amongst a very impressive range of local and specialist moths seen by the group were several Bright Waves, but the other local ‘good’ moth, Restharrow, eluded us as it has probably already finished for the year.

New for the year list were Small Scallop, Brown-veined Wainscot  and Delicate.
































The weather seems set into a grey, dank and dismal phase in this part of the country. Bordered Pug and Lunar-spotted Pinion were two more new moths for the year.


Complete cloud cover with some light rain overnight produced over 900 moths of 107 species, including  three more new moths for the year-list – a nice Rosy Footman, an Olive and a Plain Golden Y. The cumulative species total for the year now stands at 287.


631 moths of 91 species were taken from the traps, but with no new addtions to the year list.


A cooler night with some clearing skies resulted in a reduced number of moths being  caught, (just 531), but the species mix held up reasonably well, (98). New for the year was a single Yellow-tail 


Another good haul of 1387 moths of 149 species, the best of which was a Spurge Hawkmoth, only recorded on less than five previous occasions over the past 40 years. A Buff Footman was also new for the year.


After a night of cloud and some rain, there was decent-sized catch in the traps, with 1418 moths of 133 species. Predictably, Dark Arches dominated with 353 specimens, followed by Garden Grass Veneer with 290.  New for the year were a singles of  Pigmy Footman, (one of our local specialities), Dusky Sallow, Vapourer and Fen Wainscot, plus four Least Yellow Underwings

Join us on the 6th at 9.30 to view the moths trapped overnight


Lesser Common Rustic, Rosy Rustic, Yarrow Pug and our first Broom Moth since 2008 were recorded last night.


Last night brought nothing new, but our third White Satin of the year was noteworthy.


Mouse Moth was recorded last night, bringing the total of macro species recorded so far this year to 272; way ahead of the previous end of June record of 247.