Wednesday 28th

After an unintentional rest the previous night the trap swung back into action. Windy conditions kept the catch down to 177 moths of 58 species. There was a fresh example of the attractive moth Oncocera semirubella plus two Dark Sword-grasses of note.

Six-spot Burnet Moths by H.Willis

Monday 26th

The easterly breeze returned but it was still cloudy and there was another large and varied catch involving 461 moths of 119 species. New for the years included Dark Umber, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Lunar-spotted Pinion, two Webb’s Wainscots and the distinctive Eupoecilia ambiguella. The highlight was our second ever record of Brussels Lace.

There were 17 more Silver Y’s and two more of the tiny Eulamprotes wilkella.

Eulamprotes wilkella. 26/7/21. I Hunter
Brussels Lace. 26/7/21.I Hunter

Sunday 25th

What a difference! The wind dropped in the evening and cloud gathered, covering any moon. It was a degree cooler but the moths were out in force with at least 743 of 133 species. Tree-lichen Beauty was the leading new species for the year with seven individuals. Other new for the year species included Bordered Pug, Small Scallop and our sixth Dusky Plume.

There was strong evidence of migration starting with a Red Admiral, four Diamondbacks, a Dark Sword-grass, and 44 Silver Ys. Yponomeuta evonymellas reappeared with 69. The best however were two Acrobasis tumidanas.

Saturday 24th

Despite a very strong easterly the ground level thermometer only fell to 17.4°C. The wind and a big moon did not impress the moths and there was a paltry 46 moths of 27 species. A Wormwood added a dash of interest.

Friday 23rd

Although it was actually warmer last night at 16.1°C the combination of an increasingly fresh breeze and bright moon meant the catch dropped to 107 moths of 35 species.  A Delicate was of interest and there was a fresh Small Elephant Hawk-moth after a gap of 2 weeks. A single Pigmy Footman kept that species good run going.

Thursday 22nd

The temperature stayed above 14.4°C and despite an increasingly bright moon there were still 361 moths of 93 species. New for the year were Square-spot Rustic (a sign of late summer usually), Dewick’s Plusia, Evergestis extimalis and Nyctegretis lineana. However the highlight was our third ever record of Sussex Emerald. Having eyeballed it in the trap it promptly flew out and disappeared. The Moffice came into its own though as it was found again this evening – phew!

Pine Hawk-moths continued their excellent year with another two. The rush of Yponomeuta evonymellas came to an abrupt halt with only three last night.

Sussex Emerald. 23/7/21. I Hunter

Wednesday 21st

The excellent mothing continues, the only problem is finding the time to report on it! Last night there were 573 moths of 116 species. The arrival of Yponomeuta evonymella continued apace with another 82. New for the year were Plumed Fan-foot, Buff Arches, Reed Dagger (having totally missed the first generation), Garden Tiger(2), Bordered Sallow and our first Phoenix for several years. Oak Eggar, Marbled Green, and Scallop Shell were new for the year on Sandown Road.

A Vapourer was flying around in the sunshine on Worth marshes.

Scallop Shell. 21/7/21. I Hunter

Tuesday 20th

The night time minimum crept up to 14.8°C – relatively civilised compared to inland. There was another busy moth trap with 449 moths of 120 species. Yponomeuta evonymella would appear to be on the move, last night there were 57, we certainly have not noticed the larval webs around here beforehand. New for the year were Double Lobed, White-spotted Pug, and Small Angle Shades, the latter our first record in 15 years. Having not seen one for a few years there was a second Anania lancealis.

Monday 19th

Whilst it is hot we are fortunate to have an easterly breeze which takes the edge off the heat and reduced the temperature to 13.8°C. The trap was busy with 466 moths of 96 species. Dark Arches and Common Footman led with 69 and 62 respectively. New for the year were Dusky Sallow, Gold Triangle and Mother of Pearl. The main event was another new species for the Bay – Sciotia rhenella – a rare migrant with only eleven previous UK records.

There were also three Peppered moths, one of each colour form.

Sciotia rhenella. 1st Observatory record. 19 July 2021. I Hunter

Sunday 18th

The day time is hot but being on the coast, and with clear skies, the night cools a bit. It dropped to 12.2°C. There were 324 moths of 67 species. Common Footman continued its rise and at 57 led the way. Channel Islands Pug, Bordered Beauty and Least Yellow Underwing were new for the year. Four White Satins was a good count.

Saturday 17th

Despite a slight glitch in getting the trap in there were 240 moths of 60 species. Amazingly there were two new macros for the Obs – Waved Black and Scarce Silver Y. The latter of these is a migrant in the south but I am not sure where the Waved Black originated. There was an interesting supporting cast including the first Fen Wainscot and Yellow-tail of the year and a Goat Moth. 16 Pigmy Footman was a good count particularly as there seemed to be an influx of the pallifrons form with nine of those.

Scarce Silver Y. New for the Obs. 16 July 2021. I Hunter
Waved Black. New to the Obs. 17 July 2021. I Hunter
Two forms of Pigmy Footman. 17 July 2021. I Hunter

Friday 16th

The north-easterly persisted but the temperature did not fall below 15°C and there were 408 moths of 79 species. Once again Dark Arches led the way with 137. New for the year were two Archer’s Darts. A total of 18 Silver Y’s reflected the increase in daytime sightings. Other  migrants are thin on the ground with just one Dark Sword-grass and one Diamondback. Of interest were seven Clays, two Box-tree Moths, a very fresh Lime Hawk-moth and a Small Blood-vein.

Lime Hawk-moth. July 16th 2021. I Hunter

Thursday 15th

Despite the arrival of a cool north-easterly and drizzle to welcome the Open golfers it was not that cool out of the wind. The catch was 330 moths of 72 species. New for the year were Drinker, Swallow-tailed Moth, Dingy Shears, Brown-tail (4) and Magpie. There were three Bright Waves and a ‘middle’ coloured Peppered Moth (half way between black and normal). Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing still has not got going this year and there were two last night.

Wednesday 14th

Another good catch as the temperature stayed above 14.2°C and there was some cloud overnight. There were 338 moths of 67 species in the trap. Dark Arches led the way with 106. There was a Dark Sword-grass and six Silver Y’s. It is always nice to see the White Satin and there were two of these, We have less than ten records ever of Anania lancealis and so that was a good record.

White Satin. July14th 2021 I Hunter

I am not sure if this is being exuded or what?

White Satin with material on head. July 14th 2021. I Hunter

Monday 12th

As National Moth Night has passed the catch shot up, this time to 496 moths of 101 species. This was helped by a slight increase to 14.9°C and cloudy conditions. New for the year were Gem, Clancy’s Rustic, Shaded Broad-bar and Anania perlucidalis. Also of note were 12 Silver Y’s, 97 Dark Arches, two Pigmy Footmen, two Millers, Evergestis limbata and Eucosma conterminana.

Sunday 11th

The ‘curse’ of national moth night continued and the temperature dropped to 10.2°C. The catch was 173 moths of 53 species. This did include the first Scarce Footman and L-album Wainscots of the year. Although one or two have been seen in the field the first Rush Veneer was in the trap.

Saturday 10th

Still a minimum of 13.4°C but the wind moved to south west and there was an interesting variety of moths. The main trap had 227 moths of 54 species and the pond trap 55 moths of 36 species. New for the year were Rosy Footman, Marbled White-spot, July Highflyer and Brown Plume. Of particular note in the main trap were three each of Pine Hawk-moth and Pigmy Footman. There were also four each of Silver Y and Diamondback.

The Sandown Road trap produced two Privet Hawks and, new for the year, a Scalloped Oak.

Coronet 10 July 2021 I Hunter
July Highflyer 10 July 2021 I Hunter

Friday 9th

A slight increase in temperature to a minimum of 13.4°C but the breeze persists despite forecast to the contrary. The main trap held 171 moths of 44 species. A trap by the pond reedbed, as part of National Moth Night, held a disappointing 45 moths of 27 species. Interestingly although the traps are less than 50 metres apart nine of these 27 were different. The main feature of the catch was examples of local specialities such as Rosy Wave, Pigmy Footman and Bright Wave. There was also a Kent Black Arches and six Silver Ys.

The trap on Sandown Road had two freshly emerged Elephant Hawk-moths.

Thursday 8th

It was even cooler last night at 11.5°C but the catch increased to 107 moths of 41 species. New for the year were Short-cloaked and Yarrow Plume. There was a second Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing and hopefully their numbers will continue to increase There was another Pigmy Footman and White Satin is always an attractive moth.

Wednesday 7th 

Last night should have been the last of the very windy nights, at least for a few days. With the sky clearing at times the temperature dropped to 12.1°C. The catch was 88 moths of 30 species. There were two new for the year – Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing and Lesser Swallow Prominent. There was also a Silver Y and a Diamondback.

Tuesday 6th 

The temperature crept up another 0.4°C but with the wind increasing to gale force the catch was  only 151 moths of 34 species Mouse moth and Common Rustic agg. were new for the year. The trend in the forecast for around here seems to be positive which is good with National Moth Night coming up this weekend.

Monday 5th 

Only 0.4°C warmer at 13.7°C gave a slight increase to 224 moths but only 50 species. Maybe they are hunkering down ahead of the approaching gale. Least Carpet was new for the year and the commonest species was Dark Arches with 86.

Sunday 4th 

Back to normal for this year. Clearer conditions gave a catch of 154 moths of 52 species. The attractive Buff Arches was new for the year and there were five Silver Ys and a Diamondback. Two species I think of a mid-spring ones are keeping going with singles of Treble Lines and Rustic Shoulder-knot.

Saturday 3rd

The roller coaster continues. There were showers overnight but the cloud kept the temperature above 15°C. With the wind in the south there were hopes of migrants but it was local species (of which we are fortunate to have plenty) which made up the bulk of the catch. The total was the best so far this year- 507 moths of 107 species. Pigmy Footman (2), Dunbar, Round-winged Muslin, Rosy Wave, Ruddy Carpet, Kent Black Arches, Sycamore and Plain Pug were all new for the year. Amongst the micros Platytes cerusella and the very attractive Bisignia procerella were of note. There were also five Diamondbacks and seven Silver Ys. Our third Poplar Lutestring and second Shore Wainscot of the year topped it off.

Shore Wainscot. 3rd July 2021. I Hunter
Bisignia procerella. July 3rd 2021. I Hunter

Friday 2nd

Another cool night and there were only 108 moths of 43 species. Dwarf Cream Wave and Common Emerald were new for the year and there was the second Festoon.

Festoon. July 2nd 2021. I Hunter

Thursday 1st

With the wind getting bits of north in it the temperature fell to 11.3°C but there was enough cloud to yield 283 moths of 57 species. The only new one for the year was Poplar Kitten. There were six Silver Ys, two Diamondbacks and single Delicate and Dark Sword-grass.

Please send us your sightings at info@sbbot.org.uk