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A blustery night became calmer after midnight and as a consequence was better than expected, with Lesser Yellow Underwing and Scalloped Oak new for the year.
Another fairly busy night produced much the same range of species as the previous session, but with a few more hawk-moths, which are appearing in numbers about a month later than usual, and the first Round-winged Muslin of the year. A Forester was found in the Whitehouse this afternoon.
Barred Yellow and Common Footman were recorded on the 25th and last night brought only the second local record of Large Twin-spot Carpet, previously only recorded in the Elms in 1995, together with a fairly impressive total of 111 Large Yellow Underwings.
A stiff breeze overnight reduced moth activity. Only 148 moths of 31 species were recorded. There were no migrants except 5 Silver-y. Smoky Wainscot was new for the year.
The humid, thundery weather has clearly induced a significant influx of migrants. Last night’s session was notable for the appearance of the first Small Mottled Willows of the year, associated with a huge influx of Silver-y, of which an amazing 590 were recorded along the narrow band of the butterfly transect this morning. There were also a Bordered Sallow and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth on the Estate.
A night of torrential downpours brought a total of nearly 250 moths, including Small Fan-footed Wave, Uncertain, Barred Straw and Shaded Broad-bar and at least 65 Silver-y were in the Whitehouse in the morning.
Despite some apparently encouraging conditions last night’s moths were rather disappointing, though they did include a Clay, for the first time this year.
The last few days have oscillated between wet and humid and despite much improved numbers have produced surprisingly little of interest, but this morning the first Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet was found in the Whitehouse, with the Bay’s first ever record of BURNET COMPANION on a fence post nearby. Quite why it has proved to be so elusive until now is a mystery – it occurs commonly on the Downs around Dover, for example.
Despite the wind and rain the overnight temperature did not drop below 14.2°C and so there were plenty more moths. 248 of 35 species were recorded. A single Diamondback made a reappearance and there was a Dark Swordgrass.
Last night the temperature dropped to 6°C and so it is not surprising that only 21 moths of 10 species were recorded.
In preparation for one of our regular moth nights two traps were run. The additional one was run by Francis, who braved the damp and cool, in the Whitehouse. As a result several new species for the year were recorded. These included Privet Hawk, Small Seraphim, Lead-coloured Pug, Shaded Pug, Least Black Arches, Blackneck, Shears, Dotted and Small Fanfoot and Yarrow Plume.
Francis also swept the rare Grapholita orobana (our 5th record) and Micropterix aruncella ( nationally common but new for us) from vegetation.
Water Ermine was new for the year last night.
A rather chilly night kept numbers low (even Diamond-backs were keeping their heads down).
Another reasonable night brought first records of Buff-tip, Light Arches and Heart & Club, in a catch that was dominated by Heart & Dart, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Diamond-backs, as most recent nights have been.
Treble Brown Spot, Drinker and Bordered Pug were recorded last night, bringing the macro total for the year so far to 143 species. Although this spring and early summer have felt like hard going at times, it is salutary to note that at the same time last year our macro total stood at only 129.
In warm, humid weather over the weekend 16 new macros were recorded for the year, the most notable of which were Splendid Brocade, Sandy Carpet, Shark, a lovely Peach Blossom and Scorched Wing. Last night was a bit fresher and consequently quieter, although Purple Bar was recorded for the first time this year.
Two traps were run last night and what are the chances of the following happening? Each trap was counted by the same person and the number of moths in each totalled at the end. In trap one 357 Diamond backs were counted and in trap two 357 Diamond backs were counted!
More significantly a new species for the Bay was photographed in the Middle Field- Nemophora fasciella. Its distribution is very local and concentrated to the east, there are records on Thanet.
On the first of this year’s National Moth Nights it was a bit nippy, but Burnished Brass was new for the year among a catch of just 70 moths, of which a Chocolate-tip was probably the best of the rest.
Last night’s session was notable for some torrential rain and the arrival of over 4,000 Diamond-backs, together with Puss Moth, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Waved Umber and no doubt the first of many Dark Arches.
Dog’s Tooth, Shears, Bird’s Wing and Clouded Silver appeared last night and a Mother Shipton was found in Restharrow Dunes during the BMS transect this morning.
Last night’s efforts produced a dark Pale Oak Beauty and the first Dusky Brocade of the year.
Yellow Shell was seen along the Delf this morning, following an overnight session that produced the best result of the year thus far, including nine new macro species for the year, the most notable of which were probably Figure of Eighty, Cypress Carpet, Satin Wave and Slender and Mottled Pugs.
At last the weather is getting warmer and this was reflected in a catch of 299 moths of 38 species. Only 111 of these were Diamondbacks. New for the year were Light Emerald and Dark Spectacle. The evening walk across the golf course produced 1060 Diamondbacks
Amid continuing large numbers of Diamond-backed Moths (how many would there be if the weather were less miserable?) our first Buff Ermine of the year appeared in the trap last night. Some indication of just how many was given later when, as the wind dropped from 4 to 2, 694 Diamond-backs flew up along the path across St Georges
The foul weather relented sufficiently to allow the capture of Iron Prominent, Cream-spot Tiger and Small Clouded Brindle for the first time this year, while at least 110 Diamond-backed Moths were in or around the two traps operated last night, part of an extensive influx that has been evident in Kent for several days now. Another 183 were counted in a short walk along the footpath across St Georges in the afternoon, despite the northerly wind increasing again.