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Saturday 30th

An MV trap set in the Whitehouse did exceptionally well considering the strong north-easterly overnight. A total of 529 moths of 92 species is no doubt a fraction of what would’ve been had the weather been calm. White-line Dart, July Highflyer, Yellow-tail, Scarce Footman, Kent Black Arches, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, and Peach Blossom were all new macro species for the year, the latter only just about annual here at Sandwich Bay. Reddish Light Arches was most numerous with 49 with Diamondback not far behind on 35. Other highlights include a female Ghost Moth (rarely caught here), three White Colons, Nyctegretis lineana, and the under-rated little moth Eucosma campoliliana.

Ghost Moth (S.Walton)
Ghost Moth (S.Walton)

Friday 29th

Three Round-winged Muslins in the carpark trap were new for the year. There was little else of note other than a Hummingbird Hawk-moth found along a fence line around the Gullies.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth (S.Reynaert)
Hummingbird Hawk-moth (S.Reynaert)

Thursday 28th

204 moths of 63 species was probably more that could be expected in quite windy conditions. A Delicate was a nice surprise with singles of Eucosma metzneriana, Bright Wave, Oblique Striped, and Pigmy Footman almost a clean sweep of Sandwich Bay specialties.

Tuesday 24th

No trapping last night but a Six-spot Burnet Moth was stumbled across in Restharrow Dunes, new for the year, and another Orange-tailed Clearwing was lured in Middle Field to pheromones.

Monday 25th

Despite temperatures over 20 degrees during the day the clear nights have been very cold. The carpark trap has suffered as such but last night saw our first Pine Hawk-moth of the year, despite there being no pines around the Obs. Surprisingly, an MV trap placed in the Elms (where there are many pines) drew a blank for that species but did do well for species such as Grey Pine Carpet. Two Pigmy Footmans were probably the highlight in that trap plus the first Mottled Beauty’s of the year.

Sunday 24th

A variety of traps spread from the usual carpark, to the Whitehouse, and Prince’s Beach. Rosy Wave, Shore WainscotLesser Yellow Underwing, and Common Rustic (Agg) were firsts of the season. Micros were perhaps more interesting with Nyctegretis lineana, Eucosma conterminana, Aethes margaritana, and Nephopterix angustella all putting in an appearance.

Saturday 23rd

Another day another clearwing. This time a fantastic Orange-tailed Clearwing lured to pheromones in Middle Field, new for Sandwich Bay!

Orange-tailed Clearwing Jun18 D.Grundy
Orange-tailed Clearwing (D.Grundy)

With overnight temperatures dropping to just 5 degrees there was very little of note in the carpark trap.

Friday 22nd

Despite forgetting to turn the trap on last night there was moth news to report, a Red-tipped Clearwing lured to pheromones by the Ringing Room feeders.

Red-tipped Clearwing D.Grundy
Red-tipped Clearwing (D.Grundy)

Thursday 21st

It was a calm humid start to the evening before the wind set in and the traps were reasonably busy. The carpark trap produced Striped Wainscot and a migrant Delicate, both new for the year, and the mv trap by the Obs feeders had Privet Hawk-moth, Common Emerald, and best of all the first Ruddy Carpet for a few years.

Ruddy Carpet
Ruddy Carpet (S.Walton)
Delicate (S.walton)

Wednesday 20th

The trapping is trundling along fairly quietly as the breezy nights continue. There was also a bright moon to contend with at first.

There were 140 moths of 47 species last night. The very local Silver Barred was new for the car park trap this year, following on from one recorded in the field. There was also another Cypress Carpet. The pyrail Schoenobius gigantella was another addition for the year.

The previous night Olive was new for the year.

Monday 18th

The wind will not go away and although the temperature did not drop below a balmy 15.2°C moths were down to 175 of 42 species. ‘Micros’ were the noticeable absentee. A Clouded Brindle was a decent record here, and unsurprisingly new for the year.

Sunday 17th

Although it was a windy night the carpark trap surprised us with 259 moths of 55 species including a first record for the Bay of BLOTCHED EMERALD. A freshly emerged Light Brocade was another highlight along with the first Currant Pug of the year.

Blotched Emerald 17/06/2018 First Obs record I Hunter
Blotched Emerald 17/06/2018 First Obs record I Hunter
Light Brocade 17/06/2018 I Hunter
Light Brocade 17/06/2018 I Hunter

Saturday 16th

We picked the best night of the weekend to have traps spread around the recording area. Thanks to all the additional recorders for all their records. The lists are still being compiled but more than 30 new macro-moths were added to the year list including Scallop Shell, Poplar Grey, Blackneck, Small Fan-foot, Treble Brown Spot, Small Emerald, L-album Wainscot, Shaded Broad-bar, Poplar Kitten, Grey Pug, Short-cloaked Moth, Double Square-spot, Ghost Moth, Lime Hawk-moth, Smoky Wainscot, Foxglove Pug, Dotted Fan-foot, Riband Wave, and Scorched Wing.

Moth Night 16 June 2018
Moth Night 16 June 2018

The moth night at the Observatory was attended by almost 40 visitors who were treated to a wealth of different species including several stunning Hawk-moths and several Fox moths plus a Shark.

Elephants on Sweet William photo by Sally Hunter
Elephants on Sweet William photo by Sally Hunter

Over 200 Restharrows were seen on the Beach front too along with several Oblique-stripeds, the first Bright Waves, and a bonus Silver-barred.

Friday 15th

Although the night felt warm the thermometer dropped to 9.4°C. This resulted in only a slight increase in numbers, to 199, but some cloud ensured species increased to 68.

Cypress Carpet was new for the year but the main increase was in the variety of ‘micros’. Of note was our third record of the tortrix Eucosma metzneriana.

Thursday 14th

The wind dropped first thing last night before the forecast strong wind arrived. This meant there were more moths than expected in the trap but it was still a reduction to 171 moths of 33 species. Light Arches was new for the year as was the very local Platytes cerussella.

Wednesday 13th

Thankfully it looks as if the strong wind will blow itself out tomorrow leaving better conditions for the weekend when it is National Moth Night and we have on open evening at 1800 on Saturday to examine results from the previous night.

Cloud helped the catch last night to increase to 225 of 49 species. Common Footman and Willow Beauty were new for the year in the car park trap.

Tuesday 12th

It is a real roller -coaster of a time. The wind dropped very slightly and there was cloud cover. Moths doubled to 163 of 37 species. Single-dotted Wave was new for the year.

Monday 11th

The temperature did not go any lower but the E-NE breeze returned with intent. There were only 75 moths of 25 species. Unsuprisingly there were no migrants and only one ‘micro’ a Crambus lathoniellus.

Despite a rather feisty NE breeze some afternoon warmth encouraged a visit to the fields around the Elms, which was rewarded with the first Forester and the snappily-named Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet of the year.

Sunday 10th

Although the temperature was about the same the breeze reduced a bit and there was cloud cover. Moths increased to 259 of 59 species/ Heart and Club, Clay, and Southern Wainscot were new for the year. A Restharrow was the first from the trap and Diamond-back increased to ten.

Saturday 9th

A cool easterly breeze reduced moth activity to 117 of 33 species. Three Diamondbacks took shelter in the trap and a new wave of Oblique Striped put in their appearance.

Friday 8th

A bit cooler at 10.1°C and so a few less moths, down to 180 of 45 species. Small Magpie was new for the year as was the locally distributed Luquetia lobella-not an Italian noble woman but a small grey moth with raised black tufts.

Although there are plenty of Silver Ys around during the day only two made it into the trap whilst at least 11 Restharrows were seen along Prince’s Beach.

Thursday 7th

After a few days away it was nice to return to a fairly busy trap. The breeze keeps blowing but the temperature held up to 12.3°C. There were 239 moths of 52 species. Heart and Dart led the way with 60 followed by 44 Setaceous Hebrew Characters. Elephant Hawk-moth was new for the year. The main highlight occurred later in the day when a keen visitor found larvae of the attractive moth Cynaeda dentalis at the south end of the Estate.

Monday 4th

A slight return to form in the carpark trap last night with 56 species recorded. Four new species for the year included Puss Moth, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, White-satin, and Reddish Light Arches.

Sunday 3rd

A much reduced total of 140 moths of 35 species were caught in the carpark trap overnight. However there was a touch of quality amongst the horde of Treble Lines and Heart and Darts, namely our third ever record of Clouded Buff. Previous records were in 2010 and way back in 1971. Another Angle-barred Pug continued it’s good spring.

Friday 1st

Mv traps set in the carpark and by the feeders drew in almost the exact number of moths and number of species as each other. Most unusual was the mass capture of Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana with 53 caught in total. Uncertain was new for the year and 32 Diamondbacks were evidence of overnight migration. Five Beautiful Hooktips was a decent count for us whilst our second Buttoned Snout this week was unusual. Perhaps most interesting was a longer thinner Flame Shoulder showing features of Radford’s Flame Shoulder, a species which has never occurred in Britain in spring.