Our first Moth Night of the year was a great success. Thank you all for coming. For all of this year’s dates click HERE for details.

Sunday 30th

We knew it would be good with the temperature not dropping below 18.5°C and we were not disappointed.

The car park trap held 987 moths of 123 species and would have been over 1000 with the moths that flew straight away. There were clear signs of immigration with at least 229 Diamondbacks, four Delicates and a Silver Y (a visitors trap added Red-necked Footman). Other highlights were our fourth ever Dotted Footman and Festoon. The Footman was so worn it will need further checking. There was also another Dingy Shears and three Langmaid’s Yellow Underwings (plus one for the visitors).

Local specialities included 13 Bright Waves (plus eight for the visitors), Striped and Matthew’s Wainscot and two Anerastia lotellas.

Not to be outdone the visitors added our third Catropia pinella, Scarce Footman, White Colon and best of all (but awaiting confirmation) our first Golden Rod Plume.

Festoon. 30/6/19. I Hunter
Festoon. 30/6/19. I Hunter
Striped Wainscot. 30/6/19. I Hunter
Striped Wainscot. 30/6/19. I Hunter

Saturday 29th

The wind dropped and the catch went up to 534 moths of 106 species in the car park trap. Least Yellow Underwing and Striped Wainscot were new for the year as was an early Vestal. There were three Langmaid’s Yellow Underwings. Diamondbacks increased to 22.

A visitors trap produced Delicate and a Scalloped Shell, edging this species towards double figures for the total ever recorded here at Sandwich Bay.

As if this variety was not enough some pheromone lures put outside the backdoor whilst lunch was eaten yielded our first record of Currant Clearwings with two attracted.

Red-tipped Clearwing. 29/6/19. I Hunter
Red-tipped Clearwing. 29/6/19. I Hunter


Currant Clearwing. I Hunter. 29/6/19
Currant Clearwing. I Hunter. 29/6/19

Friday 28th

Although the temperature did not drop any lower the easterly picked up to force 5. This resulted in a small catch of 76 moths of 19 species.

Thursday 27th

The wind continued to increase and it was a surprise the temperature only dropped to 14.6°C. The total catch (95 ) was less than the number of species the previous night! It did include two Rush Veneers and ten Diamondbacks. A male Fox Moth was a bit late, the last female was three or four weeks ago.

Wednesday 26th

Although the night started warm and cloudy an easterly breeze started up and the catch dropped to 432 moths of 97 species (if it was not for the previous night this would seem quite respectable). Small Blood-vein and Miller were new for the year and three Dioryctria abietellas were notable. A trap by the feeders also added Dingy Shears.

Tuesday 25th

The temperature did not drop below a muggy 18.3°C, conditions which we always hope for. There were 951 moths of 144 species and that does not include escapees and sparrow victims!

The highlight was our first record of Eudonia delunella. A Speckled Footman vied for this position but was our fifth record, however the last was in 1937! Two Minor Shoulder-knots were our 4th and 5th records. Other new species for the year included Dun-bar, Archer’s Dart, White Satin, Rustic, Common Emerald, Grey Pug and Catoptria falsella. There was another Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing and Catoptria verellus. There were eleven Bright Waves and a Rest Harrow.

Minor Shoulder-knot. 25/6/19. I Hunter
Minor Shoulder-knot. 25/6/19. I Hunter
Speckled Footman.25/6/19. I Hunter
Speckled Footman.25/6/19. I Hunter

Monday 24th

A significant increase of the minimum to 15.5°C brought a huge increase in moths to 645 of 123 species, hence the delay in posting. Lots of local specialities are making an appearance. Last nights list included the following which were new for the year; Shore Wainscot, Dingy Shell, Rosy Wave, Beautiful Hook-tip, Ingrailed Clay, Brown-tail, Dioryctria abietella, Vitila biviella and Catoptria verellus.

A trap by the feeders held our first Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing of the year.

Shore Wainscot. 24/6/19. I Hunter
Shore Wainscot. 24/6/19. I Hunter
Rosy Wave. 25/6/19. I Hunter
Rosy Wave. 25/6/19. I Hunter

Sunday 23rd

The temperature crept back up to 11.7°C and there was a slight rise in number of moths. There were 196 of 52 species. There was the first for the year of one of our local specialties – Pigmy Footman, plus Blackneck. A trap by the feeders added Double Square-spot and Evergestis limbata.

Two fresh and shiny Foresters was caught in the field.

Pigmy Footman. 22/6/19. I Hunter
Pigmy Footman. 23/6/19. I Hunter

Saturday 22nd

The drop in temperature continued and there was a reduction to 154 moths of 35 species. Another Bird’s Wing was nice. There was only four species of ‘micro’ reflecting the cooler temperature.

Friday 21st

A clearer sky and so a lower temperature of 10.5°C. The catch was also not helped by the intrusion of two sparrows into the trap. We have got away without this for several years. Maybe it reflects the shortage of suitable insect protein due to the earlier weather.

There were 260 moths of 55 species. The steady trickle of new species in the trap for the year continued. Riband Wave, Bird’s Wing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Anania perlucidalis, A. coronata and Clouded Brindle all fitted this category. There are less than ten records of the latter at SBBO. A late addition is the first Delicate of the year.

In the field our second record of the Nationally Scarce Nemophora fasciella was found in Middle Field, Cydia microgrammana was on Restharrow along the seafront, as was Platytes cerussella, and a Red-tipped Clearwing was seen well in Little Gully.

Thursday 20th

More cloud and a temperature of 14.6°C ensured a continued big improvement with 354 moths of 62 species. Pale-shouldered Brocade, Dusky Brocade and Beautiful China-mark were new for the year. A total of 36 Reddish Light Arches was impressive.

An Mv trap in the Elms yielded a different variety of moths including Shaded Broad-bar, Barred Red, Barred Straw, July Highflyer, Treble Brown Spot, and Mottled Beauty plus Vitula biviella, a recent pine colonist.

Wednesday 19th

A thundery night with some rain resulted in 282 moths of 50 species. White-line Dart, Lesser Yellow Underwing and Small Yellow Wave were all new for the year. There were two of the latter which is a scarce species here with fewer than ten records. A Sycamore was also found during the day resting on the Warden’s window!

Tuesday 18th

Still only 10.5°C but it was cloudy and there were 215 moths of 44 species. As well as some Bright Waves the first Rest Harrows for the year were out during the day.

Privet Hawk head. I Hunter 17/6/19
Privet Hawk head. I Hunter 17/6/19

Monday 17th

More breezy and a bit cooler last night and there were only 123 moths of 39 species. A glimmer of hope that the hawk-moths might just be late emerging was provided by the first Privet and Elephant Hawk-moths of the year. There were also seven Diamondbacks, perhaps the tail end of the hordes that have been recorded further north.

Sunday 16th

Two hundred and forty seven moths of 47 species followed the recent improving trend. Clay was new for the year.

Saturday 15th

The improvement continued and there were 181 moths of 50 species in the car park trap. Light Arches, Common Footman and Uncertain were new for the year. Another trap by the Whitehouse produced about 110 species including a lot more micros. Barred YellowSlender Pug, V-pugCurrant Pug, Round-winged Muslin, Smoky Wainscot and L-album Wainscot were new for the.year.

All this provided a good variety for visitors to see. The best moth was provided by a visitor. We say bring in moths for identification or verification but it was a surprise to be handed a Concolorous which is a rare immigrant in this corner of the country.

The weather during the day was also good enough for the first Bright Waves to be recorded.

Concolorous brought to moth night
Concolorous brought to moth night

Friday 14th

The improvement in the weather is starting slowly and the number of moths rose to 97 of 23 species. There were two Diamondbacks and a second generation Iron Prominent of note.

Thursday 13th

With the temperature down to 7.8°C and the breeze persisting it was not a total surprise that there were only 25 moths of nine species. Eleven of these were Heart and Darts.

Thankfully the weather is supposed to improve before our moth night on Saturday.

Wednesday 12th 

With the temperature still below 10°C there were 52 moths of 23 species. A fresh second generation Oblique-striped was the highlight. With most hawk-moths so scarce this year a Poplar Hawk-moth was of interest. There were single Silver Y’s and Diamondback.

Tuesday 11th 

With the temperature down to 7.9°C it was not surprising that there were only 80 moths of 19 species. Heart and Dart continues to dominate proceedings whilst Single-dotted Wave was new for the year.

Monday 10th 

An increase of 4°C produced an increase to 161 moths of 37 species. Purple Bar was new for the carpark trap and eleven Straw Dots indicated an emergence of these.

Sunday 9th 

The trap could not be run the previous night due to the strength of the wind along with some heavy showers. This did provide some much needed relief to the dry conditions. Last night the temperature dropped to 8.5°C and there were only 95 moths of 22 species. This did include the second White Colon of the year.

Main interest was along the seafront where there were four Hummingbird Hawk-moths nectaring on the Red Valerian. A welcome addition in what so far has been a very poor year for hawk-moths.

Friday 7th 

It looks as if we are set for an unsettled period with cooler temperatures. A catch of 256 moths was therefore quite pleasing but there were only 38 species, the majority macros. Heart and Dart ruled the trap with 109 and there was the first Broad-barred White of the year to be in the trap.

Thursday 6th

Rain at the start of the night (the bone dry ground needed it) kept the temperature down to 8.8°C. Moth activity crept up a bit to 143 moths of 28 species. Heart and Dart remained the most common with 47 followed by 24 Vine’s Rustics. Despite the general paucity of Hawk-moths there was a Lime Hawk-moth which isn’t always annual here. There was also the third Chamomile Shark of the year.

Lime Hawkmoth. I Hunter. 6/6/19
Lime Hawkmoth. I Hunter. 6/6/19
Lime Hawk head. I Hunter 6/6/19
Lime Hawk head. I Hunter 6/6/19

Wednesday 5th 

Although the rain mostly stopped overnight and the cloud kept the temperature above 12°C there were only 101 moths of 28 species. This did include a Dark Sword-grass and a couple of Diamondbacks. A Bordered White was very nice as they are just about annual here and rarely in such good condition.

Bordered White. 5/6/19. I Hunter
Bordered White. 5/6/19. I Hunter

Tuesday 4th

The moths seem to be taking heed of the threatened change in weather as the night time temperature dropped a bit. There were only 132 moth of 25 species nearly half were Heart and Darts. There was a late Muslin, which was smaller and darker. Pine Hawk-moth was new for the year.

Monday 3rd

Another warm night, 15.1°C, and a good catch of 392 moths of 82 species. Southern Wainscot and Pale Tussock were new for the year but it was the variety of moths that we do not get often which provided interest. This included the second Sand Dart of the year, an Orange Footman, Seraphim and two Small Seraphims. It is just as well there are plenty of Small Elephant Hawk Moths (14 last night) as there have been few other hawk moths so far.

The micro Platyedra subcinerea was only our third ever example.

Pattern varieties in White Ermine. 3/6/2019. I Hunter
Pattern varieties in White Ermine. 3/6/2019. I Hunter

Sunday 2nd

The days continue hot, sunny and dry. The hoped for arrival of moths did not happen despite a southerly breeze and a minimum of 14.9°C. Yellow-barred Brindle was new for the year but more of note was another Fox Moth and two Hoary Footmen. A Shaded Pug appeared in an actinic in the Whitehouse.

Saturday 1st

Despite forecasts of a warm night the temperature dropped to 8.2°C and there were 172 moths of 32 species. Flame was the only new one for the year.