Monday 23rd

Now that the curse of National Moth Night has passed the catch shot up again. Indeed there were more moths on the first egg box tray than in one of the traps the previous night. This was aided by the wind dropping and the cloud helped keep the temperature above 12.8°C. A much needed commodity arrived overnight in the form of steady light rain too. There were 271 moths of 76 species in the main trap. Buttoned Snout, Peach Blossom and Ringed China-mark were new for the year. Setaceous Hebrew Character was most numerous with 30 individuals. There were six Silver Y’s and two Dark Sword-grasses.

Sunday 22nd

A clear cool night with a breeze and so the catch was reduced to 58 moths of 24 species in the car park trap and 60 moths of 25 species by the feeders. No species made it into double figures. A Pearly Underwing from the car park trap was a notable early record for us.

The first results of the good spring for adult Emperor moths were showing on some Aspen where there was a nest of recently hatched larvae.

Last nights moth night went well with 38 attendees. It is always good to meet new visitors and keen children.

Saturday 21st

A clear sky allowed the temperature to fall to 10.1°C resulting in a small catch. The main trap had 51 moths of 26 species and the feeders trap had 40 moths of 22 species. Despite this there were some moths of migrant origin, namely a Gem, a Dark Sword-grass and two Rush Veneers.

Friday 20th

Last night was cooler and clearer with the temperature down to 10°C. There was still a good catch and best of all, after the previous nights escape act, there was a Striped Hawk-moth in the feeders trap.

The main trap held 120 moths of 53 species and the feeders trap held 81 moths of 35 species. In all there were at least 65 species. New for the year were Clay Triple-lines, Small Clouded Brindle and Bee Moth. Although the Striped Hawk-moth was the only significant migrant were the six Turnip Moths also migrants?

The trap on Sandown Road added Treble-bar to the species list for the year.

Striped Hawk-moth. 20th May 2022. I Hunter

Wednesday 18th

There was an extreme and welcome rarity last night – some rain showers. With thundery showers sweeping up from the south tonight could be very interesting as well. Last night there were 278 moths of 74 species (plus a couple more to be worked out) in the main trap. New for the year were Sand Dart, Middle-barred Minor, Poplar Grey, Shark, Small Seraphim, Straw Dot and Water Veneer. Sixteen Small Elephant Hawk-moths did their best to fill spare space. There was a very fresh looking Silver Y but only four Diamondbacks.

Sand Dart. 18th May 2022. I Hunter

Tuesday 17th

Three traps set last night; an Mv in the Obs carpark, another Mv by the Obs feeders, and an actinic in The Elms. There was no hoped-for Striped Hawk-moth but totals of 22 Diamondbacks, ten Silver Y’s, and four Dark Sword-grasses. Flame Shoulder was once again the most numerous moth whilst both Seraphim and Hoary Footman continued their good spring tallies.

The actinic in The Elms provided Mullein Wave, Fox Moth, and Barred Red (prasinaria) new for the year. The feeders trap was full of interest including Poplar Lutestring, Snout, Eyed Hawk-moth, Small Dusty Wave, Cream-spot Tiger, May High-flyer, Satin Wave, and Obscure Wainscot new for the year. The best micro was probably Cosmopterix scribiaella but top billing overall went to a super pale morph Tawny Shears.

Not to be outdone, the carpark trapped our first spring record of Beautiful Marbled, plus more new-for-the-years in the form of Dark Sword-grass, Elephant Hawk-moth, Common Wainscot, Buff Ermine, Pale Tussock, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Sallow Kitten, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Reed Dagger, and Green Pug.

Saturday 14th

During the day a Small Yellow Underwing was found in Jubilee Field and our earliest ever Silver-barred was in Waldershare Gully. Cinnabars are also becoming a little more numerous now.

Small Yellow Underwing (above) and Silver-barred (below) by M.Boucher

Wednesday 11th

Flame Shoulders continue to go through the roof with 66 in the Obs carpark and 22 in an mv placed by the Obs feeders. Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Spectacle, and Flame were all new.

Tuesday 10th

An mv trap in The Elms was very productive with around 120 moths of 45 species recorded. Least Black Arches was most numerous with 15. Dingy Shell, Maiden’s Blush, Clouded Silver, Common Pug, Hoary Footman, Tawny-barred Angle, Marbled Minor agg., Pebble Hook-tip, Sandy Carpet, Orange Footman, Peach Blossom, Mottled Rustic, Campion, and Oak-tree Pug were all new for the year. Three Seraphims and two Pine Beauty’s were also of note.

Campion by G.Lee

The trap in the Obs carpark had a pristine Pinion-spotted Pug and 55 Flame Shoulders. White-point, Vine’s Rustic, Grey/Dark Dagger, Shaded Pug, White-spotted Pug, Light Emerald, and Gold-spot were new for the year whilst Gravitamarta margoratana was new for Sandwich Bay.

Late in the day the second Bloxworth Snout for Sandwich Bay was found at the the Observatory.

Bloxworth Snout by G.Lee

Thursday 5th

A decent mix in the trap last night including a few new for the year; Lunar Thorn, Heart and Dart, and Blood-vein. Our second Pinion-spotted Pug of the year was also of note. Flame Shoulder and Shuttle-shaped Dart were most numerous.

News from yesterday of Elachista subocellea in the Whitehouse which is new for Sandwich Bay, plus another Emperor Moth, this time a male flying around Restharrow Scrape.

Tuesday 3rd

I was not quite so hopeful about last night as it was clearer but the temperature stayed in double figures with a minimum of 10.3°C. There were 45 moths of 22 species. New for the year were Chocolate-tip (2), Oak Hook-tip, Clouded Border, Cinnabar, Treble Lines, Rusty-dot Pearl and Cochylis atricapitana.

Monday 2nd

Conditions are improving and it was an overcast night with enough drizzle to cover a five pence piece. There were 51 moths of 20 species. New for the year were Pale Prominent, Green Carpet, Turnip, Nutmeg, White Ermine, Iron Prominent and Lime-speck Pug. Flame Shoulder was top moth with 16 followed by ten Shuttle-shaped Darts.

A spell looking for early stages of micro moths around the Gullies produced Eriocrania sangii, E.cicatricella, E.semipurpurella, and Heringocrania unimaculella, along with a day-flying Epichnopterix plumella.

Sunday 1st

This time the sky cleared and the temperature dropped to 4.4°C. There were six moths – two Flame Shoulders, two Hebrew Characters, and single Oblique-striped and Common Quaker.