Saturday 31st

With the wind forecast to switch southerly and no rain forecast the trap was back in action. I was disappointed by the results though, the wind did not get right around to South and it remained brisk. The temperature did not drop below 13.2°C which was hopeful. There were 24 moths of 10 species. This included two very fresh looking Silver Ys, three Turnips and two White-points but no sign of any other migrants. Unfortunately with more storms forecast the trap will be put away again.

Wednesday 28th

Another stormy start to the night before it calmed right down. The catch was down to 16 moths of 12 species. There were two White-points and another Yellow-line Quaker.

Some results also came in from specimens caught earlier in the year on the famous 25th June trapping session. Endothenia gentianaeana, Coleophora tamesis, and Coleophora caespititiella were confirmed via gendet. The latter two represent new species for Sandwich Bay.

Tuesday 27th

After heavy showers the sky cleared and it cooled to 6.2°C. This limited the catch to 18 moths of 10 species. There was a Silver Y and the first Yellow-line Quaker of the year.

Monday 26th

After a wet start to the night the sky cleared and the temperature dropped to 4.5°C. This was enough to reduce the catch to 19 moths of nine species. However, we at last joined the south coast Radford’s Flame Shoulder fest with our first record.

Radford’s Flame Shoulder. First observatory record 26/10/20. I Hunter

Saturday 24th

It looked as if there would be enough of a window to get the trap out and despite very heavy rain to start with the night was okay. There were 99 moths of 25 species. There was the first November Moth agg. for the carpark and a Satellite. Also of note were two Silver Ys, two Rusty-dot Pearls and a Delicate. All were very fresh looking and did not look as if they had flown against the weather to cross the channel.

Tuesday 20th

Hopes were a bit higher as the wind, although stronger had south in it and the cloud kept the temperature above 11.2°C. It looks as if the wind was a bit too strong as the catch dropped to 85 moths of 21 species. This included three Turnips, two Delicates, a Rusty-dot Pearl and a Palpita vitrealis.

Monday 19th

Another cloudy night but it was a degree cooler. There were 124 moths of 23 species. Clancy’s Rustic continued its good run with another example and there was also another Grey Shoulder-knot. Other interesting records included two Silver Ys, nine White-points, a Cypress Carpet and a Diamondback.

A set of actinic traps in the Elms yielded a similar number and a bit more variety, including a late Copper Underwing and our first November Moth agg. of autumn.

Sunday 18th

A thick covering of cloud kept the temperature above 9.3°C. The total number of moths did not increase much but species increased to 26. This included 26 Large Yellow Underwings, 22 Lunar Underwings, nine Deep-brown Darts, five White-points, three Silver Y’s, two Rusty Dot Pearls, a Pearly Underwing and a Diamondback.

Larval signs of Coleophora artemisicolella were also found at New Downs New Pool and represent a new species for the area.

Saturday 17th

The wind dropped enough and the rain stopped completely so we could get the trap back out. There were 97 moths of 18 species. Beaded Chestnut took the opportunity to take the lead with 26 individuals, followed by 22 Lunar Underwings and Large Yellow Underwings keep going with 13 more. There were no migrants.

Monday 12th

Slightly warmer at 6.3°C last night but the general downward trend is affecting the number of moths. Last night there were 131 of 21 species. This included two Barred Sallows, a Clancy’s Rustic and a Diamondback.

Sunday 11th

After some unexpected torrential rain at the start of the evening it was doubly pleasing to find the trap intact and 136 moths of 19 species in it.

This included 57 Lunar Underwings, 13 Feathered Brindles, eight Black Rustics, three Dark Chestnuts, a Shuttle-shaped Dart and a Barred Sallow.

Barred Sallow. 11th October 2020. I Hunter

Saturday 10th

Another clear sky saw the temperature fall to its lowest so far this autumn at 4.6°C. There were still 124 moths of 21 species in the carpark trap. Silver Y and Dark Sword-grass were of particular note and if the weather continues in this pattern may be some of the last of these this year. There was the first Chestnut of the autumn. A few actinic traps were placed in The Elms and a nice Merveille du Jour was trapped, along with Clancy’s Rustic and Blair’s Shoulder-knot.

Friday 9th

The sky cleared and the temperature dropped to 6.8°C and so a catch of 211 moths of 26 species was pleasing. Green-brindled Crescent and Blair’s Shoulder-knot were new for the year. Also of note were 17 Feathered Brindles, two Silver Ys and singles of Clancy’s Rustic, Rush Veneer, Diamondback and Brick.

Wednesday 7th

The sky cleared overnight and the temperature dropped to 8.9°C. There were 156 moths of 20 species. This did include Red-green Carpet, Delicate and two migrants – Scarce Bordered Straw and Pearly Underwing.

Away from the trap the main event was brought to me by a local beekeeper. I have often heard about Death’s-head Hawk-moths attraction to beehives and this one served to prove this. Sadly it is lightly smoked as this is what the keeper was doing to the hive when the moth appeared.

Deaths-head Hawk-moth. 7th October 2020. I Hunter
Death’s-head Hawk-moth 7th October 2020. I Hunter

Tuesday 6th

Another slight window during the night between heavy showers resulted in a catch of 210 moths of 19 species. Grey Shoulder-knot was new for the year. There were also single Rusty-dot Pearl, Silver Y and Delicate. Crane Flies and Caddis Flies continue to fight it out to fill the rest of the space in the trap.

Sunday 4th

There was enough of a lull forecast to make it worth, and safe, to put the trap out. Two hundred and twelve moths of 31 species were caught. This included eight Rusty-dot Pearls, four Diamondbacks and singles of Dusky-lemon Sallow, Silver Y, Straw Dot and Turnip.

Saturday 3rd

No trap last night but there were small numbers of Rush Veneer and Rusty-dot Pearl around the Whitehouse and Oasis areas suggesting some migration. There’s also lots of Fox Moth caterpillars around on the golf courses too.

Friday 2nd

There was enough of a lull before the next named storm swept in to risk putting the trap out, it even survived the arrival of the storm. There were 107 moths of 17 species made up mostly of 65 Lunar Underwings and 14 Beaded Chestnuts. A Red-line Quaker was the first for the autumn.