Moths: May 2021
Overnight shower clouds kept the temperature above 10.3°C. despite this the catch was less than 10 but the earlier regulars have gone. We had two Cabbages and singles of Rustic Shoulder-knot( new for the year ),Turnip, Shuttle-shaped Dart and T.chrysonuchella. More unusual was the first tortrix since the mild in spell in February a Cochylis atricapitana.
Following a cool, showery day last night was fairly calm and the temperature stayed above 7.7°C. This did not impress the moths and there were only three- a Cinnabar, a Shuttle-shaped Dart and a T. chrysonuchella. Although very frustrating I find it interesting to keep going there are some questions it will be interesting to get the answers to eg will numbers recover this year? Will species just be late? What will be the effect on next years populations?
With cloud rolling in eventually and a southerly breeze the count made it into the heady heights of double figures- 11 moths. Four of these were new species for the year. Two Silver Y’s were probably new in and with the wind direction Pale Mottled Willow and Bright-line Brown-eye might have been but Cinnabar will be local.
Still a single figure catch- nine moths. It did include the first Small Elephant Hawk and White-point of the year. There was also the second ‘micro’ of the month the grass moth Thisanotia chrysonuchella which has a local and often coastal distribution.
A fairly calm night with the temperature only falling to just above 8°C. The catch still remains less than ten in total. We did manage a migrant with the first Diamondback of the year. Poplar Hawkmoth was also new. Over in the Gullies a few actinics were more successful. Green Carpet, Brimstone, Treble Lines, Bright-line Brown-eye, Heart and Dart, and Ypsolopha mucronella were all new for the year. There were lots of Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Dichrorampha sp and an Adela reaumurella flying around Middle Field in the day.
Although daytime observations are keeping the interest going the night time catch is still minimal. Last night there were only five moths in the carpark, of which Spectacle was new for the year. We were rather hoping that there might be some migrant moths accompanying all the Painted Ladies which turned up with the southerlies on Sunday, with migrant Gems, Striped Hawk-moths, and Tebenna micalis seen recently around the UK.
A few Silver Y’s were out on the Estate, presumably new in with all the Painted Lady’s, and a Mother Shipton was in Middle Field.
The temperature is slowly creeping up, falling to only 6.9°C last night. The moths are not impressed yet and there were only seven plus a Great Silver Diving Beetle. Pebble Prominent and Cabbage were new for the year.
Although there is hope on the horizon in the forecasts it was cool (3.5°C) and clear last night. There were nine moths – Chinese Character (new for the year), five Powdered Quakers, and singles of Dark Sword-grass, Angle Shades and Muslin.
The clear, cold, nights continue. This time the temperature fell to 1.9°C and a Powdered Quaker and a Hebrew Character graced the trap.
With the forecast last night being for the chance of some showers it rained steadily, but not heavily, for an hour or so. The skies then cleared and the temperature fell to 0.8°C. This was enough to ensure there were no moths or any other living things in the trap.
Well it was definitely stormy on Monday night (there was even a bit of rain although looking at the ground you might not think so) and it took the wind a lot longer than forecast to drop, still gusting strongly when the trap was put out for Tuesday night. It did drop eventually but there were only five moths in the trap. One of these was the first Dark Sword-grass for the year.
Another frost but it did not feel quite as cold! The temperature only dropped to 4.6°C. Although there were only nine moths it did include three firsts for the year – Flame Shoulder, Nutmeg, and three Shuttle-shaped Darts. With a severe weather warning out for tonight the trap will be wrapped up. Should any damp arrive it will be interesting to see if the moths improve afterwards.
All the same apart from a minimum of 1.1°C but only ten moths. A Turnip was a surprise and the rest came in threes, namely Muslin, Powdered Quaker, and Hebrew Character.
Another frosty, clear, night with the temperature down to 0.1°C. The daytime is warm out of the wind and so a few moths are creeping out. The catch increased to 13 with Red Chestnut and Early Grey reappearing after a gap of a couple of weeks. There are at least a dozen species we would have expected by now but have not seen this year and it will be interesting to see if they can put in a late appearance. This caterpillar was wandering across the grass, probably getting ready to pupate.
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