Moths: April 2021
Another clear and frosty night. There seems to be no sign of rain in the forecast lets hope it does not get silly when it arrives.
With the temperature down to 0.3°C a catch of seven moths was not bad – three Hebrew Characters, two Powdered Quakers, and singles of Muslin and Common Quaker.
I foolishly listened to the weather forecast and with heavy rain forecast all night did not run the trap There was not a single drop which is a shame as the ground is getting very dry at the surface with no rain this month.
An improvement last night with a mighty five moths in the trap; one Pale Pinion, two Hebrew Characters, one Common Quaker, and a lovely female Emperor moth. The latter is the first to be caught here for a few years now.
The wind dropped at last but a bright full moon followed by a frost dropped the temperature to 0.3°C. There were two moths in the trap – a Clouded Drab and a Hebrew Character. A male Emperor was in the Observatory carpark briefly in the afternoon.
No trap last night but the first Elachista argentella of the year was seen amongst long grass near the Point.
As forecast the easterly picked up. There were no insects of any kind in the trap, not even a fly.
The wind persists but out of it the temperature did not drop below 7.1°C, not surprisingly the moths are not active in the wind. There was a Clouded Drab, a Powdered Quaker and, new for the year, a Herald.
Good news from Worth marshes where there were some male Emperor Moths out looking for a female. I have not seen one on the Estate since the Blackberry thicket along the road was hacked down.
I like the landing lights on this head and thorax view.
Another bright sunny day followed by a cool clear night. This time the four moths were Two Hebrew Characters, a Clouded Drab and a Powdered Quaker.
It was windy over night which kept any fog or mist away but it was strong enough to stop moth activity and nothing was caught.
The frost finally moved away but the forecast was for mist when in fact it was thick fog. If any moths ventured out they clearly had trouble finding the trap and there were only two in- a Powdered Quaker and the first Angle Shades for the year.
The cold and frosty nights continue to restrict the catch. Muslin was new for the year on Friday night but since then last nights catch of three Hebrew Characters was typical.
The north-east breeze freshened and the temperature fell to 1.8°C. There were five moths again – three Hebrew Characters, a Powdered Quaker and a Clouded Drab. This is heading towards becoming the worst start to the year for a long time. If we had not had that brief mild spell we would not have reached double figures for number of species this year.
Although the thermometer said the temperature did not fall below a tropical 3.4°C there was a much cooler breeze in the open and only five moths were caught- four Hebrew Characters and a Clouded Drab.
Last nights temperature did not fall below a balmy -1.3°C and a few moths were tempted out. A catch of 11 moths included five Hebrew Characters, three Clouded Drabs and singles of Early Grey, Common Quaker and Small Quaker.
Last night the sky was clear and the temperature fell to -3.9°C. Once the ice had melted off the trap it was clear there were no moths. Apart from the brief mild spell this is turning out to be one of the poorest starts to the year for sometime.
An Oblique-striped was flitting around on Royal St George’s Golf Course this morning.
A trap set last night didn’t exactly lure in the droves of moths I had dreamed of. Two Red Chestnuts, one Clouded Drab, and one Common Quaker was the sum total. The first Brown-tail larvae were seen in the webs on the Sea Buckthorn on the beach.
The forecast cold north-easterly arrived and although it stayed just above 6°C out of the wind there were no moths in the trap. It will probably be rested for a couple of days as it is forecast to get colder.
A layer of cloud resulted in a warmer night (8.1°C) with no strong moon. The trap increased to 59 moths of 13 species. This included the first four Powdered Quakers of the year, one of which had an added chestnut tinge, and two Agonopterix purpureas.
There were also six Great Silver Diving Beetles but fortunately only one entered the trap.