Moths: October 2021
The wind is continuing to increase and the next few nights look unsuitable at times. Last night, despite the minimum being 12.5°C, there were just eight moths of five species including a Brick and a Lesser Yellow Underwing.
Considering it remained clear overnight a minimum of 11.3°C was a reflection of how mild it is at present. Unfortunately the stiff breeze persists and there were less moths. Large Wainscot led the way with six. Of interest were Blair’s Shoulder-knot. Brick and the first Yellow-line Quaker this autumn. A trap run by visitors yielded the first Oak Rustic this year.
Cloudy last night and so it was a balmy (barmy?) 13.9°C. The catch increased to 47 moths of 12 species. There were 16 Setaceous Hebrew Characters and four Delicates. A Deep-brown Dart and a European Corn-borer were two and five weeks after the last ones.
A big thank you to the students from Hadlow College who, amongst other tasks, have given the Moffice a much needed coat of paint.
Clear last night and so even cooler at 6.8°C, hopefully the warm plume of air will arrive eventually it is certainly mild during the day.
It was no surprise there were only 14 moths of nine species. Two of these were Delicates, so disproving their name.
A bit cooler at 8.2°C so no warming as forecast, but there were 32 moths of 15 species. Two Rusty-dot Pearls, a Gem and a Delicate were of note.
Last night was cloudy and warmer at 9.2°C. There were 37 moths of 16 species including the first ‘micros’ for a while – a Eudonia angustea and a Blastobasis lacticollela. Setaceous Hebrew Character was most frequent with ten. Delicates are still hanging on with one and the first November Moth agg. emerged with three, one of which was a male November Moth.
We have not given up yet but did have two stormy nights off. Last night was calmer with a frost by the morning. There were just four moths – two Beaded Chestnuts, a Large Wainscot, and a Mallow. During the day Cream-spot Tiger and Ruby Tiger larva were found on the Estate.
Strong winds and rain are approaching so the trap is unlikely to be out the next two nights. Last night there were 40 moths of 15 species. Setaceous Hebrew Character was back at the top with nine and there were two Rusty-dot Pearls.
Conditions are not looking ideal with some unsettled weather mid-week and a very bright moon looming. Last night fell to 6.8°C and there were 37 moths of 16 species. Beaded Chestnut was most frequent with seven and there were singles of Delicate and Rusty-dot Pearl.
Some cloud increased the minimum to 8.5°C. The catch increased to 79 moths of 23 species. Delicates (5) and Rusty-dot Pearls (2) reappeared. Also of note were a Barred Sallow, a Dusky-lemon Sallow and a late Willow Beauty.
A clear, cold, night with the temperature down to 3.7°C meant the trap was quiet with only 32 moths of ten species.
The same minimum temperature last night but a bit more cloud. There were 111 moths of 22 species. A Dewick’s Plusia was the highlight and a Canary-shouldered Thorn was late. Delicates continue with another four.
Three degrees celsius warmer last night and the catch increased to 130 of 25 species. Of interest were nine Deep-brown Darts, a fresh Common Wainscot and three Delicates. The definite highlight was a Merveille du Jour. We are lucky enough to get the occasional one each year even though we are not rolling in its traditional woodland habitat.
With the temperature dropping to 4.8°C over night the catch also reduced to 87 moths of 19 species. The highlight was the third Radford’s Flame Shoulder of the autumn. There was another Blair’s Shoulder-knot and colour was added by a Green-brindled Crescent. A Bordered Beauty was rather late and very tatty.
Cooler autumnal nights are definitely setting in but no frost yet and so there are still interesting moths showing up. Last night there were 117 moths of 22 species. This included another Radford’s Flame Shoulder, a male Gem, a Dark Sword-grass and the first Pale-lemon Sallow for a couple of years.
Clearer overnight with no cool, damp, fog. We continue to get interesting moths. This time it was the following firsts for the year- Radford’s Flame Shoulder, Blair’s Shoulder-knot and two Green-brindled Crescents. There was also another Clancy’s Rustic, three Delicates and four Rusty-dot Pearls.
Fog and damp gathered after a clear start with the temperature down to 7.5°C. This reduced the catch to 162 moths of 25 species. The Rusty-dot Pearls had moved on and there were just three. However, Dark Sword-grass put in an appearance with six plus two male Gems and single Silver Y, Rush Veneer and a Clancy’s Rustic.
There was a Dewick’s Plusia sat on a shed along Sandown Road.
The sky remained clear and it was cooler at 8.1°C. There was an influx of Rusty-dot Pearls, with 18 in the trap and lots reported from the field, and Rush Veneers, with four in the trap and more in the field. The trap held 222 moths of 31 species. The best was a Scarce Bordered Straw.
Excellent overnight conditions as cloud gathered and the rain was only light keeping the temperature above 14.4°C. There were 370 moths of 42 species. Highlights included the first Barred Sallows of the year (4), 104 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 82 Lunar Underwings, 18 Delicates, the first Dark Chestnuts (2) of the autumn, Box-tree Moth, Gem, Diamondback, Rusty-dot Pearl and the first Caloptilia falconipennella for a while.
Although the temperature dropped to 6.4°C the wind dropped to zero, cloud gathered, and it warmed up giving a catch of 224 moths of 28 species. There were good numbers of Deep-brown Darts and Black Rustics. More of note was the first Red-line Quaker of the autumn, Dusky-lemon Sallow, Cypress Carpet and Brick. Recently I listened to a talk on moths in France and they mentioned that in the south Buff-tip is a continuously brooded species. Well, we had our first ever October record of one last night.
Considering the wind continued all night I was pleased the catch made 66 moths of 12 species! Lunar Underwing made over half of these with 35.
Another lull before the next blast of wind and the moths made the most of it with 173 0f 29 species. The highlight was the first Scarce Bordered Straw of the year. There was also a Rush Veneer, a Silver Y and two Rusty-dot Pearls. There were a few moths which we have not seen for a few weeks such as two Shuttle-shaped Darts, a Rosy Rustic and a Common Wainscot.
Although last night was much cooler at 5.7°C it did cloud over and the catch increased to 256 moths of 24 species. Lunar Underwings continued to lead the way with 92. There were nine Delicates, three Rusty-dot Pearls, a Rush Veneer and a Silver Y.
The forecast for tonight means it will not be safe to put the trap out (and they were correct it really blew up a storm).
Despite last night keeping into double figure temperatures there were only 150 moths of 16 species. Exactly half of these were Lunar Underwings. There was one Delicate and one Diamondback.