Wednesday 30th

Another overcast night, this time with drizzle, kept the catch to 36 moths of 10 species. For the first time Common Quaker outnumbered Hebrew Character ten to nine. Two Early Greys were the first since last week. With strong winds and sleet forecast the trap will be kept inside for a few days.

Tuesday 29th

A return to an overcast night kept the temperature above 8.2°C. This increased the catch to 37 moths of 12 species. They were a nice mix of the usual suspects. Hebrew Character continues to lead the way, with 11, closely followed by Common Quaker with eight.

Monday 28th

A return to a clear night sky saw the temperature fall to 1°C. There were still 23 moths of seven species. The best were four Red Chestnuts, an Early Thorn, and a Powdered Quaker.

Sunday 27th

The morning welcomed us with a damp, cold, drizzle but the cloud overnight did enough to keep the temperature above 7.1°C. The moths were not impressed and there were only 17 of seven species. Two thirds of these were Hebrew Characters. The first Eudonia angustea of the year tried to avoid being counted by hiding on one of the traffic cones which mark out the trap site.

Saturday 26th

Although forecast there was no fog last night so the minimum was a bit higher at 2.1°C and the key thing was the lack of a bright moon. The car park trap had its largest catch of the year so far with 46 moths of eight species. Twenty-six of these were Hebrew Characters but nice colour was added by two Heralds.

Friday 25th

The fog and clear sky above it brought the temperature down to 0.3°C and so it was a surprise to catch any moths. There were 16 in the main trap and seven from a trap in the Elms. There were no new species for the year.

Thursday 24th

The nights are clear and so the temperature drops, last night it fell to less than 1°C and there was a heavy frost. We have also been busy with groups of students visiting from the University of Kent. The night of the 22nd there were 32 moths in the main trap, five by the feeders and 16 in the Elms. Last night there were 35 moths in the main trap and 17 in the Elms. New moths for the year include Engrailed, Early Thorn and Powdered Quaker. For traps at an open site like this these are reasonable catches.

The highlight for most people was this stunning male Emperor Moth which was caught during the day.

male Emperor Moth. 24/3/22. G.Lee/ I Hunter
Male Emperor Moth hindwing. 24/3/22. G.Lee/ I Hunter

Saturday 19th

A breeze got up keeping the temperature above 7.1°C but this did not impress the moths. There were just six – four Hebrew Characters, an Early Grey, and a March Moth.

The kitchen delivered the best moth, an Ephestia kuehniella sometimes known as Mediterranean Flour Moth. There in lies the rub as this can sometimes be an indoor pest species.

Friday 18th

It was clear overnight, allowing the temperature to fall to 1.1°C. That combined with a bright moon restricted the catch to ten moths – five Hebrew Characters, two Common Quakers and singles of Dotted Border, Early Grey, and Diurnea fagella.

Thursday 17th

There were clear signs of the Saharan dust but sadly they just involved a heavy sprinkling of orange dust on the outside of the trap. The wind swung 180° and picked up clearing the sky and dropping the temperature to 2.8°C. There were 18 moths of five species- nine Hebrew Characters, four Common Quakers, three Clouded Drabs and single Early Grey and Red Chestnut. March Moth was a notable absentee.

Wednesday 16th

I do not know if it was psychological but there was a definite dusty aroma to the air last night and today was very murky. More haze and then cloud meant the temperature was a bit higher at 5.3°C. There were 22 moths of six species in the main trap but none of them were new, Hebrew Character was most numerous with ten. An additional trap in The Elms had seven moths, five of which were Hebrew Characters.

Tuesday 15th

With the approach of the Saharan dust and amazing pictures of the Spanish sky thoughts are beginning to turn to what might show here. But not yet! Last night was clear and there was ice on surfaces first thing. There were two moths in the trap, both Hebrew Characters.

Friday 11th

The forecast of a mild night tempted the main trap out following a nice, warm, day. It was not quite to be as the sky stayed fairly clear allowing the temperature to drop to 4.2°C. Some moths were also out looking for the warmth and there was a catch of 33 moths of nine species, which I consider okay for a trap in open, exposed, site.

Two Diurnea fagella were new for the year along with two Agonopterix alstroemeriana. There were also two more Dotted Borders and a Pale Pinion of note.

Thursday 10th

Last night four Actinic traps were put in The Elms and produced a total of 48 moths of 13 species. Most numerous was March Moth with 12. Twin-spotted Quaker, Early Grey, Double-striped Pug, and Engrailed were all new for the year. The Twin-spotted Quaker was also our earliest ever record.

Friday 4th

The temperature did not fall below 5°C and it was overcast yielding a catch of 21 moths of eight species. New for the year were Dotted Border (2), Red Chestnut, Pale Pinion and Acleris schalleriana (2). There were also five March Moths and the year’s first Dytiscus beetle on the ground by the trap.

Red Chestnut. March 4th 2022. I Hunter
Dotted Border. March 4th 2022. I Hunter

 

 

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