Saturday 10th. At 16.5°C last night was even warmer and easily the best night of the year so far for moths. 9 species new for the year included two new for the garden; Obscure Wainscot and Mullein Wave, along with our first spring record of Mocha, Figure of 80, which we didn’t record last year, a dagger, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Brussels Lace, Lesser Yellow Underwing and Single-dotted Wave. As if that wasn’t enough, a gang of rampaging Long-tailed Tits went through the garden in the afternoon.
Friday 9th. At 13.6°C last night was the warmest of the year so far and moth numbers responded accordingly, with 53 of 21 species. These included our third record of Ingrailed Clay (photo below), plus Small Blood-vein, Elephant Hawk-moth, Clay and Pearly Underwing. On a rather more mundane level, our Pheasants still have seven young, presumably surviving well as they haven’t yet learned to fling themselves in front of oncoming vehicles.
Thursday 8th. The weather has certainly got into the groove, as Madonna might have noted, calming down in the evening and stoking up in the approach to dawn to a variably frisky NE breeze. At least this allows trapping with some optimism for some of the night and our reward for last night’s efforts were Barred Yellow, Light Arches and L-album Wainscot, taking us to 101 macro species for the year so far.
Wednesday 7th. Despite the obstinate NE wind getting up to force 5-6 by dawn the contents of our moth trap contained four species new for the year: Green Pug, Buff Footman, Small Elephant Hawk-moth and Dark Arches.
Tuesday 6th. Last night was more subdued for moths, but still brought our first Swallow Prominent of the year and, despite the continuing dearth of butterflies the first Meadow Brown of summer appeared in the garden and a Small Tortoiseshell down the lane was the first since the last of the hibernated adults.
Monday 5th. The last couple of nights have started to approximate to the sort of moth numbers we should be seeing at this time of year, with 55 of 23 species last night. These included Small Waved Umber, a new species for the garden and one we never recorded in Sandwich, Riband Wave, Lime Hawk-moth (photo below), Large Yellow Underwing, Shears, Cream-spot Tiger and Common Rustic agg.
Sunday 4th. With a Full Moon and cloudless sky prospects for a decent moth catch seemed remote, but last night proved to be the best of the year so far, 33 moths of 17 species including Clouded Silver, Straw Dot and Snout.
Friday 2nd. Just 11 moths of 9 species last night, the frisky NE wind again a problem. We battled the traffic to get to Poole to discuss the PET scan results with Rachel and it seems that there is no point in continuing with immunotherapy as it has done its best and the cancer has continued to spread, so it is now a case of minimising discomfort. In reality it doesn’t change much as doing what I can while I can is the only positive way forward, as it has been since the diagnosis back in December, I’ve always wanted to be a Plucky Brit!
Thursday 1st. Still the NE wind blows and prospects for recording moths over the next week don’t look great, though Karen found the longhorn Nematopogon metaxella in the front garden. However, being the first day of the new month birds took centre stage, with two Greenfinches at our feeders being the best of the bunch. Although they breed sparsely up the hill in the village they are no more than sporadic here, occurring approximately in alternate months during the year.