26/27 March 2016: total 20 species 8, (Min 4.5C, Max 5.4C, medium stars, scant breeze). The lull before the storm! We left Otterton early on the evening of the 27th and a few hours later the roads were flooded and impassable.

Actinic light at ST09126 01753

March Tubic Diurnea fagella 29.001 (Br. 0663) x1
March Moth Alsophila aescularia 70.245 (Br. 1663) x2
Oak Beauty Biston strataria 70.251 (Br. 1930) x2
Early Grey Xylocampa areola 73.069 (Br. 2243) x1
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x6
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x2
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x5

25/26 March 2016: total 23 species 9, (6.8C at 22:30 then rising, medium- stars, breezy becoming windy by morning). So far, there does not seem to be any significant difference between the two light sources. Popular wisdom suggests that actinic lights attract more moths at certain times of the year and favour the late winter and early spring. My own experience in Sussex suggests that more species of micro moths were attracted to actinic lights. I ran actinic for several years, then mv for a couple of years. There were many micros not putting in an appearance during the 2-year mv period, but these species returned once I started to run the actinic again. I will try to run both lights this year to see if there is any significant difference.

Actinic light at ST09126 01753

March Tubic Diurnea fagella 29.001 (Br. 0663) x1
Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x1
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
March Moth Alsophila aescularia 70.245 (Br. 1663) x2
Oak Beauty Biston strataria 70.251 (Br. 1930) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x4
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1
Twin-spotted Quaker Anorthoa munda 73.250 (Br. 2189) x1

MV light at ST09075 01782

March Moth Alsophila aescularia 70.245 (Br. 1663) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x3
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x5
Twin-spotted Quaker Anorthoa munda 73.250 (Br. 2189) x1

24/25 March 2016: total 22 species 15, (Min 4.1C, Max 8.2C, zero stars, scant breeze, slight mizzle). The Oak Beauties don't seem to show any preference for light sources. In the meantime, it is always good to record a new species and the welcome return of the Spindle Smudge from the other night. With a good deal of mature woodland in and around the garden, I am hoping for a lot more this year, particularly those with a preference for willow.

Actinic light at ST09126 01753

White-triangle Slender Caloptilia stigmatella 15.010 (Br. 0288) x1
Spindle Smudge Ypsolopha mucronella 17.001 (Br. 0451)
March Tubic Diurnea fagella 29.001 (Br. 0663) x1
March Moth Alsophila aescularia 70.245 (Br. 1663) x2
Oak Beauty Biston strataria 70.251 (Br. 1930) x1
Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria 70.255 (Br. 1934) x1
Early Grey Xylocampa areola 73.069 (Br. 2243) x1
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

MV light at ST09075 01782

*New Species* Brown-spot Flat-body Agonopterix alstromeriana 32.031 (Br. 0695) x1
Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 49.039 (Br. 0998) x2
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
Oak Beauty Biston strataria 70.251 (Br. 1930) x1
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x2
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x2
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

23/24 March 2016: total 11 species 4, (3.6C at 22:30 then rising, zero stars, calm). Well, the mv light decidedly held the advantage last night.

Actinic light at ST09126 01753

Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria 70.255 (Br. 1934) male x1
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x2

MV light at ST09075 01782

March Moth Alsophila aescularia 70.245 (Br. 1663) x2
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x2
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x4

21/22 March 2016: total 11 species 7, (Min -.01C, Max 2.8C, medium- stars, calm). Don't ask me why I decided to turn on two traps last night - it really was cold, but look at just what turned up! It is going to be interesting to see if the different lights attract different species and they really are far enough apart not to affect each other much.

Actinic light at ST09126 01753

Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata 70.156 (Br. 1852) x1
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x2
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

MV light at ST09075 01782

March Moth Alsophila aescularia 70.245 (Br. 1663) x1
Oak Beauty Biston strataria 70.251 (Br. 1930) x1
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x2

19/20 March 2016: total 7 species 4, (Min 4.8C, Max 6.1C, zero stars, calm but feeling much colder).

Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x2
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x3

18/19 March 2016: total 4 species 3, (Min 5.1C, Max 5.9C, zero stars, breezy with a nasty wind chill factor by morning).

Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata 70.156 (Br. 1852) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x2
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

17/18 March 2016: total 7 species 4, (Min -0.4C, Max 5.5C, medium stars, windy). As expected, the sub-zero temperatures did not kick in until well after the main flight period, but even so I was surprised there were as many that did turn up. I suspect one of the reasons is that my new garden is quite sheltered.

Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x2
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x1
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x3

15/16 March 2016: total 10 species 6, (Min 6.0C, Max 7.6C, zero stars, windy). One night missed again because it was far too cold, then a milder night and a garden first for me in the form of a Spindle Smudge (photo to follow), a small micro never before recorded by me. I shall chance my arm again tonight (the 17th), as it is going to be reasonably mild until the eary hours and most of the moths at the moment are appearing before I go to bed. In the meantime, we have been enjoying the rolling hills of south Devon, bathed in early spring sunshine with an abundance of daffodils and primroses on the banks bordering the quiet lanes. Sussex was never like this - it is pure bliss!

*New Species* Spindle Smudge Ypsolopha mucronella 17.001 (Br. 0451) x1
Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x3
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x3
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1

13/14 March 2016: total 8 species 5, (Min 2.1C, Max 5.9C, medium stars, windy). I have not bothered to turn on the trap recently due to the cold nights and so it was surprising that so many turned up last night and just how lively the micros were. Just goes to show.... :)

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x4
Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 49.039 (Br. 0998) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x1
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Twin-spotted Quaker Anorthoa munda 73.250 (Br. 2189) x1

1/2 March 2016: total 10 species 8, (Min 3.3C, Max 7.2C, zero stars, slight breeze but very windy by morning, intermittent rain becoming sleet by morning). The garden bird list has just reached 34 with a couple of Collared Doves, just two ahead of the moth list - but it won't be long....

March Tubic Diurnea fagella 29.001 (Br. 0663) Common x1
Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x1
Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata 70.156 (Br. 1852) x1
Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria 70.255 (Br. 1934) x1
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x3
Small Quaker Orthosia cruda 73.245 (Br. 2182) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

29 February/1 March 2016: total 3 species 3, (Min 5.6C, Max 10.1C, zero stars, slight breeze, hint of mizzle but rain by morning). Several more cold nights with a lot of frost, and so the trap went on at the first hint of a milder spell, and I was rewarded with an early March Tubic.

March Tubic Diurnea fagella 29.001 (Br. 0663) x1
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

21/22 February 2016: total 16 species 4, (Min 8.2C, Max 10.9C, zero stars, windy, hint of rain). After only two mild nights we are now promised much colder conditions. Oh well, it couldn't last! As for all those frogs, the total reached a staggering 60+ last night and the din they made was really quite loud. There are already several large dollops of spawn and more to come I suspect.

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x9
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x4
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x2

20/21 February 2016: total 1 species 1, (Min 9.9C, Max 10.3C, zero stars, windy, hint of rain). There has not been much doing recently, as winter proper set in with many cold, icy nights. Despite the mild temperatures last night, there was just the one moth, although this was hamstrung by a spider, which had spun several threads to its legs. It did not survive.... In the meantime, I counted 40 frogs in the larger of our two ponds, many "in cop" and by morning there was a third giant mass of spawn. The bird list continues to grow, the latest being Song Thrush and a female Brambling, which sat high up in one of the trees for over half an hour. Now, that really is a mega garden tick for me!

Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

5/6 February 2016: total 5 species 4, (Min 8.3C, Max 8.9C, zero stars, windy, mizzle, but gales & heavy rain by morning). Yet another species showing early, this time a Dotted Border, a nice moth this.

White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella 28.009 (Br. 0648) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x1
Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria 70.255 (Br. 1934) x1
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x2

4/5 February 2016: total 15 species 8, (Min 8.3C, Max 9.4C, zero stars, calm). What a fantastic early February night!. Dead, flat calm with no moon - the first moth I saw was an Oak Beauty, the second Early Thorn, unusually early for both, so living up to its name. Devon is turning out to be quite a place for moths, or, at least, this part iof the county is. With all those male Winter moths around I suspect there must have been a female lurking somewhere nearby, but, if so, she eluded me.

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x2
Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 49.039 (Br. 0998) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x7
Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata 70.141 (Br. 1862) x1
Early Thorn Selenia dentaria 70.237 (Br. 1917) x1
Oak Beauty Biston strataria 70.251 (Br. 1930) x1
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x1
Dark Chestnut Conistra ligula 73.195 (Br. 2259) x1

1/2 February 2016: total 7 species 5, (Min 7.1C, Max 8.6C, zero stars, windy). After three, mostly despondent, days away up north attending the funeral of a cousin, it was a huge relief to return to Devon! The large pond, previously dead and stagnant, but only recently cleared, is now alive with dozens of frogs - I have never seen so many, the daffodils are out, more and more snowdrops are appearing and there is much else on the move in this delightful garden, which was created by previous owners. For me, it is also remarkable to see these early spring moths appearing and with the sun shining today, let us all hope for a decent warm spring.

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x1 male
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x1
Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta 73.242 (Br. 2188) x2
Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi 73.244 (Br. 2187) x2
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

26/27 January 2016: total 2 species 1, (Min 10.9C, Max 11.2C, zero stars, very windy, mizzle). This was disappointing really, considering just how mild it was, but that wind was a strong one. On the other hand, Devon continues to delight in so many ways. Motoring along one of the narrow lanes near the East Devon coast yesterday, we came across a very large flock of Chaffinches, upwards of fifty, and quite possibly many more than that. Now, this is a common bird, but I have never in my life seen them in such numbers, not even when I was a youth all that time ago. Then today, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers in our garden, all in the same tree, one female and two males and it was quite clear what their intention was, and again I have never, ever, seen this species before other than as singletons. This followed on from up to thirty Jackdaws this morning, all in a sex frenzy and starting to build nests in my neighbours chimneys. I wonder if she knows....
Devon is producing what once may have been common in both Sussex and Kent, although it is a long time since birds were seen in these counties in such numbers.

Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x2

25/26 January 2016: total 5 species 4, (Min 5.2C, Max 9.7C, zero stars but hazy near full moon, calm but very windy by morning). It was undoubtedly the same Usher which turned up for a second successive night that I found on the outside glass of the greenhouse. In the meantime, snowdrops glowed nicely in the light of my headtorch, many clumps growing along a low, wild bank with daffodils soon to burst into full bloom. They are already well out in many places in this part of Devon, but we are a bit higher here and so we need to be patient.

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x2
Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia 70.253 (Br. 1932) x1
Dark Chestnut Conistra ligula 73.195 (Br. 2259) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

24/25 January 2016: total 6 species 5, (Min 9.0C, Max 10.9C, zero stars but hazy near full moon, very windy). After the forecast colder nights, temperatures are again rising and we enjoyed a very mild night indeed. This brought in only my third ever record of a Spring Usher, the first two being in 2010 and 2011. I am hoping that it will soon live up to its name and herald in a glorious spring! In the meantime, planting of new fruit trees and soft fruit continues: cooking & eating apples, pears (early and late), plums, raspberries, black and red currants, gooseberries and, of course, strawberries. They should encourage a few of the micros ....

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x1
Rusty Oak agg. Acleris ferrugana agg. 49.083 (Br. 1044) x1
Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia 70.253 (Br. 1932) x1
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x1
Dark Chestnut Conistra ligula 73.195 (Br. 2259) x2

17/18 January 2016: total 1 species 1, (Min 5.9C, Max 6.6C, zero stars, very windy, rain by morningl). A brief respite from the recent cold nights, which seemingly are due to return almost immediately. However, this has not deterred the frogs, which are busy mating in both ponds, even after some serious disturbance over the weekend, when a huge amount of matted vegetation was removed from the larger of the two. This will hopefully revive this pond and encourage dragonflies to lay eggs later in the year.

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x1

11/12 January 2016: total 3 species 2, (Min 3.6C, Max 4.7C, medium stars, slight breeze, garden drying out by morning, quite a wind chill). That was prabably the last trap for a while, as we are now expecting at least a week of near or below freezing night-time temperatures. This was not the same Mottled Umber that was recorded the previous night.

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x2
Mottled Umber Erannis defoliaria 70.256 (Br. 1935) x1

10/11 January 2016: total 4 species 3, (Min 1.7C, Max 5.0C, zero stars, calm, rain).

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x2
Mottled Umber Erannis defoliaria 70.256 (Br. 1935) x1
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

9/10 January 2016: total 6 species 3, (Min 3.2C, Max 5.1C, zero stars, windy).

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x4
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

8/9 January 2016: total 3 species 2, (Min 5.1C, Max 6.3C, zero stars, breezy, heavy overnight rain). I did not run the trap on the night of the 7th, as frost was promised and we did not get home until late. In the event, we just missed a frost by a mere one degree, but, after so many years living in areas saturated with light pollution, were simply in awe of the night sky. It was simply wonderful! We may well soon enjoy the sight again, as clearer skies are promised for next week, and much lower temperatures.

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x2
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica 73.249 (Br. 2190) x1

5/6 January 2016: total 2 species 2, (Min 3.6C, Max 6.6C, zero stars, calm, mizzle).

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x1

4/5 January 2016: total 4 species 2, (Min 3.7C, Max 7.9C, zero stars, slight breeze). As the night wore on it became quite cold and, again, nothing else turned up after 22:30. Interestingly, the three Winter moths were definitely not the same ones recorded on the previopus night and so it seems that there is quite a good and thriving local population.

Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x3
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x1

3/4 January 2016: total 9 species 4, (Min 6.6C, Max 6.9C, medium stars, breezy). In keeping with recent days, there was not a single moth in the trap itself, only on the greenhouse glass and nothing else turned up after 22:30.

Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana 49.039 (Br. 0998) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x4
Mottled Umber Erannis defoliaria 70.256 (Br. 1935) x1
Chestnut Conistra vaccinii 73.194 (Br. 2258) x3

2/3 January 2016: total 6 species 3, (Min 5.8C, Max 7.3C, zero stars, starting calm but severe wind and rain by morning). The house is still leaking like a sieve!

Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana 32.018 (Br. 0688) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x4
Dark Chestnut Conistra ligula 73.195 (Br. 2259) x1

1/2 January 2016: total 2 species 2, (Min 9.1C, Max 10.2C, zero stars, very windy, sporadic heavy rain). The front of the house was leaking like a sieve with the gusting strong wind driving water into all the nooks and crannies. We need a builder!

White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella 28.009 (Br. 0648) x1
Winter Moth Operophtera brumata 70.106 (Br. 1799) x1

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