We've reached the end of another year which proved to be a very good one for the moth trap with 378 species recorded which was 60 more than my previous best, and included 11 new macro species and 20 new micros, which in the 18th year of trapping is quite surprising, and I guess must be due to the excellent warm weather in early summer. My best records were the Clifden Nonpareil in the Autumn and the White Spot on 2nd June. I was also pleased to record some relatively common species which were firsts for the garden, which included Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Scorched Wing and Shoulder Stripe. Further afield I was also very pleased to get an opportunity to photograph Fisher's Estuarine Moth, a local rarity.
Since my last post 2 more Winter Moths have appeared but nothing else in the trap. At Dungeness yesterday we ticked off the target species: the Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe were still on the Lade south lake, the Glaucous Gull showed well near the Fishing Boats, at least 2 Bewick's Swans were near Cockles Bridge, and the Long-eared Owl could just about be seen at the Dipping Pond on the reserve. Also noted were 2 Great White Egrets, Peregrine, and 10 Goosander on Burrow's Pit.
Over the last few days slightly milder weather has produced 2 new species of moth for the year: the Winter Moth and December Moth. I expect that with colder weather on the way that may be it for the year now. Lots of wintering thrushes around with good numbers of Redwings on the neighbour's holly trees for several days.
No moths to report since my last post and no moths new for the year at all during November. A couple of vists to Dungeness have not produced a great deal new either. Last Thursday we saw a Bittern in flight over the ARC pit, plus a Great White Egret there, the Cattle Egret with the cows near Boulderwall Farm, with a couple of Little Egrets and Grey Herons around the reserve making 5 Heron species in the day. Gull numbers have increased with 2 Scandinavian Herring Gulls on Thursday and a couple of Caspian Gulls the previous week on the RSPB reserve.
We've reached the end of another month in which 13 new species for the year appeared in the moth trap. So 375 species have been trapped this year. Between 50 and 100 Fieldfares were by the Sportsman Inn at Seasalter late on Monday afternoon, and at Dungeness today a Merlin showed well chasing a Goldfinch at the Fishing Boats. In the afternoon a Little Owl was at Scotney Farm along with 30 Egyptian Geese. A feral Barnacle Goose was beside the track.