The best catch of the year on Saturday night included a Small Eggar. This is not a regular here and it is only the fourth time I've seen it since 1996. I also had 3 Oak Beauties and my second Pale Pinion of the year.
I found this rather nondescript caterpillar walking up the back wall of my house on Wednesday morning - it had probably recently come out of hibernation and I was fortunate to see it before it found a suitable patch of lichen to burrow under. The adult is fairly common at light in my garden.
Larva of 2295 Marbled Green Cryphia muralis
Our best (and warmest) night of the year so far with 22 moths of 10 species including 5 Oak Beauty and our first Dark Sword-grass for 2010. Not quite our earliest, John, as there was a small influx in February 2004.
After a long lean spell there were at last reasonable numbers of moths last night:
Emmelina monodactyla 1, Oak Beauty 1, Grey Shoulder-knot 1, Early Grey 1, Satellite 1, Small Quaker 1, Common Quaker 15, Clouded Drab 2, Hebrew Character 18.
Moth numbers were again limited last night with less than 10 on what appeared to be a reasonably promising night. Looking back through my records of past starts to the year up to the middle of March appears to show a correlation between a poor start to the year being followed by a good year and vice versa. My two best numerical starts have been in the disasterous years of 2007 and 2008 whereas my worst start before this year was in 2005 when I had my best year by the end of the season. Hopefully the trend will continue and this year's poor start will be followed by a bumper season.
I did see lots of butteflies in the sunshine today,though, with Brimstone, Peacock and a Red Admiral being added to my list.
The most productive night of the season so far with a massive 5 moths in the traps. However they were of 5 different species and included my first Common Quaker, Clouded Drab and Grey Shoulder Knot of the year.