So what next? can I hope for Light Crimson Underwing (new for Norfolk this year) in 2024? And what about Rosy Underwing by 2030? In the meantime, will the Blue Underwing become a routine capture... There's Much Ado About Mothing!
Deeply pleasing though Red Underwing is, this year, 'this isn't the Catocala you are looking for'. That one was Dark Crimson Underwing. Most Norwich moth-era have now caught one at home, and this year I got into the act with two singletons in August, both in the rooftop actinic. I fistpumped for joy, I can tell you. And particularly because, locally at least, it doesn't seem to have been a vintage year for this species, which has seemingly colonised afresh from the Low Countries.
As we're mentioning Large Yellow Underwings, and before we reach the underwings I really want to talk about, then it would be rude not to mention the best year ever for Lunar Yellow Underwings in the garden. Six so far this month, including three in a night (one in each trap set). Apparently, this localised Red Data Book Species is having a great year, straying away from its breeding locations in Norfolk and Suffolk.
It's been qute the month or so for underwings of various species. I'll count Old Lady in that because this lovely, swarthy moth has frequented the garden in great numbers this year: perhaps 40 in total, with up to four a night. Compared to an average five a year, that's quite some year for this species. I'm also including Large Yellow Underwings, which have had an amazing year after a disastrous 2022. I've been catching 500 some nights, across two traps in the garden. Mighty noctuid love-ins...
Right, now for the underwings I really want to talk about, by which I mean the Catocala. We'll start with Red Underwing, the commonest. The six records so far this year represent the best showing in nine years of this species. Typically I catch one at light and have another sugaring. This year I haven't even tried offering treacly treats.
And then, of course, there's the biggest Catocala of them all. Clifton Non-pareil. One record in September 2021, and one in September 2022. Then two records of three individuals this month - with one actinic harbouring a brace on one joyous night last week. This species continues its (winged) march.