James Lowen 


3 August 2020 Coasteering

Late last week produced rather good conditions for mothing: warm nights with a southerly wind blowing French heat our way. So good for both residents and migrants. I was keen to get in on the action, so ran some traps with Jack Morris on the east Norfolk coast. Before then though, I enjoyed the headiest night of the garden year with 415 moths of 78 species including two species that seem to have taken Norwich by storm in the past year: Toadflax Brocade (two) and Caloptilia hemidactylella (my fourth of the year). Other roamers (both new for the garden) were Oak Eggar and Argyresthia prunella; Bucculatrix nigricomella another the run of records of this scarce species; and I even managed to put names to five different Phyllonorycter species. 

Our night of coasteering didn't turn out quite as planned, migrant wise at least. With a Boathouse Gem in Sussex the night before, hopes were high. But we had only common migrants; indeed, all the species that perhaps arrived from overseas could equally have well been locally bred (Tree-lichen Beauty, Large Yellow Underwing, Silver Y, Diamond Back & Turnip). Nuls points. However, we did well with coastal specialities. About 20 Coast Dart (very variable; see slideshow below) was a new moth for me and other quality macros included c70 Shore Wainscot, a (tardy?) Lyme Grass, and good numbers of both Archer's and White-lined darts.

Beach micros sneakily stole the show, with good numbers of Elachista biatomella (new for me and apparently Norfolk's first for five years), Lamora zelleri (including a mating pair), Pediasia fascelinella (new for me) and P. contaminella, Anerastia lotella, Nyctegretis lineana, Platytes alpinella and Cnephasia longana (new for me). So no migrants (and a missed opportunity to have a mind-blowing night at home in still conditions never falling below 23C), but four new moths all told - and all scarce coastal stuff. Excellent!