Friday, 5 June 2015
It's a bit like 1996
Here in Banstead it's sunny, warm and muggy. There has been single Silver Y and xylostella in the MV and a Painted Lady has briefly alighted on a patch of Red Valerian in the front garden. I'm getting a strong feeling of deja-vu... (cue shimmering visuals)
On the morning of 7th June 1996 I was surprised to see 10+ Painted Lady on the front garden Red Valerian (yes, the very same patch) - there had been just the one the previous day. I was still slightly dazed from processing the MV catch, which had provided a Gem (!), 25 Silver Y and 23 xylostella. It was the first night that more than one migrant species had been recorded that year. Needless to say, my switching on of the MV that evening was done with much anticipation. I was not to be disappointed.
When I inspected the trap the following morning I felt as if I had been transported into a parallel universe, as a glance at the very first egg box revealed THREE Bordered Straw. What was going on? And there were another three within, together with 93 Silver Y, 48 xylostella, 5 noctuella plus a single Dark-sword Grass. I wandered around the garden in a state of shock. That same afternoon I visited the meadows in nearby Nork Park, where, in an hours trawl of the three fields, I recorded 2,000 Silver Y, 50+ Painted Lady and 2 Clouded Yellow. Unbelievable!
Over the next few nights the trap still enticed good numbers of Silver Y, xylostella and noctuella, a further 2 Bordered Straw turned up on the 11th, with singles on the 12th and 19th. As the month wore on, the migrant numbers died away, although the odd Pearly Underwing joined in with the festivities. My little bit of north Surrey had become a coastal headland for a few precious days. I'm still waiting for such a concentration of migrants to happen here again.