With such hot weather during the week I began to wonder if it would be worth even doing a Late Night Opening on Friday what with the reserve reaching 38c the day before but it rained heavily over night and the air cleared somewhat and lowered the temperature down but about 10c.

But would it rain again in the evening with such sultry conditions?

It was a quiet day on the ranch but as evening progressed it became steadily busier and the café did a roaring trade for dinners! The Barn Owl even came out quite early and had a fly round and the breeze had dropped leaving a layer of low level cloud to trap the humid air and thus make the prospect of good mothing potentially very high.

Barn Owl - Tony O'Brien

The lamps went on about 9pm and by 10.30 were attracting countless moths with over 40 species identified so far including a pink and green Elephant, several Drinkers (the big brown moth that starts as those large punky caterpillars we see on the boardwalk), Oak Eggars, countless Ruby Tigers and Least Carpet, a Red-tipped Clearwing, Cream Bordered Green Pea (what a name!), Chinese Character (that looks like bird poo) and a Starwort which was new to all of us. Its larvae feed on Sea Aster so we shall have to go and have a look as they appear quite funky.

Centre at night - Tom Bell

Drinker Moths - male left - female right - Ben Rumsby


This Jersey Tiger was in the Wildlife Garden on the Greek Marjoram the next day - better in daylight! - Nick Lay

Pipistrelles flicked around us and the lights also attracted the usual assortment of Wasps, Flies and Beetles with a particularly fine Burying species and Dung species.

Aphodius rufipes - a dung beetle - cheers to Annie for the ID

Necrodes littoralis - a burying beetle

Glow Worms soon lit up and several female glowed around the car park and river wall and I even rescued one from the gravel in the middle of nowhere!

Glow-worm - Lee Spence

The rain held off and it remained lovely and warm throughout…

Here’s to the next one