I returned home from work at 02:30 to discover a small Geometrid in the Skinner trap that I didn't recognise. It was potted it for further study the following morning, and it turned out to be a complete surprise - Oblique Carpet !
It frequents bogs, fens and marshes, the larvae feeding on bedstraws. There are two generations: months 5/6 and 7/8.
There are only a handful of records in Bedfordshire, the last was in 1973 !
Quite a few moths around, the action tailing off around 01:00. Then, with a collection of moths potted up for identification in the morning, it was up the stairs to Bedfordshire.
One of the 'unknowns' proved to be The Gem (Orthonama obstipata). Not wishing to make any schoolboy errors, confirmation was sought from the macro recorders.
It is a sexually dimorphic immigrant, distributed over much of Europe, and an annual migrant to the UK. The last 'Gem' year was in 2006, apparently, when it was generally good for migrants as a whole. The recorders state that there are nine previous records in the database in Bedfordshire.