Day and night sampling of windborne arthropods at a height of 200 m above ground was undertaken at Cardington, Bedfordshire, UK, during July 1999, 2000 and 2002, using a net supported by a tethered balloon. The results from this study are compared with those from the classic aerial sampling programmes carried out by Hardy, Freeman and colleagues over the UK and North Sea in the 1930s. In the present study, aerial netting was undertaken at night as well as daytime, and so the diel periodicity of migration could be investigated, and comparisons made with the results from Lewis and Taylor’s extensive survey of flight periodicity near ground level. In some taxa with day-time emigration, quite large populations could continue in high-altitude flight after dark, perhaps to a previously underrated extent, and this would greatly increase their potential migratory range. Any trend towards increases in night temperatures, associated with global warming, would facilitate movements of this type in the UK. Observations on the windborne migration of a variety of species, particularly those of economic significance or of radar-detectable size, are briefly discussed.