Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

api-ness, api-ness

Warm sunshine, light breeze, June - perfect conditions for clearwing lures. Only problem being that it was very late in the afternoon (or early in the evening depending on how you feel about 18:30 in late spring!). I nipped up to the plateau of Huncote Embankment where there is a lush carpet of trefoil. Out with the API lure, simply pegged onto some grass stalks low down between trefoil patches, and wait with net to hand.

After c10 minutes I was about ready to move and try another spot, but - hang on - isn't that a ......

Six-belted Clearwing - get in!

Only the one, but given the time of day and perhaps still early in the flight season I was pleased. Even more so as this was a site-first record. I reckon a late morning / early afternoon visit in a week or so would produce a lot more individuals - certainly when I tried other known sites a few years ago this species goes mad for the lures and I've had upto 20 knocking about with first individuals arriving in seconds.

Trefoil Carpet

A Lure In grass

Aside from the clearwing, I also netted a few tortricids around Oxeye Daisies and Common Vetch - including a Pea Moth and at least two, possibly three different Dichrorampha spp. (which will need gen detting).

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stunning looking creatures clearwings...love the pic Mark..!

What are the chances of seeing one o these beauts without the aid of a lure? Zero to fat....?

Beast..........

Skev said...

Sorry Colin - busy yesterday at work and out last night.

Yes - very low chances of seeing most clearwings through standard fieldcraft! Exceptions are Hornet and Lunar Hornet - the two larger species which do not respond well to lures anyway. These are best found by dilligently searching for exit holes and exuviae in the relevant tree trunk bases (black poplar and sallow respectively) - early suny mornings about now would be best.

The smaller species might be found by searching the foodplants (eg oak stumps for Yellow-legged, old apple trees for Red-belted, birch stumps for Large Red-belted, wayfaring for Orange-tailed, currant for Currant), and Six-belted can be swept from trefoil with a net - if you are very lucky.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for yer reply Mark...

I was at Brownhills yesterday amongst the trefoil....didn't have me net with me...and suffice to say i didn't see a six belt despite close attention....!

Great place tho....interesting geology...!

Beastly bloke....

thedrunkbirder said...

Tried Loughborough Uni this morning for Hornet Moth... no sign of anything in the while I was there. I did need a shit though which cut my visit short.

Only one possible exit hole in the earth but no exuviae. Might try Ketton in the morning.

Skev said...

Thanks for the update John - do keep us all informed of your movements ....