Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Clearwing survives Natural England

Thought I'd have a day doing clearwings before 6 weeks of relentless fieldwork kicks in. Started in Waterperry Wood where due to the gardening by the FC and the efforts of deer the only possibility seemed to be Yellow-legged. Two sessions very far apart produced nothing, ditto 20 mins in the main Bernwood carpark next to the car while I had lunch.

Better luck at Swyncombe Down - a single Six-belted at the bottom of the slope, then 4 Orange-tailed, one at the edge of the scrub near the bottom and 3 on what remains of the Wild Service scrub just over the top on the dip slope. It is pleasing to see that this species has survived the devastation of of it's foodplant on Sliding Hill. I noted that other, ubiquitous scrub species such as hawthorn and rose seemed to have been less hammered and that the vast majority of the Wild Service - a local and characteristic species of the habitat has been reduced to little more than seedlings, all in the name of 'conservation'. A simplistic approach which I can only assume was the work of people who are themselves a bit simple.

An optimistic attempt at Yellow-legged near Cookley Green failed, but at least I know the lure works, after several years languishing in the freezer.

Tip - if you use plastic pheromone traps tape the lure cage on - I lost my API lure at Swyncombe - the thing must have popped out somewhere. And don't leave it in the sun !

1 comment:

  1. Nice one! I went out with the API lure for an hour late this afternoon and tried three sites near the Calvert landfill which are covered in undisturbed bird's-foot trefoil. Six-belted Clearwings started arriving within 30 seconds at each spot. I counted ten males within two minutes at the first and five at each of the other two. It is a shame that this most definitely isn't the norm when it comes to finding clearwing moths with pheromones!


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