18 Jun 2015

18 June 15 - A Bonus Tick On Bardsey

While we were travelling over to Bardsey, some of the group mentioned Thrift Clearwings had been seen recently on Bardsey. The Clearwings are a group of fourteen day flying Moths, none of which I've seen before. I've largely spent most of my time since getting into Moths in the early 80s erratically running Moth traps in my garden, rather than going out looking for them, so no surprise I've not seen any. Their particular family trait is part of the wing is clear & they are generally longer & thinner than most Moths. I guess the strategy is to avoid looking like a tasty, defenceless Moth, but to appear more like a large threatening Wasp. Dorset seems to be a good place to look for Clearwings. Every year, I plan to make the effort to see & photograph several of the local Dorset resident species, but never seem to find the time. Maybe next year. Several of the species are fairly easy to see & photograph, providing you know where to look & go prepared with a pheromone lure to attract them in.

Back to Bardsey. Occasionally, Steve the Bird Obs Warden, wandered off to look for the Cretzschmar's Bunting in an area where it liked to feed. On one occasion, he returned with this Thrift Clearwing for us to have a look. The photo was taken of it in a Moth pot which explains why the photo isn't as sharp as I would like. It obviously would have been released later that day.
Thrift Clearwing: This species occurs in Devon & Cornwall, West Wales & around the Whitehaven area of  Cumbria on areas of coastal headlands with Thrift (the foodplant)