James Lowen 


I was really after White-barred Clearwing, which could well be out at this time of year, as an individual was photographed last year on 27 May. I tried luring in a number of places without success. Talking to Ben Lewis, however, revealed another site to try - and despite it already being after 17h00, one of these chunky monsters came in within five minutes. It allowed a handful of frames before departing. I need to check, but this might be one of Norfolk's earliest records - and certainly the first this year that I am aware of.

After Mick Kerr caught a Yellow-legged Clearwing a couple of days earlier, that species was on my agenda for the garden, given I have had it here regularly before. When Justin and Annie Farthing asked whether I knew any sites around Norwich for it, I invited them to come over for a cuppa and try. They were unsuccessful, but Justin lured one in his own Norwich garden upon return home. I resolved to give it another crack the next day, and within a few minutes of returning from Strumpshaw, had my first Yellow-legged Clearwing of the year. 

Three clearwings in a day, and four in May! What would Theresa say about such productivity and efficiency?



27 May 2019 May clears off

On the day that Theresa May abdicated responsibility for Brexcrement and announced that she was clearing off, I was racing through the clearwings before May was out. First up was Red-tipped Clearwing at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. I spotted one individual resting on bramble sun the sun, whipped out the lure, attracted at least six individuals within a minute, and put the falsehood bung away to avoid any further confusion for libidinal males. This appears to be Norfolk's first record of the species this year - and the first time I have seen it in May.