My final trip day out started with my sister beating me to the moth trap where she found the large sum of 3 moths but was excited to tell me one was very large.
To my delight when turning the egg box over was to see my first ever Privet Hawk moth and what a cracker it was adding my 4th NFW moth of the trip.
In many ways they are similar to the subspecies found at the Great Ormes Head,North Wales
A mile or so away in Upton Towans the females are as per nominate species which is difficult to understand as this site is much larger in comparison
Sadly on this trip the females were not out as in much of Cornwall so a July visit is best when looking for butterflies down here.
Butterflies seen on site through the year are Wall,Silver-studded Blue,Dark Green Fritillary,Red Admiral,Clouded Yellow,Painted Lady,Large Skipper,Common Blue,Meadow Brown etc.
If you park in the furthest car park away you are closer to Godrevy Point a hill that is 30M above sea level has heather habitat on the southern face in two places and gorse at the lower levels. The next field is full of tall grasses and loads of Bird-foot Trefoil where Common Blue males fight the SSB’s.
A stonewall traverses along the sea line before turning at 90º along the bottom of Godrevey point before going off at 45º to the fenced sheer drop called Mutton Cove Beach where 300 seals were seen in March and 30 recently.
I usually take the stonewall route where along the beach line behind the wall you will find good numbers of the coastal micro Lobesia littoralis.
At the end of the stonewall which is magnificent and houses so many of the butterflies in summer I cut through the right-hand heather area to what I call the hole. This gives protection from the wind and something is always sheltering in this area where I saw 3 Hummingbird Hawk-moths scampering around the rocks and a Cinnabar,the bane of my photography.
From here I walk to the northern face of Godrevy Point where the lighthouse is closest looking for Walls that are between broods at the moment.
It was hot and with the plethora of Birds-foot Trefoil I remember shouting to my sister that I should have bought the pheromones to look for Six-belted Clearwing but alas it was in her freezer so I was annoyed with myself.
I decided to check out the heather area looking for that elusive female SSB when suddenly I saw this funny little insect flying low on the heather looking a bit top heavy so I just waited for it to settle. It did and I took 3 rubbish shots before the moment had gone. It was a male Thrift Clearwing,my legs were shaking as I realised i had seen my first without the aid of pheromones.
The rest of the family had made the descent to the car park but something said don’t go just wait. Five minutes after seeing the male I saw that now recognisable flight again so I hoped the male had returned.
He had but in that 5 minutes he had found a bride,was in cop and in my own little romantic way he had decided to show her to me. I lay on the ground just taking shots and all the time just felt like crying with excitement, something a moth hater would not understand.
I finally left them in peace still on the heather and in truth barely remember the walk down the hill as I was just pumped up on adrenalin. I had not only seen the SW coastal specialist Clearwing I had seen male and female in what must have been very high odds indeed.
I reported the find to the Cornwall Moth Group and was kindly informed by Leon that moth trapping has been poor but with the addition of a few migrants. He also kindly told me Cornwall has 5 Clearwing Moths,the very rare Red-tipped,found as a larva in 1993,Six-belted,Currant,Yellow-legged & of course Thrift.
So it was 6 NFW moths on the trip which was poor but what were the chances of finding that special couple?
I would travel there anytime to see it all again.
Sadly the weather played no good part in the rest of the holiday but then it was all about seeing my sister and brother in law after 3 years following my poor health so the insects were all bonuses that I cashed.