Not all moths are dark, heavy-bodied night flyers.
Yesterday I went out to have lunch with a friend with whom I am plotting something that will keep me out of mischief for a short while later in the year. She’s not well so I didn’t stay long and as the cloud cover had cleared I went over to the marina at Burnham to see what I might see.
Though not as sunny or warm as it might have been there were Common Blue Damselflies on the water and one darter dragonfly, the Broad-bodied Libellula (libellula depressa) I think: sadly they would not let me get close enough for good pictures. I found Gate-keepers, Essex Skippers and Meadow Browns in the grass above the marina as well as plenty of Large Whites and my first definite Red Admiral of the year; but the Adder warning signs have gone up and all the training I had as a child often going bush with my parents kicked in.
The Gatekeeper (also known as the Hedge Brown) is readily recognised – the twin white dots in the eye are the signature. They were about in large numbers. I spotted my first Green Shieldbug of the year, too:
The find of the day, though, was something else. I’ve never spotted a Six-spot Burnet before and wasn’t looking for them specifically but walking back along one of the paths above the marina I stumbled upon what I suspect is a colony.
First one, then another a couple of steps further on and then, perhaps a metre or so further still a pair engaged in ensuring the future of the species. This is a magnificent and unmissible moth. All four were in beautiful shape with brilliant red marks against a metallic black background.
I saved this over from yesterday because I rightly suspected that there would be absolutely nothing in the bathroom last night. The weather is, if anything less promising today. What happened to summer?