I took the images below during the last week or so in various locations on the Great Chalfield estate, none more than about 1000m from my front door. It’s a wonderful world, eh?
I’m fairly new to this whole ‘panrecording’ game – which is all about trying to get to grips with the whole range of British wildlife rather than focussing on just eg birds or butterflies – but I’m just realising quite how stunning some of these insects are. None are rare (or even particularly scarce) but the colours on the tiny but dazzling micro Alabonia geoffrella or the smoky patterns on the wings of the equally small fly Platystoma seminationis are absolutely worth crawling around in a mass of soggy vegetation to find. And why on earth does an Owl Midge need to look like it does? I have no idea, but I will find out eventually.
Many of us birders, concentrating hard on identifying movements in bushes or dots in the sky (and I’m as ‘guilty’ of this as anyone else) will almost certainly have walked past each and everyone of these at some point without even noticing them. Which is – as I’m learning right now – denying ourselves a great deal of enjoyment. I don’t want to come across all preachy (nothing worse than the bellowing of an evangelist), but I’m having the time of my life right now…
The micro-moth Alabonia geoffrella
(For more info http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?bf=652)
Comma butterfly Polygonia c-album caterpillar on nettle
Mottled Umber Erannis defoliaria caterpillar
The wasp-mimic hoverfly Chrysotoxum cautum
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus sheltering during a rain shower
Mayfly Ephemera vulgata
Gravid Hoverfly sp heavily laden with eggs
Owl Midge from the family Psychodidae
The Signal Fly Platystoma seminationis
The predatory beetle Red-headed Cardinal Pyrochroa serraticornis
The oak-favouring mirid bug Rhabdomiris striatellus
(for more info http://www.britishbugs.org.uk/heteroptera/Miridae/rhabdomiris_striatellus.html)
All photographs copyright Charlie Moores/Talking Naturally. Similarly the identifications are (mostly) my own – if you see any errors I’d be very grateful to know. Thanks.