Six Legs Good

I expect most of us will have heard on the news this morning that approaching half the butterflies found in the UK are on the Red List of threatened species. The health of these insects is an indicator of the quality of our environment which obviously concerns us all.

On that theme this green veined butterfly was one of my spots at ANR yesterday. I have not seen one so strongly marked on the upper wings before.

Near the same spot this one was a bit of a puzzle. I’m pretty sure it is a chimney sweeper moth which is a new one for me.

The sunshine also brought out some damselflies. Above, my first sighting of the year of a banded demoiselle and, below, a female emerald damselfly. I am always intrigued at the fine detail of these colourful insects.

All of the time I was observing these insects by the Trent the sky was teeming with swifts, sometimes swooping to treetop level. There were a few sand martens in the mix but the scimitar wings of the swifts are unmistakable.

Finally, from the ‘nursery’, the tawny owl chicks in a friend’s garden box are beginning to take an interest in the outside world and the NTU peregrine chicks are clearly thriving.

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