The Dark Side

Red Admiral

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

Butterflies and moths seem to be attracted to the fence outside my kitchen window, perhaps because it faces south. I noticed a Red Admiral in this same spot a couple of days ago, beautifully bright and fresh-looking, but obviously about to move on. Today’s appeared more settled and had its wings spread wide so I thought I’d take the camera round and try to get a picture. By the time I got to it it had folded up tight but it didn’t seem to mind being scrutinised and stayed long enough for me to have a good look. When you get close to butterflies they are quite unlike the children’s picture book impression that I grew up with – this one was furry and had a face like a tiny bat.

A list of some of the wildlife seen in and around the gardens during the past few weeks includes:

Peregrine, sparrowhawk and buzzard

Swifts, swallows and house martins

Pipistrelle bats

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Peacock, Comma, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell

Gatekeeper, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Clouded Yellow, Yellow Underwing

Soldier Beetle, Honey Bee, Ladybird, Sawfly larvae

Grasshopper, Speckled Bush Cricket

The swifts have gone now – they left just after the beginning of August. I always mean to catch the last day but every year there’s a lapse before I finally register their absence.