Sunday 2 August 2015

Favourite Insect, First Frits

I see there's a poll to find Britain's Favourite Insect - and it looks rather more interesting and unpredictable than the recent 'quest' for Britain's Favourite Bird (the robin, inevitably). The insect shortlist is well chosen (from a vast field), and it's hard to spot the winner: probably not shield bug, bee fly or ant, more likely ladybird, bumble bee or, indeed, tortoiseshell butterfly. No prizes for guessing where my vote would go.
 Meanwhile, I'm happy to report that yesterday, on a warm but overcast afternoon on Bookham Common, I saw my first silver-washed fritillaries of the year. Most were flying along the margins of the rides at speed, as is their way, but the first I saw was nectaring quietly on a clump of burdock and was in no hurry to move, continuing to feed, an arm's length from me, for several minutes before at length flying off into the trees.

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