Tuesday 21 April 2020


This has been a quite extraordinary spring for peacocks – the butterflies, that is. I can't remember when I last saw so many at this time of year. This morning, strolling on a local common, I must have seen well over fifty in less than an hour, and there were so many basking on the paths that I had to be careful not to tread on any (some of them are getting sluggish now). I recall that there was a big emergence of peacocks quite late last summer, and this springtime abundance must be the result of a successful mass hibernation – and a very beautiful result it is too.
  There had also been a mass emergence of something else this morning – tiny longhorn moths (Adela), with their implausibly long antennae (as pictured above). There were huge numbers of these little beauties dancing about in the sunlight in a wooded part of the common. I had never seen them in such abundance before. And talking of abundance, aren't there a lot of hover flies, bee flies (Bombylius) and all manner of bees, large and small, this spring? Amid all the talk of a catastrophic loss of insect biodiversity, this is very gratifying.

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