After the strange happenings of recent months, a return to more “normal” summer weather was welcome. Measureable rain fell in Formby on 14 days -
The earlier spring drought still seemed to be exerting its influence on our wildlife. Local observers reported much lower numbers of some butterflies and moths, while other species seemed unaffected. Most striking was the almost complete absence of burnet moths, these striking red-
Despite these issues, I had a wonderful month recording and photographing insects: “The little things that run the World” as the great ecologist E.O. Wilson wrote. Things began well on 1st when Trevor Davenport and I found a Dune Villa at Crosby. A member of the bee-
Nearby Range Lane was graced by a superb Hornet Hoverfly -
A short walk from Spruce Way down Wicks Path was productive, including my first Dock Bug, a recent arrival in our region from southern clines, while three Dune Villas on the disturbed sandy track were completely unexpected. A new generation of immaculate Speckled Woods joined the abundant Gatekeepers sunning themselves on the brambles. A large spider feeding on an orange Soldier Beetle was identified by Richard Burkmar as a Nursery Web Spider, supposedly common but not familiar to me. Southern Hawkers are known to be curious but a female went over the top by perching on my bag for several minutes while I was carrying it.
I wasn’t the only one to find exciting insects in July. Natalie Hunt sent me some excellent photos of a strange-
Routine plant recording was not neglected during this insect-
Birds inevitably took a back seat, my most remarkable sighting being of a Peahen, with three chicks in tow, which strolled past my lounge window and into my neighbour's garden. I thought I was having hallucinations and dashed out with my camera to get proof that I wasn't. Who breeds Peafowl in Formby?!