The pleasant days of early September have revived a little of the feeling of summer; many insects are certainly enjoying the warmth. One little moth was certainly to be seen in large numbers a few days ago. The nettle-tap (Anthophila fabriciana) is a micro-moth but one of the more recognisable of them, not particularly because it’s a striking moth but because it’s a day-flier with a fairly characteristic shape and habituates areas of nettles. This moth tends to be seen in good numbers in June but this year there has been a bit of an influx at the other end of summer. The moths were around areas of nettle but were far more focussed on the nectar to be found on the late flowers of black knapweed as well as the later flowers of bramble.
More colour was provided by a pair of small copper butterflies while by the river a handful of common darters were busy paired up and laying eggs into the River Pont. However it was the 250 or more tiny nettle-tap moths that were the stars of the day.