P and I were having a cream tea in Woodstock this afternoon after cycling over there and we very much enjoyed watching the passing visitors from all over the world. Much the same phenomenon goes on the UK moth world at this time of year, with interesting species exploring north from the continental mainland, helped by warm winds. Some are very dramatic like the Silver-striped Hawk moth which I hope to attract to my light one day. But for the time being, I am happy with this Bordered Straw, above, which called a few nights ago. It's a regular arrival here and in most of the southern UK, powerful-looking and boldly-marked.
Another distinctive moth, but one which is resident here all year round, is the Purple Bar. Its bars of black and white may provide a dazzle camouflage defence against birds but they certainly don't hide it from the human eye. I've composited three photos from varying distances - the top one shows how immediately visible it is to the human eye, even at a distance.
The grandchildren have been staying and so we've had the customary ritual of getting moths on to fingers and having them photographed - quite interestingly in the instance above, which shows the size difference between the male and female Orange Swift. He is Little and she is Large, much like the seaside couples in the famous Bamford photographs.
The children are also commendable advocates for insect interests and chided me when he kept flicking over the beetle above, to get pictures of its lovely metallic blue underside. "Don't be mean, Grandpa," said No 1 who is the most soft-hearted. So this is the best I can do for you. Update: many thanks to Conehead in Comments for ID-ing this as a Dor Beetle, one of the Geotrupes family.
Much else has been flooding in. Above (l-r in successive rows): Treble-bar twice, Flounced Rustic, Angle Shades, the micros Blastobasis adjustella, an adventist introduced in imported goods, and Ypsolopha sequella, one of the many variants of Common Rustic, a Lime-speck Pug and a Light Emerald.
There are lots of differently-coloured ladybirds in the trap at the moment too, adding small dots of bright colour to the eggboxes. Update - all Harlequins, says Conehead in Comments, for which many thanks again. And here are some more moths, below: the Snout with its Pinocchio palps, the micro Cherry-tree Ermine which can make unbelievable quantities of sticky web on plants, trees and even cars, two more micros: Catoptria falsella and the lovely Brown China-mark Elophila nymphaeata, the equally delicious and very distinctively-shaped little macro, the Chinese Character, a Turnip, a Pale Prominent seen head-on eeeek! and a Small Dusty Wave, well-named except that it is not just Small but Very Small. More soon.