top of page

Who's that flying around the wood today?

Flying a home-made Purple Emperor kite - to see the real thing, visit Finemere Woods

I learned a lot about butterflies during that first lockdown. I’ve always appreciated their beauty (who doesn’t?) and felt a thrill when I spotted one fluttering by – but until spring 2020 when Covid stopped everything and I took to visiting the Millennium woods every day with my young daughters, I simply hadn’t realised they all had their own schedule and their favourite spots.

I now know to expect the vibrant yellow Brimstone first, followed a couple of weeks later by the Orange Tip. I know that Ringlets frequent the ride in the middle of the wood in late June, and that Gatekeepers prefer the track alongside the tennis courts, as do Small Skippers. Peacocks are more likely to be spotted in the hedges on the walk there rather than in the woods themselves. And there are more – Speckled Woods, Small Whites, Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals – living in and around the wood. There was something with a flash of blue – but it wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to identify it, so we decided it was a Holly Blue.

And once, just once, I spotted a Comma with its fancy scalloped edges. Never seen another one – but perhaps you have? Let us know via our Facebook page!

As part of our biodiversity project in the woods, we are monitoring who lives there – and our hope is that we will see a more diverse population as time goes by. And by filling the village with BEE SQUARES (see your latest edition of the Pump for free seeds), we can give these pollinators a helping hand while they go about their important work.

There was another insect I never noticed until that spring, also a pollinator (especially of fruit trees) but one that gets much less attention than its more photogenic contemporaries: the St Mark’s fly – so called because it usually appears around St Mark’s Day, 25th April. It is a long shiny black fly, which hovers over vegetation with its legs hanging down, giving a hook-like appearance, and there were masses of them in the hedgerows behind the chicken sheds.  St Mark’s Day is on the horizon – look out for that fly!

23 views0 comments


bottom of page