Saturday, 19 October 2019

Red Admiral

I snapped this impressive butterfly in our garden yesterday. It was easy to identify as a Red Admiral. It was part of a cloud of insects feeding on the large ivy shrub (tree?) The ivy produces tiny round flowers and I guess the insects were getting nectar from them. The flowers will later turn into black berries (looking like pepper corns) and wood pigeons feed on them.    

Looking into the Red Admiral I was surprised to find that it's a migratory insect. They winter in North Africa and Southern Europe. It's hard to imaging this little creature making it to Spain but apparently they fly into the sky and let the wind do the rest.

They must be able to choose the right wind direction because the prevailing wind here is westerly and that would carry them into the North Sea. I guess the ivy nectar will provide energy for its journey.

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