Speckled Wood

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This is apparently slated to be the hottest May Day Bank Holiday weekend in the history of May Day Bank Holiday weekends. It was certainly too hot today for my comfort, and it wasn’t a particularly good day for bees or hoverflies either – it surprised me the first time I read that they don’t like very hot weather, but that certainly seems to be true. I like to imagine them sitting on their patio with the sun umbrella up, sipping an Aperol spritz, though I suspect they were more probably skulking on the underside of leaves, away from the fierce sunlight.

I did venture out in the fierce sunlight, in pursuit of butterflies which don’t appear to mind the heat, and was pleased to see that the village is enjoying a mass emergence of Speckled Woods. According to the books this species is not a nectar drinker, (nor yet Aperol spritz), preferring to eat honeydew from the surface of leaves – and certainly you’re much more likely to see them on leaves than on flowers. But whether it’s a rugged individualist, or just couldn’t find any honeydew, this one was definitely drinking from the hawthorn which is also newly emerged in the hedgerow opposite our house.