You know who you are! The bird watcher who dismisses starlings or corvids (except ravens or choughs) or the bird that is ‘just a gull’.
When we start looking at nature we are drawn to the conspicuous, the brightly coloured, the easily identified and as time goes on these become mundane and we start to look for the unusual. So, when you can recognise all the 59 species of UK butterfly it is time to start on the previously dismissed moths! Here’s a moth for beginners — easy to recognise because of the face hidden in its markings — can you see it.
See the profile of Mrs Punch or Mother Shipton after whom it is named — the Mother Shipton Moth. One of the 133 larger, day flying moths to start spotting. It shows some of the features which usually distinguish them from butterflies: resting with it’s wings flat; antennae feathery or rod-like, curved and without a knob at the end; and back and forewings linked together.
Once you’ve checked out all the larger, day-flying moths you can start on the tiny ones and the hundreds of marvellous night fliers! When someone says “it’s just a moth!” ask which one!