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170812 Jersey tiger (1)

Ooo look, a Red admiral … hang on a minute … what’s that???!!!

I went looking for migrant birds at high tide at Sully beach – and found nothing more exotic than some Rock pipits and Turnstones – but my walk home, along the coastal path, took me through Lavernock Nature Reserve and there I got lucky. There I found an altogether different migrant, a beautiful Jersey tiger (Euplagia quadripunctaria).

170812 Jersey tiger (3)

Obviously, it’s not a mammal that’s swum across the Channel from Jersey: it’s a moth. It may also not have been an immigrant, as colonies have become established in a couple of places along the southern English coast in recent years. It is still, however, not so common in Wales, with only 24 records in the national database.

As you can see, it has gorgeous and quite distinctive markings – just look at that bright orange underwing! – so there was no mistaking what it was. Let’s hope a few other Jersey tigers arrive to establish a colony in Lavernock’s wonderful wildflower meadows.

170812 Jersey tiger (2)