The Heat Is Online

Mediterranean birds, bugs invade southern Britain

How the summer’s Mediterranean weather brought rare birds and insects to Britain

Bee-eaters, stilts and rare butterflies have appeared in the UK for the first time in years, tempted by the unusually hot summer sunshine

 The Guardian, Aug. 11, 2014

This summer has certainly brought a touch of the Med to our shores. Britain’s usual wildlife has been joined by a host of new and unusual species, with many creatures staying on to breed.

Rare insects, too, are arriving. Several species of damselfly, such as the scarce and willow emerald, have colonised East Anglia and Kent in the past decade, while this year both large and scarce tortoiseshell butterflies turned up.

So what more can we expect if the fine weather continues? Butterfly enthusiasts are keeping an eye out for other continental European species, including the swallowtail, and the Camberwell beauty.

Moth watchers are also keenly setting their traps in the hope of attracting a suite of rare vagrants such as crimson speckled, Clifden nonpareil and the sinister looking death’s-head hawkmoth (made famous by The Silence of the Lambs), all of which crossed the Channel last autumn.