It's a hide- and- seek morning out on Scout Scar. Birds have young to feed and a pipit's beak is stuffed with insect prey. The herb layer is fragrant in a warmth building to thunderstorms and downpour in the afternoon. Tiny moths and glimpses of colour: common blue butterflies , fritillary, and six-spot burnet moth..
Dyer's greenweed, Genista tinctoria. A few years ago I found a spot where Dyer's greenweed grows on Scout Scar. Some years it's no more than a few plant's easily overlooked in a season of yellow vetches.
Insects are feeding, breeding and hiding from birds eager to snatch them up. I follow the flight of an ochre moth into a hawthorn where it hides and had I not seen it settle I'd take if for a dead leaf. Pale flickering wings come down in the grasses and become no more than a slight swelling on a grass stem.
Stonechat, Saxicola torquata. Birders don't use Lain names as frequently as botanists do. I remember the significance of Saxicola torquata. Torque. a neckband worn by ancient Britons and Gauls, here a distinctive torque of white feathers. And I'm back amongst the early Bronze Age torcs of gold in The National Museum of Ireland. Or, a wonder of gold, neck bands of twisted gold.
When Sir John Hawkins, Elizabethan privateer and slaver, was hoping to scoop up gold from Guinea I wonder if he and his fellow merchant adventurers were aware of Irish gold and those beautiful gold torcs.
I like the way Latin names complement the English and sometimes give a fresh dimension on what to look for. Saxicola - picks up the stone, two stones struck together- that's the alarm call. And Torquata: torque, the distinctive neck ring.