James Lowen 


And the completer-finisher at work. Image courtesy of Chris Lansdell, to whom many thanks.


19 August 2020 Completer-finisher

I do like getting things done. Put another way, it stresses me to leave things unfinished. To a certain extent, that applies to my wildlife-watching too. Although I am not particularly a 'lister' (if I was, I'd be rampantly gendetting Coleophora moths, for a start), I have a mild interest in completing the completable. Two summers ago, I saw Azure Hawker to conclude the resident British dragonflies (plenty of vagrants left, however). I still have a nagging gap on my resident butterfly list - that of Chequered Skipper, on which I have twice failed. Last month, I was delighted to effectively 'finish' British orchids, by seeing the Irish Ladies-Tresses that were sensationally discovered in Wales during 2019. (The six-hour drive west was much more efficient than a long drive plus boat journey to the Inner Hebs, which is the normal way of seeing 'ILT'.) I say 'effectively', because I am not of an age to have seen Ghost Orchid in Britain - so there will always be that promise to hope for (I regularly dream of receiving a coy text from Sean Cole aka Ghostly vision aka Mr Ghost Orchid Project). And, of course, orchids being fecund sorts, the list of possibilities will never quite be complete: there will always remain the fascination of admiring further novel hybrid combinations - so I was delighted to be reading Jon Dunn's British Wildlife article about that very topic earlier this week. Anyhow, for now I leave you the most pristine of the Welsh Irish ladies.