Little Brown Job

Young Robin
Young Robin

Little Brown Jobs (LBJs) are birds that are often difficult to tell apart at first glance, either because they are similar in marking or are juveniles and have yet to develop their adult plumage.

I was sitting at my desk this morning, glancing out of the window, trying to find some words to describe my mornings walk and deer sighting, when a butterfly passed under the window and paused on the grass outside. Basking in the sun it opened and closed it’s wings and seemed to settle for a period, to absorb what heat there was. I picked up my phone, to try and snap a picture.

I went into the garden, and carefully stalked my intended model, trying not to cast my own shadow across the scene and scare of my muse. Photo complete I returned indoors.

Now there was a time, when I could recognise most British butterflies on sight. Over the years, I’ve spent less time outdoors, and my skills have gotten more than a little rusty. As I was walking back inside I can remember thinking, that my muse was a Meadow Brown. As I posted the photo to Instagram and I was looking at the wing spots I realised that it wasn’t.

Gatekeeper, my morning muse.

My muse was in fact a Gatekeeper, similar to a Meadown Brown, but with additional spots on the hind wings. My butterfly had become a LBJ of the Lepidopteran variety, and I am ashamed of my identification skills, although I did spare myself any embarrassment of posting a misidentified photograph online.

More time in the field I think.