Sunday, 12 July 2015

Northern Brown Argus and Chequered Skipper

This is part two of our Scotland trip and covers some of the butterflies and moths that we found on our travels. There will also be a part three containing even more impressive butterflies.

Day one and our destination was the St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve to look for the Northern Brown Argus. A quick walk round to the butterfly reserve soon warmed us up but the air temperature was still a little on the cool side and the only butterflies flying were a few Ringlets and this small moth that I think is a Chimney Sweeper.

Chimney Sweeper

We started to have our doubts but a few minutes searching the target area and Dave came up with the first Northern Brown Argus.

It was a great start to the tour we had planned. We had probably only seen eight to ten Northern Browns by the time we left but we were keen to move on to our next destination and couldn't really wait for more to appear.

Close on three hours later and we were at our second site Trinafour, looking for the Mountain Ringlet, and despite a good search we came up empty handed. At the time we thought that the temperature was probably too low but by the end of the week having dipped the butterfly three times we came to the conclusion that we were probably a couple of weeks too early. Although, I have to admit, that we bottled out of climbing the hill to see if they were on the slopes above Glasdrum Wood.

Glasdrum gave us a Chequered Skipper which we had not been expecting. It was a bit tatty but who am I to complain. It looks as though both the Mountain Ringlets and Chequered Skippers are running a bit late this year.

Chequered Skipper - a bit past its best

There were also a lot of Small Pear-bordered Fritillaries along the way-leave at the bottom of the wood and what looked like a couple of Dark Green Fritillaries but the latter were flying too fast for us to follow over the boggy ground. Nice to see the Small Pearl-bordered as they now seem to be extinct in Sussex.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Another bonus in Glasdrum Wood were the Golden-ringed Dragonflies.

These were a couple of great locations, where we could really have done with spending a lot more time. I am sure Trinafour would also have been good, if we had just managed to get the timing right.

Part three covering the rest of the butterflies on the trip to follow.

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