Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Stinchar Bridge

Two Peacocks and a Common Hawker still on the wing,

Angus Hogg

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Black Darters at Loch Doon

Perhaps the biggest surprise were the 2 Black Darters - not the most active of dragonflies but, given the time of year and the temperature, hardly surprising.

Angus Hogg

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Red Admiral, Pow Burn

Pow Burn had no Little Egret, but a Red Admiral brightened the area up.

Angus Hogg

Friday, 28 September 2007

National Moth Night 11th August 2007

Dear All,

As my first post to the blog I thought I would let you know the species people recorded from Ayrshire for National Moth Night on 11th August 2007:

Argyresthia goedartella
Yponomeuta evonymellaBird-cherry Ermine
Agonopterix nervosa
Bactra lancealana
Ancylis badiana
Agriphila straminella
Agriphila tristella
Catoptria margaritellaPearl-band Grass Veneer
Dipleurina lacustrata
Evergestis pallidata
Udea lutealis
Euthrix potatoriaDrinker
Idaea biselataSmall Fan-footed Wave
Xanthorhoe designataFlame Carpet
Xanthorhoe montanataSilver-ground Carpet
Eupithecia centaureataLime-speck Pug
Crocallis elinguariaScalloped Oak
Noctua pronubaLarge Yellow Underwing
Noctua comesLesser Yellow Underwing
Noctua jantheLesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Diarsia rubiSmall Square-spot
Xestia bajaDotted Clay
Lacanobia thalassinaPale-shouldered Brocade
Hadena bicrurisLychnis
Cryphia domesticaMarbled Beauty
Cosmia trapezinaDun-bar
Apamea monoglyphaDark Arches
Mesapamea secalis agg.Common Rustic agg.
Chortodes pygminaSmall Wainscot

Records have now been submitted to the recording scheme, but any late entries can always be sent to me.

best wishes,

Neil Gregory - County Moth Recorder

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Garnock East

Mid-morning in hot sunshine:

1 Painted Lady
16 Peacocks
4 Small Tortoiseshells
1 Common Blue
1 Small Copper
1 Meadow Brown
11 Small Heath
2 Common Hawkers
Hundreds of Common Darters, including 20+ copulating pairs
1 male Black Darter

Sunday, 12 August 2007


A stroll round Bogside racecourse on Sunday afternoon produced 4 Meadow Brown, 3 Small White, 14 Small Heath, 18 Peacock and 3 Small Tortoiseshell, also 6 Common Darter.

Robert Kelly

Friday, 10 August 2007

Wall numbers climbing in the south

Inland on Friday looked grey so Scotch Argus counts were abandoned and I checked the southern coastal areas around Lendalfoot and Ballantrae. I managed a record number of Wall at Pinbain Burn with 35 counted along with 30+ Grayling. A Peacock here had a beak-shaped chunk of it's wing missing at the forewing eyespot. Further south conditions were less than ideal with wind and hazy sunshine providing only three Purple Hairstreak found on the scrubby, hillside oaks along Shallochwreck Burn. I was looking for impressive numbers of Wall on Donald Bowie in light of the Pinbain situation, though just 23 were counted here along with 50+ Grayling. Green-veined Whites were out in abundance in juncus marshes around Kilantringan Loch. Ringets appear to have finished on the coast. Single Red Admirals and Peacocks widespread elsewhere.

Pinbain Burn
Wall (35)
Grayling (30+)
Small Copper (3)
Peacock (4)
Red Admiral (1)
Meadow Brown (10+)
Green-veined White (3)
Small White (1)
Silver-Y (1)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (1)

Shallochwreck Burn - Currarie Port
Purple Hairstreak (3)
Wall (23)
Grayling (50+)
Green-veined White (22)
Meadow Brown (3)
Peacock (3)
Large White (1)
Small Tortoiseshell (3)

Kilantringan Loch
Green-veined White (100+)

Kilantringan Loch - Currarie
Peacock (7)
Green-veined White (50+)

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Scotch Argus at Stinchar Bridge

Near Stinchar Bridge this morning... butterfly activity was a bit limited but there were about a dozen Scotch Argus in the area, and the only dragonfly seen was a Common Hawker.

Angus Hogg

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Scotch Argus in Changue

Surveyed Kirstie’s Trail and Devil’s Trail at Changue for Scotch Argus. While waiting for the weather to improve I checked Craigens Hill forestry near Kirkoswald without seeing much. Intermittent periods of warm sunshine in the glen at Changue provided some immaculate looking Scotch Argus and it looks like emergence wasn’t particularly early here this year. Numbers could be in the hundreds in a week or two. The bridge accessing the Fairy Knowe trail is still closed so I didn’t try for Black Darter which can be common here. The pool near Kirstie’s Stone had up to three Common Hawkers plus another pair in copula nearby. One individual attempted to take a worn Meadow Brown. The Water of Gregg and Changue Burn held territorial Golden-ringed Dragonflies but the most interesting sighting was of one patrolling a wee burn less than 35cm across which runs along the footpath between High Changue and the car park. Or at least it ‘runs’ when we have a wet summer like 2007! Surprisingly not many Peacocks around yet.

Changue Glen
Partly Cloudy, 16-17ºC
Scotch Argus (42)
Green-veined White (39)
Ringlet (13)
Meadow Brown (10)
Peacock (2)
Red Admiral (1)
Small Tortoiseshell (1)
Northern Eggar (1)
Common Hawker (13)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (4)
Common Darter (1)
Emerald Damselfly (1)

Craigens Hill forestry
Cloudy, 15ºC
Meadow Brown (3)
Ringlet (2)
Peacock (1)
Common Darter (3)

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Ardeer & Bogside

A Common Hawker along with many Common and Black Darters at Ardeer/Bogside today. Also Large Heath, Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Red Admiral, Common Blue, and Small Copper.

Mike Howes

Monday, 30 July 2007

Common Hawker in Dalry Garden

A Common Hawker was reported from a garden in Dalry on 29 July...

this dragonfly - photo attached, was in my garden in Dalry about 7pm today for over an hour and a half, just sitting as you see it, on the sweet peas. Can you please identify it for me.

Anne McDowall

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Garnock East

62 Common Blue butterflies
19 Small Heath
71 Meadow Brown
5 Grayling
3 Small Copper
14 Green-veined White
2 Small Tortoiseshell
Also, a dull looking Four-spotted Chaser.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Purple Hairstreak

First Purple Hairstreak of the year reported at Shallochwreck Burn by Angus Hogg today. Scotch Argus should also be emerging now.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Stevenston Dunes

A hot day and a walk in Stevenston Dunes LNR produced quite a lot: 12 Common Blue butterflies, 3 Graylings, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 20 Meadow Browns, 32 Green-veined Whites, 10 Small Heaths, and 143+ Six-spot Burnet moths (one patch of flowers, 3m x 3m in area, contained over 50 Burnets). Most of the insect life was concentrated in the sheltered dune grassland around NS264410.

(Photos: Common Blue and Six-spot Burnet moths)

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Ardeer Quarry

Walking round the Ardeer Quarry LNR site: there were a couple of male Common Darters at the east end of the small pond, 5 Common Blue butterflies and a Small Copper at the butterfly grassland at the south of the site, 14 Azure Damselflies and an Emerald Damselfly at the western bay of the small pond, and a male Common Hawker patrolling along the cycle path.

(Pictures: Azure Damselfies, Common Blue)

Sunday, 15 July 2007


Along the hedge at the barley field beside Dubbs Quarry there were 34 Small Tortoiseshells and 11 Meadow Browns. There were 7 further Meadow Browns in the quarry itself, along with 8 Green-veined Whites. 5 Six-spot Burnet Moths were on the wing over the damp, mossy grassland at the far end of the site. Also, there were a couple of male Common Darters at a small puddle – the first males I’ve seen this year. Over the main water body there were 20-30 ‘blue’ damselflies – the few I positively identified were Common Blues. There were also 4 Blue-tailed Damselflies.

The ‘butterfly grassland’ at the south of the Ardeer Quarry LNR site had 4 Common Blues, 1 Small Heath, 1 Six-Spot Burnet Moth, 2 Meadow Browns, and 1 Green-veined White. There was a single Ringlet and a couple of Small Tortoiseshells nearby.

(Photo: Green-veined White)

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Dubbs Quarry, Stevenston

Overcast, cool, and windy - not ideal conditions. Had to walk along the edge of a barley field to get to the quarry. A 100m stretch of hedgerow, overgrown with bramble, thistle, and stinging nettle, had at least 18 Small Tortoiseshells. Many were roosting in the barley, as were about 6 Meadow Browns. Resting in the hedgerow were a Large Red Damselfly and a female Common Darter. There was no dragonfly activity at all over the quarry’s water body. However, there were 20 Common Blue Damselflies resting in the long grass on site, including a couple of copulating pairs. 1 Emerald Damselfly was also resting in the grass. There were 2 other Small Tortoiseshells and I either disturbed or saw resting 17 Meadow Browns. An interesting area of damp grassland/heathland at the site was pretty quiet – I disturbed about 6 Meadow Browns and there was a single Six-spot Burnet Moth on the wing. Yesterday there were 2 Small Heaths and 3 Common Blues in the ‘butterfly grassland’ at the south of the Ardeer Quarry LNR, and 2 male Common Hawkers were patrolling the upper reaches of Stevenston Burn above Kerelaw.
(Photos: Small Tortoiseshell; Large Red Damselfly)

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Darvel & Stewarton area

Finally a better day weather-wise.... Lower numbers of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries than usual at the site near Loudoun Hill but I guess the season is more advanced this year and most individuals were quite faded. Corsehouse Reservoir and one small corner of Glenouther Moor produced a reasonable count of 36 Large Heath, so probably good numbers over the entire area moor. Every year I come up to survey them there are usually a lot of Wood Tigers zipping past at speed. This year, I finally managed to observe one on the deck.

Allantonplains Wood
Ringlet (124)
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (25)
Meadow Brown (25)
Green-veined White (5)
Dark Green Fritillary (1)
Small Heath (4)
Common Blue (1)
Small Tortoiseshell (1)
Painted Lady (1)
Common Hawker (2)
Large Red Damselfly (10+)
Red-necked Footman (1)

Corsehouse Reservoir & Glenouther Moor
Large Heath (36)
Meadow Brown (6)
Ringlet (2)
Small Heath (2)
Green-veined White (1)
Red Admiral (1)
Small Tortoiseshell (1)
Common Hawker (1)
Large Red Damselfly (40+)
Emerald Damselfly (30+)
Common Blue Damselfly (20+)
Wood Tiger (20+)
Red-necked Footman (6)

Garnock East

Breezy with sunny spells at Garnock East (north of Bogside, Irvine) on Saturday. There were 6 Six-spot Burnet Moths, only two of which were flying; 5 Common Blues; 6 Small Heaths; a single Ringlet; 6 Small Tortoiseshells in the livestock field; many Meadow Browns; a single ‘blue’ damselfly; and 4 female Common Darters. Today at Garnock East the sunshine was stronger and longer and there was a bit more about: 18 Common Blue butterflies, 9 Small Heaths, 10 Six-spot Burnet Moths, 3 Graylings, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, and a Small Copper. There were a few more female Common Darters about, particularly along the woodland tracks. More damselflies too, mainly Blue-tailed and Common Blue. 2 Common Hawkers were patrolling along a woodland track, plus there was another male over at Ardeer Fen.

The highlights of a quick stop off at Shewalton Sandpits SWT reserve were 4 Common Blue butterflies and 7 or 8 Six-spot Burnet Moths.

(Photos: Common Blues, Small Copper, Six-spot Burnet Moths)

A few days ago a local wildlife enthusiast told me that he saw a Fritillary at Ardeer Fen and that he was 100% sure it was not just a Painted Lady. Visiting the site on Saturday I flushed a large, very bright orange butterfly. It sped off with purpose west. A couple of hundred meters further on I flushed a second butterfly of the same species and it flew off east never to be seen again. Very frustrating, but I’m pretty sure that these were Dark Green (?) Fritillaries.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Carrick Hills

Didn't have the car today so I took the bus down to Maybole and walked into the Carrick Hills. Cool with low cloud all day and heavy showers from 1450h. There is a lot excellent habitat up there especially around Red Moss Loch, Drumshang Loch, Blacktop Hill Loch, and Sauchrie Burn. The sun eventually broke through around 1730h and many fritillaries appeared along the course of Sauchrie Burn.

Red Moss Loch > Drumshang Loch > Blacktop Hill
Ringlet (19)
Meadow Brown (8)
Common Blue (1)
Northern Eggar (2)
Common Blue Damselfly (2)
Common Darter (1)
Large Yellow Underwing (1)
Straw Dot (20+)

Sauchrie Burn
Ringlet (50+)
Dark Green Fritillary (37)
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (21)

Friday, 6 July 2007

Kirkoswald area

With the poor weather continuing and visibility in the hills south of Loch Doon down to 100m I gave up on my of aim of tracking down Azure Hawker (again). It wasn't until 1400h that the sun came out while I was at Craigens Hill. Good numbers of Large Skippers and Ringlets counted in three rides\firebreaks. Sheltered nettle beds held lots of late instar Peacock larvae with one 2 x 2 metre patch holding c180 larvae - I guess we will be seeing very early new generation individuals this year. Also my first Common Hawker of the year here.

Quarrel Hill forestry
Ringlet (12)
Meadow Brown (2)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (1)

Craigens Hill forestry
Ringlet (330)
Large Skipper (14)
Meadow Brown (5)
Small Heath (4)
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (1)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (pr in tandem)
Common Hawker (1)

Gailes Marshes

Gave Gailes a quick look on the way home. Few butterflies but good numbers of damselflies and two teneral Common Darters.

Emerald Damselfly (100+)
Common Blue Damselfly (50+)
Azure Damselfly (20+)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (20+)
Common Darter (2 tenerals)
Meadow Brown (42)
Small Heath (4)
Common Blue (2)
Green-veined White (1)

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

North Glen App

Followed the Water of App north-east of Carlock House today. The banks of the burn are very rich in flora and can be superb for insects on a hot day. Not bad today considering the weather. Before this I checked Pinbain and Kilantringan on the way down though it was still a bit cool at this time - no Four-spotted Chasers found.

North Glen App
Ringlet (119)
Meadow Brown (29)
Large Skipper (6)
Dark Green Fritillary (4)
Small Heath (3)
Common Blue (1)
Painted Lady (1)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (1)
Common Blue Damselfly (1)
Red-necked Footman (2)
Yellow Shell (2)

Kilantringan Loch
Ringlet (120)
Meadow Brown (11)
Small Heath (3)
Common Blue Damselfly (40+)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (30+)

Pinbain Burn
Ringlet (7)
Meadow Brown (4)
Grayling (2)
Six-spot Burnet (4)

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Auchalton Meadow/Gailes Marsh

An interesting visit to the SWT reserves at Auchalton and Gailes produced the following:

Small Tortoiseshell (1)
Ringlet (41)
Small Heath (1)
Chimney Sweeper (43)
Silver-ground Carpet (5)
Cream Wave (1)
Straw Dot (3)

Small Tortoiseshell (1)
Ringlet (7)
Meadow Brown (19)
Dark Green Fritillary (1)
Common Blue (11)
Small Heath (1)
Latticed Heath (1)
Cream Wave (4)
July Belle (1)
Cinnabar (2)
Straw Dot (1)
Silver Y (1)

Also at Gailes were a few Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Emerald damselflies and Common Darter dragonflies.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Southannan Sands

Still very little flying in the north of the county.

Common Blue (4)
Grayling (5)
Meadow Brown (2)
Six-spot Burnet (1)

Monday, 25 June 2007

Coastal Walk: Currarie > Ballantrae

Saturday was much better, on the coast at least, and continuing evidence of the Painted Lady invasion suggests that this year may even top the all time biggest year of 1996. At least 49 were counted on the coast south of Ballantrae, without any systematic counting or coverage. More signs of the advanced spring were realised today with multiple sightings of new generation Small Tortoiseshell. I’ve never seen Small Torts emerge in June in Ayrshire – its usually mid to late July before they are expected. Currarie Port and Donald Bowie had at least 23 Grayling and 2 Dark Green Fritillaries and, unusually, a Large Heath which had probably wandered down Shallochwreck Burn from suitable habitat on Penderry Hill. Pinbain Burn didn’t disappoint with at least eight Northern Brown Argus, 23 Graylings, six Large Skippers, six Painted Ladies, as well as the odd Dark Green Frit, Ringlet, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath and Common Blue.

On Sunday it was back to rain around my intended sites. Only Barony Pit provided some butterflies with 67 Ringlets (they don’t mind light rain), 14 Meadow Browns and a few Grayling, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Common Blue. Now that I’m bank in London, I’ve heard the weather is better!

Friday, 22 June 2007

North Ayrshire

I seemed to be all over the north of the county today, but again disappointing numbers of leps on the wing.

Rashley, near Ardrossan
Peacock (1)

Southannan Sands
Meadow Brown (2)
Grayling (1)
Painted Lady (2)
Small Tortoiseshell (1)
Common Blue (1)

Outerwards Bridge
Painted Lady (1)

Castle Hill/Tourgill
Chimney Sweeper (1)

Blue Stones (near Hunterston PS Pier)
Painted Lady (1)
Chimney Sweeper (1)

Azure Hawker Search

Back up in Ayrshire this weekend, my main aim was to try and locate Azure Hawker in the county. Angus reckoned he saw one about two weeks ago in the extreme south of the county close to Dumfries & Galloway border and, in fact, not too far away from the well known site at Silver Flowe. Friday’s weather put paid to this idea with the vast quantities of rain falling inland, combined with thunder, lightening and even the odd tornado. The sun did appear in the Loch Doon area at either end of the day, providing 22 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and 12 Large Skippers at one site in Bellsbank Plantation and 10 Large Heath amongst 40+ Small Heath on a bog site near Loch Bradan.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Hunterston area

8 Grass Rivulets along the shore path from Hunterston to Portencross.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Hunterston area

While helping to float a platform at Hunterston Lagoon, a few butterflies were noted, although nowhere near as many as expected giving the excellent conditions.

Painted Lady (5)
Red Admiral (1)
Small Heath (1)
Green-veined White (1)

Also at Hunterston Sands later in the day were a single Meadow Brown and 5 Green-veined Whites

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Hunterston area

A wander around the patch produced the following:

Marine Construction Yard
Painted Lady (5)
Peacock (1)
Yellow Shell (1)

all on the access road at NS189523

Hunterston Power Station
Painted Lady (7)

Constructors' Car Park
Painted Lady (1)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Tarryholm, Irvine

A walk around the main pond at Tarryholm produced singles of Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Cinnabar, Four-spotted Chaser and Emerald damselfly alongside many Large Red, Common Blue and Azure damselflies.