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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