Saturday, 20 December 2008
Details of the projects and the group's email address can be found at:
Physical work cutting back scrub, felling trees, etc. will probably start at the end of winter. With all the red tape involved in creating a new wetland, I'm guessing that work won't begin on this until the end of next summer.
Monday, 17 November 2008
A number of people have reported seeing Ruby Tiger larvae this year, but not from Ayrshire. They are small hairy, brown (sometimes black) and an orange body stripe sometimes. They run fast and can be found in grassy areas often looking for bare ground, which is warmer than other places. Let me know if you've seen any with the Grid Ref. Here's a picure taken last year:
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Friday, 26 September 2008
It was feeding 8-16 feet in the air and was intermediate in size between Common Hawker and Common Darter. I found the dragonfly to be very obviously smaller than Common Hawker – a size difference I wouldn’t have expected from reading the field guides. Because of its small size, it didn’t give the impression of being a ‘miniature aeroplane’ like the Common Hawker does. The individual I saw hawked with the end of its tail curved slightly.
This size difference was accompanied by a feeding behaviour noticeably different from that of Common Hawker.
It fed far more frantically than Common Hawker, taking detours off its flight path far more frequently to flycatch – dipping down one second then jumping up the next. Similarly, it also changed direction far more often when hunting. Changing direction frequently and randomly, it covered a smaller area than Common Hawker when feeding.
To those familiar with the jizz and behaviour of Common Hawker and Common Darter, Migrant Hawker should stick out like a sore thumb – the difference in size and behaviour between the two species is obvious.
It’s worth pointing out that Migrant Hawkers can turn up just about anywhere; they don’t just frequent wetland habitats. The one I saw was several hundred metres from the nearest pond, hawking along a woodland edge.
Also worth mentioning, I’ve seen a few Red Admirals powering about recently, including one today at Eglinton and two yesterday at Auchenharvie. Also a couple of Peacocks during the past week: 1 at Shewalton Wood on Sunday and one at Garnock East on Tuesday. There was also a Common Hawker at Garnock East on Tuesday, along with dozens of Common Darters.
(Photos: Common Darter at Garnock East)
Monday, 1 September 2008
(Photos: Common Blue, Small Copper, White Ermine moth caterpillar)
Thursday, 28 August 2008
(Photos: Small Heath and Elephant Hawk-Moth caterpillar.)
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Friday, 22 August 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Other butterflies seen in this area were:-
1 Large White, 2 Green-veined Whites, 1 Common Blue, 1 Small Heath, 76+ Ringlets and 9 Meadow Browns.
I also searched the Bow Bing for Graylings but none were found.
Sunday, 15 June 2008
Saturday, 14 June 2008
Dark Green Fritillary (17)
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (13)
Large Heath (17)
Small Heath (70+)
Large Skipper (2)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (min 9)
Also Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Green-veined White, Peacock (very worn individual from the 2007 brood), Chimney Sweeper, Large Red Damselfly, Crossbill (4+), Jay and Tawny Owl.
The rocky outpost next to the pier at Portencross is fanatstic for flowers:
Northern Marsh Orchid
Bird's Foot trefoil
A small white bladder type campion
There were also 8 Large White larva on the field escaped Oil Seed Rape plants - see picture
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Thursday, 5 June 2008
Just a reminder that National Moth Night is happening this Saturday. We would be very grateful for any records you may have from day-time observations and night time trappings. Please contact your local moth recorder with your records. Below is a message from the National Moth Night team with a little more information:
"Once again National Moth Night (organised by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation) is upon us and this year we are celebrating its 10th anniversary. Even more reason to go out into your gardens and the wider countryside to record moths!
For 2008, NMN includes a daytime element and a change from the normal macro-moth only list of targets with the inclusion of both micro-moth and habitat targets, respectively Anania funebris and Orchards; the macro-moth targets being Bordered Gothic (Heliophobus reticulata) and Narrow-bordered bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris tityus).
It is recognised the target species and habitat will not be in the reach of every recorder or public event; however, the NMN team do encourage recorders and event co-ordinators to allocate their own local targets of interest, an ideal opportunity to do so.
For 2008, we strongly encourage the use of the revamped NMN data submission form and the new NMN recording template forms (Microsoft Office and Sun Systems OpenOffice formats) which will be made available from the NMN website (www.nationalmothnight.info) for the event until the end of the year. Along with a short questionnaire, the data submission form gives provision for recorders to attach the NMN recording templates, MapMate `Sync' files (in preference to submission via the MapMate Web Server) or any other suitable data format (visit the NMN website for further details).
On behalf of the National Moth Night team, thank you for your continued support for the event and let's hope for good weather and a bumper crop of moths!
Regards, Les Hill.Data manager, National Moth Recording Scheme
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Bogton Loch > Dalcairnie Burn/Glen > Wee Berbeth Loch/Hill
60+ Green-veined Whites
3 Small Whites
8 Orange Tips
12+ Small Heaths
4 Green-veined Whites
1 Orange Tip
2 Small Heaths
Monday, 2 June 2008
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Borland Fishery: Orange-tip, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral (AS).
A stop at Pinbain Hill on the way home produced the first 3 Northern Brown Argus along with about 12-13 Wall Browns (RHH).
During the past week lots more butterflies have been seen within the village and in surrounding areas, these have included the first sightings for 2008 of Small Heath (3 on 19th), Large White (1 on 18th) and Small White (1 on 13th) as well as loads of Green-veined Whites, some Orange Tips, a few Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks and 1 Red Admiral (JC).
A walk round the Garnock Floods and the west side of the railway embankment: plenty of Green-veined Whites and Orange-tips, with a few Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells and a single Small Copper. Plenty of Large Red Damselflies, a few female Azure Damselflies, several Four-spotted Chasers (GM).
Garnock East: Small Copper near the railway at Ardeer Quarry; Four-spotted Chaser over scrub near the upper Garnock Estuary; and a Blue-tailed Damselfly in a ditch at Ardeer Quarry (IH).
Craigdow Loch: 4 Green Hairstreaks, 10 Green-veined Whites and an Orange-tip (JC).
Culzean and Kirkoswald area: loads of Green-veined Whites, 16 Orange-tips, 5 Small Whites, 8 Small Tortoiseshells and 3 Peacocks (JC).
Glen App : Wall Brown and Red Admiral (RHH).
Glen App: 6 Small Heath (RHH).
Garnock East: 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 6 Peacock, 5 Green-veined Whites, 7 Orange Tips. Ardeer Fen: 15 Green-veined Whites. Ardeer Quarry: 7 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 17 Orange Tips, 7 Green-veined Whites (IH).
Had a very enjoyable 2 hours wandering around one of my "local" tetrads this morning (south edge of Blairquhan up to Dyke Farm). Lots of Orange-tips about (RHH).
Culzean: 2 Peacocks (G).
Ardeer Quarry: 10 Orange-tips, 1 Peacock and 3 Small Tortoiseshells (VF).
Garnock East:Large Red Damselflies (c150), 15 Peacocks, 7 Orange Tips, 3 Green-veined Whites, and 9 Small Tortoiseshells (IH).
Thanks to Gayle, John Candlish, Vallerie Firminger, Iain Hamlin, Angus Hogg, Gordon McAdam, and Alistair Simpson for the news.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Friday, 16 May 2008
Orange-tip eggs - just under the fowers on the flower stems.
Adela rufimtrella - a long horned micro moth that feeds on cuckoo flower and garlic Mustard (in the same way orange-tips do). you will see them occassionally on the cuckoo flower flowers. Flying now.
Micropterix calthella - tiny micro on buttercups and cuckoo flower. Shiny wings, yellow head
I would be especially pleased for some rufimtrella records as I have no Ayrshire records and it must be present. calthella has been recorded, but with no specific records as yet.
See www.ukmoths.org.uk for pictures.
Least Black Arches
10xMay bugs too
3 Small Torts
5 Green-veined Whites
7 Orange Tips
15 Green-veined Whites in a relatively small area of Marsh Marigold and Cuckoo Flower
7 Peacocks – holding territories along tarmac road at east of reserve.
2 Small Torts
17 Orange Tips
7 Green-veined Whites
(Photos: Small Tort at Garnock East; Orange Tip in overcast conditions on previous day at Ardeer Quarry)
Sunday, 4 May 2008
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacocks, 1 Red Admiral and a Green-veined White at Rankinston (JC)
Orange-tips in Ayr gardens (RGV) (JT).
First Green Hairstreak of the season at Drumtee. Also 7+ Emperor moths (FSS).
The upper part of Glen App held 3 Peacocks and at least 5 Green-veined Whites (RHH).
Colmonell had a pair of Orange-tips (RHH).
More male Orange-tips at Maxwelston and Hamilton Bridge in the Girvan valley (RHH).
A few Small Tortoiseshells and an Orange-tip in Ardrossan and Portencross (SMcM).
Orange-tip and Small Tortoiseshell in Kilmaurs garden (RT).
Two Peacocks at Finnarts Bay (RHH).
First Green-veined White of the season in Glen App (RHH).
Peacock basking in full sunshine at Loch Finlas (GM).
Single Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell at Bargany and Crosshill respectively (RHH).
Peacock near tennis courts in Kay Park, Kilmarnock (AS).
Thanks to John Candlish, Angus Hogg, Gordon McAdam, Stuart McMahon, Alistair Simpson, Jim Thomson, Robin Turner and Dick Vernon for the news.