Fraser & Alistair Simpson
Sunday, 31 May 2009
Painted Lady immigration - Sat 30 May
Incredible numbers of Painted Ladies along the south coast on Saturday (31/05/09) - easily surpassing the county's biggest previous invasion in 1996. We stopped counting at 702! In contrast to London earlier this week when most butterflies were urgently flying north without stopping, most of today's individuals were resting and feeding on almost every available nectar source (particularly Brassicaceae, Asteraceae and Trifolium spp.) but a northward movement was still apparent in the fairly strong SE wind. Some numbers: 199 along a 500m stretch from Pinbain Burn south; 234 between Bennane Lea & Port Vad; 209 along a 500m stretch from Ballantrae Pier south; only (!) 36 at Currarie Port. Also noted from the car in every 1km home to Kilmarnock. At a rough estimate, assuming an even distribution of numbers and uniform habitat, there could have been at least 50000 along the Ayrshire coast today. Other highlights: Dingy Skipper & 21 Wall at Pinbain; 48 Wall at Bennane Lea-Port Vad; 8 Wall at Currarie, and large numbers of Silver-Y everywhere. Nine other spp inc Large Skipper, Small Heath & Small Copper.