Monday, 29 June 2009

Ardeer area

Yesterday, the first Red Admiral I've seen for a while was resting on a t-shirt on my washing line. An evening walk on the Ardeer Brownfield land produced a Grayling and 3 Painted Ladies. Owing to the rain, my moth trap out at Ardeer produced very little, but a Poplar Hawkmoth was a pleasant surprise.

(Photos: Poplar Hawkmoth; Grayling; Red Admiral)

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ardeer moth trapping

Some of the more visually impressive moths attracted to a portable moth trap in my first out-of-the-garden trapping session were True Lover's Knot, Sallow Kitten, Grass Emerald, and Green Carpet. Gill Smart had a Grayling at Ardeer today - the first I've heard of this year.

(Photos: Sallow Kitten, Green Carpet, Grass Emerald)

Friday, 26 June 2009

Ardeer Brownfield land

Yesterday, I saw my first Common Hawker of the year flying along a woodland track. Further up the track I saw my first Cinnabar caterpillars of the year on Ragwort. A Brimstone moth was nearby. 3 Painted Ladies were the first I'd seen for a while. I also had one randomly flying through Stevenston and a couple more today. I could just be randomly seeing more than usual, or perhaps there's a slight increase in migration activity.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Ardeer Brownfield land

Despite being exceptionally hot and humid, there was a significant breeze and so most of the active butterflies were in and around the woodland at Ardeer. A Dark Green Fritillary briefly nectared on some Red Clover. Also along the woodland tracks and roads were 4 Common Blues, 8 Ringlets, and 2 Meadow Browns.

(Photos: Common Blue)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Six-Spot Burnet Distribution


Here's the latest 2km distribution map of Six-Spot Burnet to complement the Chimney Sweeper the other day. I suspect it should be found in the majority of coastal areas. There is an odd gap between S Largs round the coast to Port Glasgow.

Hopefully we can fill in a few more dots...


Stevenston Dunes

I counted 56 Six-spot Burnets at Stevenston Dunes. Also, there were 12 Small Heaths, a Meadow Brown, 6 Yellow Shells, and my first Common Blue of the year.

(Photo: Six-spot Burnet moths)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Chimney Sweeper Distribution

Here's the current distribution at 10km resolution of Chimney Sweepers in Ayrshire. Hopefully we can fill in a few more 10km records this year.

Neil Gregory

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Garnock East

A lot of browns today with 23 Ringlets and 7 Meadow Browns at Garnock East. Also, 5 Small Heaths and 3 Small Coppers, but still no Common Blues. 3 Chimney Sweeper moths were in a mating frenzy in the horse field at Garnock East. A 30m wade through some Pignut revealed another 11 Chimney Sweepers.

(Photos: Chimney Sweepers; Small Copper; Meadow Brown; Ringlet)

Monday, 15 June 2009

Meadow Brown

Taking a shortcut through Ardeer Quarry today, I disturbed my first Meadow Brown of the year from long grass. Also, 4 Four-spotted Chasers were at the small Ardeer Quarry pond.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


Heading out to Stevenston Dunes in the unexpectedly sunny conditions resulted in less than expected: 3 Small Heaths, 2 Small Whites, a Yellow Shell, and a Silver-y. However, at Ardeer Quarry I had my first Ringlet of the year. Also, at Ardeer Quarry I disturbed Clouded Border and Common White Wave moths from damp woodland.

(Photos: Ringlet; Clouded Border)

Friday, 12 June 2009

Pinbain Burn and Bennane Head

Another 3 firsts earlier today - Dingy Skipper, Northern Brown Argus and Common Blue.

Pinbain Burn
1 Large White, 12 Green-veined Whites, 4 Northern Brown Argus, 5 Common Blues, 14 Painted Ladies and 11 Wall Browns.

Bennane Lea / Bennane Head
1 Dingy Skipper (Bennane Head), 3 Large Whites, 2 Small Whites, 23 Green-veined Whites, 2 Northern Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper, 25 Painted Ladies and 16 Wall Browns.

(Photos: Wall Brown; Common Blue; Northern Brown Argus)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


9 Small Coppers, 5 Painted Ladies, and 2 Cinnabars were on the Ardeer Peninsula. 13 Small Heaths, 4 Small Coppers, and 9 Painted Ladies were in Stevenston Dunes. The dune's thistles were the first I've seen in bloom and were evidently popular with the Painted Ladies.

(Photos: Painted Lady; Small Heath)

Monday, 8 June 2009

Garnock East

7 Four-spotted Chasers were in scrub at Garnock East - I get the impression there are more than usual this year. A couple of Mother Shipton moths were together in some wildflower-rich grassland. Both yellow and brown forms of Yellow Shell were disturbed from vegetation. 8 Small Coppers were on my route through the site, including 5 in the horse field. 3 Drinker Moth caterpillars were also on my route.

(Photos: Four-spotted Chaser; Mother Shipton; Yellow and brown Yellow Shells; Drinker Moth caterpillar)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

First Fritillaries

The past week has been an excellent one for butterflies in the Rankinston area, on Monday 1st June I saw my first 6 Dark Green Fritillaries of the year in the Bow Hill area (NS4312, NS4412 and NS4512) and then on Thursday 4th June I saw my first Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (NS4413). This and the surrounding area must surely be one of the best places in Scotland to see both these species in good numbers as I recorded 40+ Dark Green Fritillaries and 20+ Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries multiple times here during 2008. Other butterflies seen were:-

Large White - 2 on 01/06 and 3 on 02/06
Small White - 2 on 02/06
Green-veined White - loads everyday but 300+ on 01/06
Orange Tip - a few every day but 20+ on 01/06
Green Hairstreak - 4 on 01/06
Red Admiral - 2 on 01/06
Painted Lady - a few every day but 20+ on 01/06 and 04/06
Small Heath - a few every day but 14 on 02/06 and 18 on 04/06

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Painted Ladies in Kilmarnock

News from Alistair Simpson

Wed, 3 Jun 2009
Painted Lady (2) in Townholm, Kilmarnock
Another in Wardneuk garden, Kilmarnock

Tue, 2 Jun 2009
Painted Lady at the Rugby Club, Kilmarnock

Mon, 25 May 2009
Orange-tips at Borland fishery, Cumnock

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Further Painted Lady news from last weekend

News from Angus Hogg

Sat, 30 May 2009
It's not often (if at all) that you can point to Glen App as the scene of an invasion but, between mid Glen App and Girvan, there were at least 80-100 Painted Ladies today, with 30 past in 20 minutes at Ballantrae. As if that wasn't enough, not 1, but 3 Red Kites drifted NE together over the glen at around 10.30, all of them untagged, 2 being immature (2nd cal yr) birds, the other an adult. Also present in the glen were a single Common Crossbill and a Cuckoo, Kilantringan Loch had at least three 4-spot Chasers along with several Large Red Damselflies and Common Blue Damselflies - and a newly emerged Small Heath.

Sun, 31 May 2009 Still they come!
Another day full of Painted Ladies - not quite 702, but close on 100 spread between Drumlamford and Barjarg at one end and Pinwherry at the other. Several Orange Tips still on the go too - and a Small Copper at Barjarg. Other insects of note included 4-spot Chasers at Corwar House, Barwinnock and Barjarg.

Wed, 3 Jun 2009
Wednesday morning in Galloway Forest Park near Loch Riecawr provided 45+ Four-spotted Chasers at one site, a single Golden-ringed Dragonfly and a basking Adder in one of the rides.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Stevenston Dunes

My first 6 Small Heaths of the year were at Stevenston Dunes today, along with a Cinnabar moth and a Painted Lady laying eggs on thistles. I didn't see any Green Hairstreaks at Ardeer Quarry, but single Lead Belle and Silver Y moths were near the Gorse.

(Photo: Lead Belle)

Green Hairstreak

Alistair Murdoch, one of North Ayrshire Council's rangers, had a single Green Hairstreak beside Gorse at the south of Ardeer Quarry yesterday (1st June).