Saturday, 18 April 2009

Orange Tip & Green-veined White in Monktonhill

Monktonhill - Saturday 18th April.

There was one Orange Tip and at least one Green-veined White in our garden (NS352286) this afternoon - our first for the year. Also one Peacock.

Roger Hissett

First Green-veined White

I saw my first Green-veined White of the year today near the former location of Littlemill Colliery less than a mile outside Rankinston and despite the fine weather I saw only 3 other butterflies all day (2 Peacocks and 1 Small Tortoiseshell).

Ardeer Quarry Railtrack access road

5 Peacocks were basking along the old Railtrack access road. A Small Tortoiseshell was nectaring on a roadside Dandelion. As usual, the Peacocks were taking part in a lot of chasing. One Peacock pursued a Dunnock through the air for a few meters and 'mobbed' it for a couple of seconds after it landed.

Butterfly habitat improvement

A local conservation group has cleared away a lot of scrub at the south of the Ardeer Quarry LNR site. This area is rich in wildflowers and contains the greatest diversity of butterflies on the reserve. Much of the area - a former railway siding - had become overgrown with Gorse and Sea Buckthorn. The work wasn't a full clearance: several sizeable patches of Gorse and Bramble have been left.
(Photo: Sea Buckthorn stumps)