Sunday, 31 May 2009

Painted Lady immigration - Sun 31 May

Painted Ladies were active from 0704h along the disused railway line between Kilmarnock, Knockentiber and Springside and before it was time to head back for breakfast, 32 had been counted along with 12 Orange-tips plus the other three pierids. In Kilmarnock, Painted Ladies were heading NW at a rate of 2/min around midday but on the coast between Troon and Irvine, no obvious movement was detected. Gailes Marsh only had 7 and a 1.5 km stretch south from Irvine harbour mouth produced just 15. Did anyone record large numbers in the south of the county today?

Large Red, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies noted at a few sites in the Irvine area.

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.

Fraser & Alistair Simpson

Ardeer Peninsula

Seem to be fewer Painted Ladies around today, with 15 along the sea defences between Stevenston Point and the Robert Burns mural. Also along this stretch were 2 Cinnabar moths and a Small Copper. 7 Small Coppers were sat along a track on the peninsula. Another Cinnabar and a Mother Shipton moth were also present.