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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Latest news archive

Items from July to December 2010 appear on this page

Items from previous years have been archived, but can still be accessed by clicking the links below:
| Jan - Jun 2008 | Jul - Aug 2008 | Sep - Nov 2008 | Jan - June 2009 | July - Nov 2009 | Feb - June 2010 | Jan - June 2011 | July - Dec 2011 | Jan - June 2012 | July - Sep 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022


Winter Moth (B Slater)This male Winter Moth appeared at a lit window, Inverness, NH 646 461. Milder temperatures, 5 - 6 degrees C.

See also Moths of the Month, November and December.

19/11/2010 Thanks to Stuart Benn for reporting his unseasonal sighting of a Peacock sunning itself on a sheltered bank south of the Loch of Boath, Cawdor at NH 886 449.

December Moth, Poecilocampa populi (B Slater)This wee beauty found its way indoors, having attached itself to a log.

December Moth, Poecilocampa populi, Inverness, NH 646 461.

See also Moths of the Month, November and December.

31/10/2010 Pete Moore saw a Red Admiral near Grantown on Spey this morning.
27/10/2010 Feathered Thorn (male) (photo by J BorwickJanette Borwick photographed this male Feathered Thorn at Glenborrodale, Ardnamurchan today.

Merveille du Jour (photo by Margaret Currie & Andy Scott)Margaret Currie and Andy Scott recorded this Merveille du Jour at Findon Wood, Culbokie, Black Isle, today.

See also Moths of the Month, October 2008.

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

26/09/2010 Peacock (photo by B Pursey)Thanks to Bridie and Russell Pursey for reporting this Peacock butterfly at Elphin, Sutherland, next to Knockan Crag.

Sean Thomson, a forestry student doing a presentation on the Pine-tree Lappet moth, queries the text on our Moths of May (2010) webpage. This says that it is 'unlikely to become a pest'. Sean asks if this is the same species that the Forestry Commission is concerned about, and asks for clarification.

We can confirm that this is the same species and Butterfly Conservation believes that it is unlikely to be a pest.

For some reason we couldn't send a reply to Sean's email address, but if he would like to discuss this further he should contact Dr Tom Prescott, Butterfly Conservation Scotland's Species Conservation Officer, Tel: 01540 661469, Mob: 07979 785665, Email: tprescott@butterfly-conservation.org


Beginner's luck:

In spite of only taking up moth trapping this year, Barbara Brodie of Culloden has already notched up two new species for East Inverness-shire in her garden! On July 23rd she caught Magpie Moth and then this was swiftly followed on July 24th by Dark Spinach.

Pete Moore, the vice-county recorder, says "How come some of us have been trapping regularly for years and have never seen a "first", then Barbara comes along and catches two in her first season? Surely a case of "beginner's luck"?

03/09/2010 Silver Y (B Slater)Along the coast from Findochty to Cullen there weren't many butterflies to be seen, despite almost a week of warm and sunny conditions. Just a few Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Green-veined White here and there. However there were lots of Silver Y moths (opposite) all along this stretch.

Portland Moth Dark Bordered Beauty (phot by Roy Leverton)Slender BrindleMagpie Moth


There have been some exciting moth records in Moray (VC95) and East Inverness-shire (VC96) recently and all with an RSPB connection!

Robin Wynde, who works for RSPB at The Lodge in Bedfordshire, spent three weeks studying moths in Badenoch and Strathspey for his Sabbatical. On August 12th, on the penultimate day of his Sabbatical, he was surprised to find a Portland Moth (photo, first in row) whilst light trapping in birchwoods near Grantown on Spey. Surprised because the Portland Moth is primarily a species of coastal sand-dunes. There are two rather vague records for the Kincraig and Aviemore areas, dating back to 1950 and 1960, thought to be associated with sand and shingle banks in the River Spey. However, in Moray the only previous inland record was at Rafford, near Forres, just eight kilometres from the Moray Firth. (See also Moths of the Month, September 2010).

Robin thought that this find would be the moth highlight of his Sabbatical but the next day, August 13th, the final day of his studies, he discovered a colony of Dark Bordered Beauty moths! (Photo, 2nd in row). This is an incredibly rare moth with only three previously known colonies in the UK - two in Scotland and one in England. When Robin texted the VC96 Moth Recorder (who also works for RSPB) early that morning with news of his discovery, the reply he received was "Don't make me laugh" - it seemed too unlikely to be true. But it was true, an amazing end to Robin's Sabbatical.

Coincidentally, the very same day, August 13th, but at the other end of the vice-county, Dan Tomes of RSPB, who runs a light trap regularly in his garden at Tomich, caught what he believed to be a Slender Brindle (photo, 3rd in row). He knew this would be a "first" for VC96 East Inverness-shire so he sent off a photo and his identificaton was confirmed by Roy Leverton.

Earlier, on July 22nd, Barbara Brodie (whose partner works for RSPB) caught a Magpie Moth (photo, 4th in row) in her Culloden garden. Although she didn't know it at the time, this proved to be the first record of this species in VC96 East Inverness-shire.

Contributed by Pete Moore, Moth Recorder, East Inverness-shire
Thanks to Roy Leverton for his permission to use the photo of the Dark Bordered Beauty.


Scotch Argus (Marcus Conway)Marcus Conway reports the following sightings in Strathconon, morning and afternoon:

1 x Small Copper, 1 x Red Admiral at Marybank, 200+ Scotch Argus (at least two sites), 4 x Dark Green Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, and many Whites.

Thanks to Marcus for this fine photo of a Scotch Argus.

18/08/2010 George Mair reports another Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Portknockie, NJ 492 684, visiting violas. Portknockie seems to be a hotspot for this migrant hawkmoth! (see entries dated 03/08/2010 and 08/08/2010)

At Glenborrodale, Ardnamurchan, in the last couple of days, Janette Borwick has seen a number of Peacocks in her garden, coinciding with an improvement in the weather.

In an Inverness garden, west of the Canal (NH 646 461) the only visitors to buddleia in recent weeks have been Small Tortoiseshells, all looking a bit worn. Large Whites and Green-veined Whites have become more numerous in the last week, and the odd Speckled Wood flies through.


Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (J Botterill)On meadow land near the river at Feshie Bridge today, James Botterill observed:

an abundance of Scotch Argus, several Meadow Browns, 2 Ringlets, a Small Heath, a few Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (upper photo), a few Dark Green Fritillaries (lower photo), a Small Tortoiseshell, and a few Common Blues (mainly male).

Dark Green Fritillary (J Botterill)

Thanks to James for the use of his photos.

08/08/2010 Hummingbird hawkmoth at buddleia (Dr C MacLeod)Thanks to Catherine MacLeod for reporting a Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Portknockie today, and for permission to use her photograph.

Dark Green Fritillaries (Ann Fraser)Thanks to Ann Fraser for reporting a lot of Dark Green Fritillaries and a healthy population of Scotch Argus at Sluggan Bridge, near Carrbridge today. Her photos show a mating pair of Dark Green Fritillaries and Scotch Argus clustering on ragwort.


Scotch Argus (Ann Fraser)

Please click on the lower photo for a more detailed image.


George Mair reports 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths in his garden in Portknockie, NJ 492 684.

At Culbin Forest, James Botterill found Common Blues to be the most numerous. He also saw a few Scotch Argus, a Speckled Wood and between 6 and 10 Six-spot Burnets.

02/08/2010 On the coast from Cullen to Logie Head this evening, Roy Leverton checked ragwort heads and found new 10km square records for Annulet, Marbled Beauty and Lime-speck Pug.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Janette Borwick)Writing from Glenborrodale, Ardnamurchan, Janette Borwick finds fritillary (Pearl-bordered and Small Pearl-bordered) numbers have dwindled in the past few years - they were far more numerous when she came to Glenborrodale 25 years ago. She reports quite a few Ringlets and Scotch Argus on the moor this morning. A nettle patch which she keeps for butterflies is supporting thousands of caterpillars this year, including Peacock and Painted Lady.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (underside) (J Borwick)

The photos show a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, upperside and underside.


Meadow Brown (J Botterill)James Botterill recorded the following at Grantown-on-Spey today (+57° 20' 8.46", -3° 37' 22.10"):

1 Large White, 6 Meadow Browns (photo opposite), 20+ Scotch Argus, 2 or 3 Ringlets, 6+ Chimney Sweepers. James added that he had not seen so many butterflies in such a small area before and was amazed at the number of Scotch Argus.


Scotch Argus (B Slater)On a bike ride from Craigellachie to Ballindalloch on the Speyside Way, Ringlets were the most numerous species, followed by Speckled Woods. 10 Scotch Argus (photo opposite) were also counted - conspicuous among the faded Ringlets.


Thanks to Cherry Fairley for reporting a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in her garden in Alves, Moray, feeding on lavender, around midday.

Sightings of this fascinating moth should be logged on Butterfly Conservation's national website, via this link: http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/sightings/1096/humming_bird_hawk_moth.html


At Glen Ling today (weather sunny), Brian Neath saw his first Large Heath (2) and Scotch Argus of the year and also 6 Common Blue, 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 4 Dark Green Fritillary, 14 Meadow Brown and 9 Small Heath.

The moths included a late Chimney Sweeper plus Common Lutestring, Magpie and Gold Spot.


Grayling (Suzanne Gyseman)On a walk along the beach from Kingsteps, Nairn, Suzanne Gyseman saw several Graylings, numerous Six-spot Burnets and a few Common Blue all in one spot on the dunes.

She also saw a Ringlet along the path to Culbin just as they left the Kingsteps carpark. Speckled Woods were also seen on the walk.

Thanks to Suzanne for permission to use her photo.


Tony Mainwood found 1 Ringlet at the Dunrobin Castle site, and on 20th July a rather worn one at Lothbeg Point north of Brora (NC 958 097).

This extends the range north by more than 20km.


Chimney Sweeper (J Botterill)Thanks to James Botterill for the following report (with photos) from Grantown-on-Spey:

1 Common Blue male, 1 Speckled Wood, several Ringlets, numerous Chimney Sweepers (photo opposite) in and around the caravan park, in particular, on the banks behind the old railway line. GPS is 57.335532 - 3.620424.


Ian Paterson, HC Ranger for East and Mid Sutherland reports:

"In the course of a creepy crawly walk on Thursday 8th we managed to capture 4 Ringlets at Dunrobin Castle (SE Sutherland)."

This is a new site showing further expansion north.


Ringlet (B Brodie)Barbara Brodie recorded 3 Ringlets on rough grassland by the River Nairn (NH 736424 approx).

Thanks to Barbara for permission to use her photo.


Despite gale force winds and showers, Bob and Audrey Turner recorded the following on the Speyside Way just south of Grantown-on-Spey, grid ref NJ0326 and NJ0226:

10 Ringlets - their first this year,

4 Northern Brown Argus,

1 Common Blue,

1 Meadow Brown - first this year,

1 Red Admiral,

1 Small Tortoiseshell,

1 Large White - first this year and

1 Dark Green Fritillary - first this year.

They also saw 4 Chimney Sweeper moths, and a Silver-ground Carpet.


On the sea braes from Findochty to Portknockie, Ringlets, Common Blues (mostly males) and Dark Green Fritillaries are the most numerous species at present. The latter seems more plentiful than in previous years.

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