Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Latest news

Details of unusual or unseasonal sightings are especially welcome for inclusion on this page, although any contributions are welcome. Please send your contributions to contact@highland-butterflies.org.uk.

Highland Branch welcomes contributions not just from Highland and Moray, but from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

Items from previous years have been archived, but can still be accessed by clicking the links below: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



Anne Gray found a group of 6 Satellite moths clustered on a rotting apple in her Gairloch garden.  This species doesn't seem keen on light traps and Barry Blake reports that it is the first coastal record for this species for VC105 between Lochalsh and Loch Broom.  Thanks to Anne for her photo below.



After days of high winds, rain and poor moth catches Barry Blake risked a trap on the Inverewe Estate in marginal conditions. Result, nearly 100 frisky moths, including 51 Feathered Thorns (something of a record for VC105) and the first Mottled Umber recorded on the coast between Lochalsh and Ullapool.  Bit of an odd moth year in these parts.


It was a great day for butterflies in Mike Taylor's Boat of Garten garden today, as well as the first ever Comma for his garden, bringing the garden butterfly list to 19, there was the first garden Painted Lady of the year.  Other species seen in Mike's garden today were 4 Red Admirals, 7 Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White, Small White and Small Copper.


Painted Lady


Mary Eagleson found a Knot Grass caterpillar in Glen Sguaib today.

Knot Grass Larva


Tony Mainwood photographed a Hummingbird Hawk-moth in his Golspie garden.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth


Mike Taylor photographed a Hummingbird Hawk-moth in his Boat of Garten garden and also saw one in the garden on the 3rd of August.  Other records Mike knows of are one near Keith on the 31st of July and one near Tomatin on the 2nd of August so it is worth looking out for any others.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth


Andy Williams saw Northern Brown Argus, Small Copper, Small Heath, Scotch Argus & Meadow Brown at a site near Grantown-on-Spey.

Northern Brown Argus Northern Brown Argus

Small Copper Small Copper


Andy Williams saw plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries and Scotch Argus at Loch Broom near Ullapool.

Dark Green Fritillary Scotch Argus


Pete Moore saw his first Scotch Argus butterfly of this year at Insh Marshes RSPB Reserve.


Pete Moore saw his first Dark Bordered Beauty moth of this year at Insh Marshes RSPB Reserve.


Andy Williams saw 7 Common Blue and 3 Small Blue on the track leading out of Scrabster Harbour to the Lighthouse - where volunteers have been planting Kidney Vetch.

Common Blue Small Blue


At a site on the bank of the river Feshie in Glenfeshie Bob Turner and I saw Small Blue, Small Copper, Dingy Skipper and our first Red Admiral and first Common Blue of the year.

Small Copper & Dingy Skipper Common Blue


I trapped a male Ghost moth in my Aviemore garden, I've trapped a few females before, but this is the first male.

Ghost Moth


Dean Macaskill saw 30 individual Small Blue butterflies at Coul Links.  He also saw his first Northern Brown Argus of the year there as well as 12 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.  Moths there included a few Fox moths, Silver Y, Wood Tiger, 3 Mother Shipton, 1 Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth and 3 Six-spot Burnets.

Small Blue Small PBF

Mother Shipton


Dean Macaskill saw a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth feeding on Bird's-foot Trefoil at Badninish near Dornoch


Dean Macaskill saw a Small Heath, a Small Blue and a Wood Tiger moth on Dornoch dunes.  The previous Friday he trapped a Scorched Wing at Loch Brora.


Bob Turner and I saw our first Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary of the year at a site just outside of Grantown-on-Spey. 



After 12 years of trying, Mike Taylor found a Small Blue at a site just outside of Boat of Garten, the first time the butterfly has been recorded there since the 1990s.  Well done to Mike for his persistence.


Bob Turner and I found a Dingy Skipper at a site just outside Grantown-on-Spey which appears to be a new site for them.


Mike Taylor was looking for Small Blues at a historical site for them near Boat of Garten.  He didn't find any - yet - but did find a Dingy Skipper, which although not recorded from that site before, was recorded from about 200m away in 1993!  Mike also saw Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth, Orange-tip, Green-veined White and Small Copper.

Dingy Skipper


Toby and Michelle Green saw up to 50 Small Blue on the wing at the new site south of Sluggan Bridge that they found for the butterfly last year.  There were also 2 Small Copper.

Small Blue Small Blue

Small Blue


I saw several Speckled Wood butterflies in Darnaway Forest south of Forres.

Speckled Wood


Mike Taylor saw some Small Dark Yellow Underwing moths, the single at a known site near Carrbridge and there were also two mating pairs at a known site near Nethybridge.



Tony Mainwood saw his first three Pearl-bordered Fritillaries of the year at Rogart.



A first for my Aviemore garden, a Kentish Glory in the moth trap.

Kentish Glory Kentish Glory


Bob Turner and I saw our 1st Orange Tip of the year beside the Spey near Grantown-on-spey.  We also saw Green-veined Whites and Small Tortoiseshells.  In Abernethy Forest, not far from the Osprey Centre we also saw our 1st Green Hairstreak of the year, with 2 more a bit later near Boat of Garten.

  Green-veined WhiteSmall Tort

Green Hairstreak


Andy Williams saw his first Peacocks of the year with at least 8 on the wing at Loch Achilty in Strathconon, there were also 4 Green-veined Whites


Barbara Brodie saw Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral in Culloden Woods and a Green-veined White in her Culloden garden.


Steve North found a Pale Pinion in a light trap at Ruilick near Beauly.  This species seems to be expanding its range northwards.


Hilary Swift saw a Small Tortoiseshell in Grantown-on-spey


Pete Moore found some unusual visitors in his moth trap at Ballinlaggan - two Palmate Newts!

Palmate Newt Palmate Newt


Bob Turner found a Chestnut moth in his Aviemore garden.

Chestnut Moth


Pete Gordon saw 2 Red Admirals flying near Kilmuir on the Black Isle.


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