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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Balintore & Shandwick, 2nd of July 2014

Audrey Turner

Despite a very poor forecast eight people gathered at the meeting place in Balintore.  Just before we set out, there was a light shower of rain which luckily was brief and then it stayed fair for the rest of the walk.  It was however, dull, overcast and very windy, not the best weather for seeing butterflies and moths.




We persevered and after walking along a path just above the beach, we crossed a fence into a grassy area which was more sheltered.  We hoped we’d have more chance of seeing butterflies here.  Our party was joined by another two people at this point and we saw a couple of Ringlets and a Meadow Brown.  We also found some Robin’s Pincushion galls on Dog Rose, the galls are formed after the gall wasp Diplolepis rosae lays it’s eggs in a bud in the spring.



We crossed back over a stile near a bench with a Bus Stop sign and started walking along a narrow path through some very high vegetation; the bracken was taller than me in places! (5 foot 6 inches)!  It was tricky going as it is narrow and steep in places.  On some of the more open areas there were plenty of interesting plants, Common Rockrose, Biting Stonecrop, Wild Thyme and Carline Thistle, but no butterflies although a Snout Moth was seen as was a Yellow Shell.



We eventually came back onto the beach near a spring called Tobar na Slainte, or The Well of Health.  Unfortunately the stonework surrounding the well was damaged in winter storms in 2012.  We stopped there for lunch as it was fairly sheltered from the wind.


Poplar Hawk-moth larvaWe returned the same way but saw a few more butterflies and moths on the way back, including a Speckled Wood, a Six-spot Burnet, more Ringlets and Meadow Browns and a very small Poplar Hawk-moth caterpillar.


Species List:


Butterflies Moths Others
Meadow Brown Poplar Hawk-moth (Larva) Seven-spot Ladybird
Ringlet Six-spot Burnet  
Speckled Wood Snout  
  Yellow Shell  




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