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Moth Mania, RSPB Insh Marshes 26th of July

Pete Moore


This was a joint BC & RSPB moth-trapping event with a two-fold objective. Firstly, it was part of annual monitoring of the rare Dark Bordered Beauty moth, RSPB Insh Marshes being one of only three Scottish sites where this species is found. Secondly, it gave members of the public a chance to see this gorgeous moth, along with many other species.


About 20 people attended and they split into three groups, with Tom Prescott (BC), Mike Taylor (County moth recorder) and Pete Moore (RSPB Warden) as the leaders. Each group looked through two moth traps that had been run the night before. It had been very mild and calm the previous night – good conditions for moths – and there were about 50 moth species in each trap. The full species list will be added to this report in due course but in addition to Dark Bordered Beauty, highlights included Blue-bordered Carpet and Slender Brindle, the latter very scarce this far north.


After lunch, a smaller group walked the Invertromie trail to look for butterflies but the long hot sunny spell of weather that we had been enjoying for the previous week decided to end now. It became cloudy and a bit breezy but it remained warm though and butterflies continued to be active in sheltered places. During the day we saw Dark Green and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Northern Brown Argus, Scotch Argus, Small Heath and Green-veined White. Moth highlight of the walk was Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk moth larva spotted by the eagle-eyed James Hammond.


Thanks go to the RSPB Insh Marshes volunteers who helped put the moth traps out the day before and then cover them up early on the morning of the event.





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