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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Field trip Glen Feshie, Saturday 5th June 2010

A total of 10 people attended the field trip to look for Dingy Skippers at a site where they had previously been recorded, but not since the early 1990s.

Small Blue and Dingy Skipper site at River Feshie (photo by Audrey Turner)The site is on the west bank of the River Feshie, grid reference NH8401. The weather was warm and sunny, and thankfully the rain threatened for later in the day didn’t materialise beyond a very few spots just after lunch.

As we walked along the road above the west bank of the River Feshie the first insects spotted were Green Tiger Beetles, and quite a few more of which were seen throughout the day.

Small Blue, River Feshie (Audrey Turner)The first Butterfly caught was a Small Blue Butterfly, unexpected, but very welcome.

Jimmy McKellar caught an interesting Longhorn Beetle, which turned out to be Rhagium mordax.

After that we moved down a steep path to the side of the river and began searching for our target species, and anything else we could find. We were searching on the bank of the river, as well as what had once been an island in the river, and probably still is at certain times of year. There was a lot of Kidney Vetch about, the larval food plant for Small Blue, as well as Bird’s-foot Trefoil, the larval food plant for the Dingy Skipper. We soon spotted both species of Butterfly, as well as some Green-veined Whites and Orange Tips.

Dingy Skipper, River Feshie (Audrey Turner)There were also plenty Common Heath Moths about, and some other moths, most of which were micro moths. These were passed to Mike Taylor to identify, and are listed below.

Jimmy also caught some Ladybirds, both of which turned out to be 7-spot Ladybirds.

After a couple of hours of searching we had lunch, then some of us walked part way along a right of way which eventually leads to Feshiebridge. We saw a few more butterflies along the way, including another Dingy Skipper and some Small Tortoiseshells.

Jimmy also managed to catch another Longhorn Beetle, Rhagium bifasciatum this time.

There was also a good variety of wild flowers for those Botanists amongst us, as well as a few birds, including a couple of Ospreys along the river, just as we turned around to head back to the cars. We also saw some Common Frogs, a Common Toad, 2 Viviparous Lizards, and a small mammal, probably a Vole, that moved a bit too quickly to be seen clearly. Upon checking the NBN Gateway on my return home, I discovered that there had been sightings of Small Blue Butterflies in the 1990s at the same site.

Butterflies seen:

Dingy Skipper 15

Small Blue 11

Green-veined White 8

Orange Tip 4

Small Tortoiseshell 3

Moths seen:

Cocksfoot Moth - Glyphipterix simpliciella abundant

Large Tawny Tortricid - Eulia ministrana 1

Hook-streak Grass-veneer - Crambus Lathoniellus 10

Common Heath - Ematurga atomaria abundant

Neofaculta ericetella 1

Ancylis unguicella 5

Epinotia subocellana 1

Grapholita internana 4

Cydia ulicetana 1

Audrey Turner

Thanks to Audrey for her report and permission to use her photographs.

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