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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Lynwilg, Allt na Criche path 19 May 2012

Primroses (A Turner)Six of us met in a car park in Aviemore before driving in just 2 cars to the small parking area at the gate to the Right of Way to Carrbridge, known as the Burma Road.

At the sides of the road to the parking area, and at the start of the track was one of the best displays of Primroses I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately there were no insects on the wing at all despite what must have been hundreds of flowers near the parking area.

The weather wasn’t great, dull and overcast, although it was the 1st dry day for a while. So we set off up the path, which is quite steep to start with, and I was quite grateful that a lovely male Redstart singing on a fence gave us an excuse to pause for a couple of minutes. As the path levelled out we found a ditch at the side which had some bright orange Bog Beacon fungus growing in it. Shortly after that we spotted a Common Heath Moth in flight, which gave us hope that more insects would be on the wing. After we went through another gate, the path climbed steadily until we got above the tree line and we started searching an area with the remains of last year's Bracken, where I had seen our target species, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, in previous years.

Unsurprisingly, given the dull conditions and the poor weather for at least 2 weeks prior to the walk, we didn’t find any butterflies, and only a few more Common Heath Moths, and so we sat on the hillside and had a bit of lunch. After lunch we walked back down the hill and moved the cars back to nearer the start of the Allt na Criche road, and then walked along an old disused section of road which ends in an area with broken up bits of tarmac and piles of gravel surrounded by low cliffs. I’ve seen Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on the road edge, and there are quite a few species of Butterfly which can be seen depending on the time of year, including a colony of Northern Brown Argus. However, there was nothing to be seen on the day as it remained dull and overcast, although at least it didn’t rain.

We returned to the cars, and as we were getting ready to leave we heard a Cuckoo calling, the 1st one of the year for most of us, and there was also a Tree Pipit singing nearby.

Audrey Turner





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