Sluggan Bridge Field Trip - Sunday 17th June 2018
11 of us met at the car park in Carrbridge on what was unfortunately a dull, overcast morning which didn't bode well for seeing our target species, Small Blue. We travelled west out of Carrbridge on a minor road, in as few cars as possible, to a small parking area near Sluggan Bridge
The site we went to was only discovered to have Small Blue there last year at the start of July, almost the end of the flight season. It is on the bank of the river Dulnain a few hundred metres downstream from Sluggan Bridge itself. There is plenty of Kidney Vetch on both sides of the river and the butterfly has been seen on both sides.
As we went towards the river, there were lots of micro moths about with the occasional larger moth, so at least something was on the wing despite the dull conditions. Once we reached the area of Kidney Vetch, we started searching for any Small Blues and after about 10 minutes of searching one was found despite the cloudy conditions.
Small Blue on Kidney Vetch and area where it was found.
After hunting in the area for about 20 minutes after the one Small Blue was found, we saw a few Small Heath, one more Small Blue, a Green-veined White, some micro moths and a rather nice Green Carpet moth. We decided to then walk slowly upstream to Sluggan Bridge as there are other areas with Kidney Vetch on the way. We didn't find any more Small Blues, but we did find some more Small Heaths and a few Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, incuding one quite tatty one.
Green Carpet and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary
As we headed towards the bridge, we started seeing Chimney Sweeper moths, probably the most common moth on the day, they seemed to be everywhere and weren't bothered by the lack of sunshine. We also saw a rather nice Birch Sawfly on a small Birch tree. We reached the bridge and crossed it and sat on the walls of an old ruined building to have our lunch before heading back to the cars. In total we saw 4 species of butterfly and 17 species of moth, full list below. Thanks to Mike Taylor for compiling the moth list.
Looking for moths and butterflies and a Birch Sawfly
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