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Logie Quarry Field Trip Sat 4th June 2022

Last winter, we ran two work parties clearing scrub and regenerating trees, to open up areas where kidney vetch and bird’s-foot trefoil were growing. These are the caterpillar foodplants of Small Blue and Dingy Skipper butterflies respectively and the regenerating woodland was threatening to shade them out. Indeed, these low-growing foodplants have already been lost from large areas of this former quarry.  

Logie Quarry

Although the work parties had an impact, it was realised that we really needed to scale up management for an even bigger impact. A partnership between Butterfly Conservation Scotland and Balnagown Estate made a successful bid for funding from the Highland Council’s Nature Restoration Fund. This allowed payment of local contractors to move in with machinery and clear a much larger area than we could have done with volunteer work parties.

Logie Quarry

Today’s trip was to look at the work that had been done and to see if the butterflies were responding. It was a perfect day for it – hot and sunny. Eighteen adults and two children turned up and there were plenty of butterflies to be seen. There were large swathes of bright yellow bird’s-foot trefoil, but kidney vetch was harder to find. Despite this, there were HUNDREDS of Small Blue butterflies flitting low across the ground, with lesser numbers of Dingy Skippers. I have never seen so many Small Blues in one place – it was quite a spectacle.

Our species list for the day was nine – as well as the two aforementioned species, we saw Small White, Small Blue, Green-veined White, Orange-tip, Peacock, Small Copper and Speckled Wood.

The moth list was ten species, with the highlight being Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth nectaring on bird’s-foot trefoil. The other species were Broom-tip, Common Wave, Common White Wave, Anania fuscalis, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Crambus lathoniellus, Cydia ulicetana, Ancylis geminana and Micropterix aureatella.

                                Pete Moore

Logie Quarry

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