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Latest news

Details of unusual or unseasonal sightings are especially welcome for inclusion on this page, although any contributions are welcome. Please send your contributions to contact@highland-butterflies.org.uk.

Highland Branch welcomes contributions not just from Highland and Moray, but from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

Items from 2007 to 2018 have been archived, but can still be accessed:
2007
| Jan - Jun 2008 | Jul - Aug 2008 | Sep - Nov 2008 | Jan - June 2009 | July - Nov 2009 | Feb - June 2010 | Jul - Dec 2010 | Jan - June 2011 | July - Dec 2011 | Jan - June 2012 | July - Sep 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

 

04/08/2019

Barry Blake reports that Judith Bullivant found only the 2nd VC105 record of Slender Brindle in her Lochalsh garden.  The only other record was from the same general area in 2016.  Photo by Judith Bullivant.

Slender Brindle

29/07/2019

Bob Turner and I saw a total of 55 Painted Ladies, some in our Aviemore garden, mostly on a short stretch of the Speyside Way just south of Grantown-on-Spey where we also saw our first Scotch Argus of the year.

Scotch Argus

29/07/2019

Andy Williams saw over 100 Painted Ladies (below top) at Rhue, north-west of Ullapool, nectaring on Thistles.  There were good numbers of Dark Green Fritillaries (below, bottom left) in the Ulapool area and a single Grayling (below, bottom right) in the dune system at Mungasdale.

Painted Lady

Dark Green Fritillary Grayling

28/07/2019

Barry Blake saw around 23 Painted Lady butterflies on a bush in his Gairloch garden.

26/07/2019

Given the temperature last night it was not surprising that Inverewe Gardens and Estate provided Barry Blake with 63 species and 360+ moths. More interesting was the occurrence of four Green Pugs in one trap.  This species has been recorded eight times in the last ten years in VC 105, but always as singles.

Barry reports that it was good for butterflies in Gairloch too, with good numbers of newly emerged Small Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals alongside the very tired looking Painted Ladies.

Green Pug

08/07/2019

Hilary Swift found a Painted Lady butterfly egg-laying at Blacksboat near Marypark.

14/07/2019

Pete Moore saw a total of 12 species of butterfly whilst walking in Glentromie equalling his previous best total in a day.  This included Red Admirals at the top of a 640M hill, the other species were Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Large Heath, Small Heath, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Green-veined White and Northern Brown Argus.

14/07/2019

Pete Gordon saw 4 Red Admirals at the summit cairn on Ben Macdui, 1309M.

Red Admiral

23/06/2019

On this rare warm and sunny weekend day, Hilary and I checked out an area of river shingle near Tomintoul in the hope of seeing Small Blue or Dingy Skipper. Unfortunately we didn't see either but we clocked up eight butterfly species, namely Green-veined White, Small Heath, Small Copper (I reckon this is the most beautiful Scottish butterfly), Painted Lady, Northern Brown Argus (two freshly emerged photo of one below), Orange-tip (eggs and adult), Small Tortoiseshell (adult and larvae) and Common Blue (first of the year for us).

And with three Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoths, the butterflies didn't get it all their own way.

Pete Moore

NBA

16/06/2019

Andy Williams saw his first Six-spot Burnet moths and Small Heath butterflies of the year near Ullapool.

Six-spot Burnet Small Heath

16/06/2019

Dean MacAskill saw seven Painted Lady butterflies at Dornoch Point.

16/06/2019

Bob Turner and I saw a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth at the Insh Marshes RSPB reserve near Kingussie.  There were also Chimney Sweeper moths, a Small Heath butterfly, Green-veined Whites, a really fresh Small Copper who wouldn't sit still to be photographed, and a Painted Lady who posed nicely.

Painted Lady

15/06/2019

Hilary Swift's Perennial Wallflower Bowle's Mauve came up trumps again attracting a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth to her Grantown-on-Spey garden.

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth

30/05/2019

Mike and Britt Taylor had a reasonably productive time at the Gartenmore Junction site near Boat of Garten over the past two days, finding two Dingy Skippers,(photo of one below) three Orange-tip, a Green-veined white, two Small Copper, A Green Hairstreak, A Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth and a Mother Shipton.(Bottom photo)

Dingy Skipper

Mother Shipton

20/05/2019

It continues to be a particularly interesting year for moth trapping in the "central" area of VC105.  Barry Blake caught this Scorched Wing on the NTS Inverewe Eastate today.  There are some 22 records for this species in VC105 but all bar one are from Brian Neath in the extreme south-west of the county.

Scorched Wing

19/05/2019

Hilary Swift and Pete Moore saw a Dingy Skipper at a site in Glenfeshie.

Dingy Skipper Dingy Skipper

17/05/2019

Hilary Swift had a great day for lepidoptera in and around her Grantown-on-Spey garden today.  First it was her first ever garden Small Copper quickly followed by a male and female Orange-tip nectaring on the Bowle's Mauve Perennial Wallflower.  Last, but not least, a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth was nectaring on the Aubretia in the car park area, photo below.

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth

15/05/2019

Richard Somers Cocks found at least 4 Small Blue and 3 Dingy Skipper on the lower reaches of the river Findhorn near Netherton.

Small Blue

Dingy Skipper

15/05/2019

Andy Williams has had a splendid year for Orange-tips so far, seeing increased numbers at new sites to him in the north-west Highlands.  This photo was taken in Ullapool.

Orange-tip

Andy also photographed this nice, fresh Green Hairstreak near Loch Ailort on the 7th of May.

Green Hairstreak

12/05/2019

Jayne Theaker photographed a Chequered Skipper at Mingarry, Acharacle.

Chequered Skipper

12/05/2019

Hugh Clark photographed a Comma at the side of the path by the river Spey at Spey Bay.  This would appear to be the most northerly recorded Comma in Scotland to date.

Comma

12/05/2019

Bob Turner and I saw a couple of Green Hairstreaks near the end of the public road west of Carrbridge, Bob managed to get a photo of one of them.

Green Hairstreak

10/05/2019

Bob Turner and I saw our first Small Copper of the year at Nairn, we also saw a Speckled Wood.

Small Copper

01/05/2019

Barry Blake reports another early arrival, this Grey Scalloped Bar is the earliest record for VC105 by a week and is about 3 weeks ahead of "normal".

Grey Scalloped Bar

30/04/2019

Bob Turner and I saw our first Speckled Wood of the year at Craigellachie NNR near Aviemore today.  It's the first time we've seen Speckled Wood at Craigellachie.

29/04/2019

Bob Turner and I found our 1st Pearl-bordered Fritillaries of the year at a site just south of Aviemore.  There were also Orange Tips, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Green Hairstreak on what was a lovely, sunny day.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

29/04/2019

Mike Taylor found two mating pairs of Small Dark Yellow Underwing (photo below) at a site near Carrbridge and has also found Netted Mountain Moth on the wing at other local sites.

Small Dark Yellow Underwing

27/04/2019

Barry Blake thinks it looks like it is going to be an early year for some species in the west.  The Light Knot Grass in the photo below is from Gairloch and is 8 days earlier than the previous record for VC105 and it was accompanied by 2 Scalloped Hazels, another species that doesn't appear there until early May.

Light Knot Grass

22/04/2019

Hilary Swift found a Red Admiral egg-laying on Nettles near Grantown-on-Spey yesterday, Hilary thought the egg looked like a tiny stripry gourd.

Red Admiral Egg

22/04/2019

After recording the first Purple Thorn for VC 105 in 2017 Barry Blake was surprised to find 3 in one trap on the Inverewe Estate on the night of 22 April. It got better as the same trap also had an Early Thorn, and the trap next door had a Lunar Thorn. The best find of the night was a Twin-spotted Quaker the first record north of the Dornie area (in the very south of the VC). Roy pointed out that this is a species expanding northwards so maybe there will be more. The night also yielded a Seraphim (only half a dozen records for the VC) and a Clouded Silver, another infrequently recorded species in the northwest. Good numbers of Orange -tips and the odd Small Tortoiseshell have now joined the Green-veined Whites in Gairloch (at last). 

Purple Thorn  Purple Thorn Twin-spotted Quaker Twin-spotted Quaker

 

21/04/2019

Bob Turner and I saw Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and male Orange-tips at Lynwilg, just south of Aviemore.  We also saw a male Orange-tip at Milton Loch, Boat of Garten.

Peacock

20/04/2019

Henry Farquhar saw a male Orange-tip butterfly in his Lossiemouth garden, as well as other species.

19/04/2019

Pete Moore and Hilary Swift saw loads of Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks in Glen Beg near Grantown-on-Spey as well as a Green-veined White.  Butterflies are also enjoying the Aubretia flowers in their garden in Grantown-on-Spey, just like the Small Tortoiseshell pictured below.

Small Tortoiseshell on Aubretia

21/02/2019

Duncan Davidson saw a Peacock butterfly near Nairn.

21/02/2019

Mike and Britt Taylor found their first butterfly of the year, a Peacock, on Findhorn dunes in fabulous butterfly weather, full sun, warm and no wind.

Peacock

17/02/2019

Nancy & Pete Gordon found this live Grey Dagger moth in their house.  Its normal flight period is mid-May to August, sometimes with a 2nd generation in September to October, so this individual is well outside that!  Vice county recorder Mike Taylor thinks it probably came into the house as a pupa on a firewood log, emerging early due to the warm conditions.

Grey Dagger 

17/02/2019

Bob Turner and I found a Ruby Tiger larva by Loch Pityoulish near Boat of Garten today.

Ruby Tiger larva

17/02/2019

I put the trap out in my Aviemore garden last night and caught a single Dotted Border - a first for the garden.

Dotted Border

16/02/2019

Mike Taylor found a Brindled Pug in Findhorn, almost 4 weeks earlier than normal for the species in that area.

Brindled Pug

11/01/2019

I found a Pale Brindled Beauty on the wall of my garage in Aviemore this evening, the earliest in January that I've seen, by over a week.

Pale Brindled Beauty

06/01/2019

Mary Eagleson had a Pale Brindled Beauty on the kitchen window of her house near Maryburgh

 

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