Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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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 webmaster@highland-butterflies.org.uk.

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

Items from previous years have been archived, but can still be accessed by clicking the links below:
| 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 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022



Mike Taylor found a Pale Pinion moth nectaring on Michaelmas Daisy in his Boat of Garten garden.  Mike says that this species has had a dramatic expansion of its UK range over the past few years and this year it has arrived in the Highland Branch area, with it now being found in VC95 and VC96.

Pale Pinion


Hilary Swift and Pete Moore were walking on a fisherman's path by the river Spey near Aberlour when they saw a Comma butterfly!



Henry Farquhar saw 23 Red Admiral, 18 Peacock, 2 Small White, 1 Large White and 1 Small Tortoiseshell on his Buddleia alternifolia in his Lossiemouth garden, and they stayed all day!


Brian Grant saw a Convolvulus Hawk-moth near his Skye of Curr garden.

Convolvulus Hawk-moth


Bob Turner and I were visiting Hilary Swift to get some cuttings from her Perennial Wallflower which has successfully attracted more than one Hummingbird Hawk-moth to her garden.  We were delighted to see one of the moths feeding on the plants near her door!


After hearing of a Hummingbird Hawk-moth in another Grantown-on-spey garden the day before, Hilary Swift saw one in her garden today.


Andy Williams with Bob McMillan recorded 3 Large Heaths of the Scotica form on Skye.  They were recorded in NG35 and it has been confirmed that this is the first record for the 10km square in the 23 years of the recording scheme.

Large Heath


Bob Turner and I saw our first Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries of the year near Grantown-on-spey.

Small PBF


Andy Williams saw his first ever Small Blue in Scotland at Ardersier today.

Small Blue


Andy William saw his first Common Blues of the year, two females roosting in the rain in Inverlael forest, Loch Broom.

Common Blue



Hilary Swift saw her first Northern Brown Argus of the year at a site near Grantown-on-spey.


Andy Williams saw his first Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary of the year at Loch Broom about 10 miles SE of Ullapool.

Small PBF Small PBF


Andy Williams saw his first Small Heath of the year near Ullapool.

Small HeathSmall Heath


Margaret Currie and Andy Scott saw a pair of mating Small Blue at Logie Quarry, Kildary.

Small Blue


Bob and Andrew Turner and I saw a Red Admiral at Dail Beag on Lewis and a Painted Lady (below) at Dail Mor.

Painted Lady


Bob and Andrew Turner and I saw a Red Admiral in Ullapool today whilst waiting for the Stornoway ferry today.


Duncan Davidson saw a Red Admiral in his Nairn garden today and a Beautiful Brocade in the moth trap.

Red AdmiralBeautiful Brocade


Bob Turner and I saw at least 6 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries at a site just south of Aviemore, including a mating pair.

Pearl-bordered Fritillaries


Dot and Ron Ruston saw their first Dingy Skipper of this year at Polmaily.


Margaret Currie and Andy Scott found 2 Netted Mountain Moths (top photo below) and a Light Knot Grass in upper Glen Glass today.  They also saw 6 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries in Glen Orrin yesterday.

Netted Mountain MothLight Knot Grass


Dave and Rowan Butterfield saw a Painted Lady in their garden near Kilcoy on the Black Isle this morning.


Tony Mainwood saw his first Pearl-bordered Fritillaries of the year, at least 3 at Rogart where it was sunny, but not warm.

Pearl-bordered Fritillary


Whilst leading a Ramblers walk along the Speyside Way from Aberlour to Ballindalloch I saw good numbers of butterflies.  Lots of Orange Tips and Green-veined Whites with the occasional Peacock.  The highlight was a Speckled Wood, my first of the year, just west of Carron.


Bob Turner and I saw 4 species of butterfly whilst out today.  Green-veined White and Orange Tip at Insh Marshes, Small Tortoiseshell at Lynwilg just south of Aviemore where we also saw Common Heath and Brown Silver-line moths.  Finally, we saw a Green Hairstreak on the road edge of the road that goes to the Osprey Centre near Boat of Garten.

Green Hairstreak


Duncan Davidson saw 3 Green Hairstreak on the hillside above Kinlochleven in gridref NN1963, he also saw a Speckled Wood a bit lower down the hill at gridref NN1862.


Hilary Swift saw her first Green Hairstreak of the year, in the car park next to her home in Grantown-on-spey!


Andy Williams saw 5 male Orange Tips near Loch Achilty, Contin, his first of the year.  He aslo saw 3 Green-veined Whites and got a distant, fleeting glimpse of a dark butterfly, possibly a Speckled Wood.

Orange TipOrange Tip


Pete Moore saw his first Green Hairstreak of the year at the north end of Aviemore in the SNH building car park.


Andy Williams saw his first Green-veined White of the year in the Ullapool area.

Green-veined White


Bob Turner and I saw a couple of Peacocks at Loch Spynie near Elgin today.



Pete Gordon saw his first Orange Tip (male) of the year at Knockando House.  There were also a couple of Peacocks there and some Small Tortoiseshells at Knockando Distillery.


Duncan Davidson saw his first butterflies of the year, a Small White and a Speckled Wood in a garden near Nairn.


Ann Giles saw her first butterfly of the year, a Small Tortoiseshell, in her garden in central Wick, Caithness.


Andy Williams saw his first butterfly of the year, a Small Tortoiseshell, at Auchindrean, Loch Broom near Ullapool.

Small Tortoiseshell


Bob Turner and I saw our first butterflies of the year, a Small Tortoiseshell at the car park at the end of the public road in Strathdearn and a Peacock at a pond near the Osprey Centre, Abernethy.


Brian Neath attracted 111 moths of 13 species to his trap in Dornie.  Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab were inevitably the most numerous totalling 74. The other species were 8 Brindled Pug, 7 Small Quaker, 5 Early Grey and Yellow Horned, 3 Early Tooth-striped and Red Chestnut, 2 Engrailed and Chestnut and single March Moth and Red-green Carpet.


Mairi Strachan saw her first butterfly of the year in Alness, Easter Ross, a Peacock


Barbara Brodie saw a Peacock butterfly in her Culloden garden, the first of the year.


Brian Neath had an unusually early Common Quaker on his wndow last night, although he has seen some earlier in previous years, normally he'd not see this species until mid-March.  He also saw an unusually small Dotted Border.


Liz MacDonald found a Pale Brindled Beauty on the wall of her house in Ardnamurchan.


Having had moths at the window for the previous 4 nights at his house at Dornie, Brian Neath put his trap out last night.  He caught 11 moths of 5 species, 5 Mottled Grey, 2 Dotted Border, 2 Chestnut, a March Moth and a Pale Brindled Beauty.  The Dotted Borders were new for the year and the overall total for February is 13 species.


Helen Mainwood saw a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in her Golspie garden today, nectaring on a Crocus.


Brian Neath saw up to 5 Winter Moths, 2 Mottled Umber and a March Moth (on the 26th) during January, and 2 Pale Brindled Beauties on the 2nd of February, on the windows of his house at Dornie.


A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly was reported to be flying in the spring sunshine at feddon Hill, Fortrose today.


Another Pale Brindled Beauty in Aviemore today.


I found a Pale Brindled Beauty on the wall of my house in Aviemore today.

Pale Brindled Beauty


As well as 6 Pale Brindled Beauties and 2 Winter Moths, Malcolm Harvey also trapped a very early Dotted Border (pictured) in his Kiltarlity garden.

Dotted Border


Margaret Currie and Andy Scott found 2 Herald moths hibernating in a cave at Rosemarkie beach.

Herald 1Herald 2


So far 3 species of butterfly have been reported on the main Butterfly Conservation website, Red Admiral, Peacock and Small Tortioseshell.


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