Details of unusual or unseasonal sightings are especially welcome for inclusion on this page,
although any contributions are welcome. Please send your contributions to
Highland Branch welcomes contributions not just from Highland and Moray, but from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.
Barry Blake reports some interesting records
for VC105 in the last couple of days. Pete and Clare Wimpenny
spotted the first Convolvulus Hawk-moth of the year (the 15th
for the VC since 1997) at Big Sand. This was rapidly followed by
another feeding on Sue Pomeroy’s artichoke flowers at Durnamuck. At
the same time Sue made an amazing discovery of 40+ Silver Y moths
emerging from chrysalises (below, left) under netting
protecting her carrot crop. The cherry on top was then the
first VC record of Frosted Orange (below, right) again from Sue at
Durnamuck. What next?
After a breezy night on the Inverewe Estate, Maria & Gareth
Parkinson recorded the first two Buff Footman moths to be recorded
in VC105. At another site close by, Barry Blake recorded
another two on the same night. The atlas shows this rapidly
moving species had reached up to a line approximately from Fort
William to Montrose by 2016. Roy Leverton, who kindly provided
the identification, says that the species has now reached well into
East Ross-shire. It has not, however, been found in the NW
||Catriona Matheson saw a
Comma on two occasions in the same 1km square in Culbin Forest, once
on the 3rd of August and once on the 7th. This is a new 10KM
square for Comma.
In his 20th year at his house in Boat of Garten this year, Mike
Taylor recorded his 20th species of butterfly in the garden, a
Northern Brown Argus! (Below, left). Mike had his moth trap
out the night before and caught over 600 moths of 82 species. The
number was probably higher, but 145 Mottled Beauties formation
flying inside the trap caused a few escapes. The most
interesting catch was a Capperia britanniodactylus
(Wood-sage Plume), only the 2nd recorded in VC95. (Below, right).|
||Steve Wheatley spotted lots
of Northern Eggar caterpillars on the slopes of Morven, the ones
pictured below were presumably warming up on the rocks. Steve
also saw a Red Admiral at the summit.
An interesting month for VC105. After a prolonged period of
strong winds and poor catches, Barry Blake received two unusual
records. On 24 June a Bordered Straw from Applecross was the
first VC record and a rare record for northern Scotland (see photo
below left). The next day a Ringlet butterfly was reported
from a meadow near Braemore junction (see photo below right).
This is only the second record for VC105, and the recorder had seen
the same species the day before, so perhaps evidence of range
UPDATE: There have now been a further 4 sightings
of Ringlets a bit further north than the original 2, so it seems
that there is a colony there.
||Hilary Swift and Pete Moore
saw their first Northern Brown Argus of the year at a site by
Hilary Swift and Pete Moore searched for Chequered Skipper in the
Glen Spean, Loch Laggan area and found good numbers between Moy and
Creag Meagaidh, just across the boundary into the reserve.|
||Pete Moore spotted a Comma
butterfly and 2 Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moths nectaring on the
white Lilac in the garden of Ivy Cottage in Insh village.
Maybe we should all be paying more attention to flowering Lilac, it
seems to be popular!
Dean had similar species in his garden again, but this time managed
to get a stunning photo of the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth.|
||In his garden in Achavandra
Muir, near Dornoch, Dean MacAskill saw several each of Red Admiral,
Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Green-veined White and a single
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth on his flowering Lilac tree, along
with plenty of Bumblebees. There were also a couple of
Oramge-tips and a single Speckled Wood in the garden.
Hilary Swift found 4 Dingy Skipper on the wing at Auchgourish near
Boat of Garten.|
||Hilary Swift & Pete Moore
saw their first Green Hairstreaks of the year at Duthil, they saw 4
individuals. (Photo of one below). Pete also saw a Comma near
Dulnain Bridge and a Small Copper.
It has already been an interesting start to the moth season in
VC105, but Barry Blake was amazed to find this Welsh Wave in his
trap at Inverewe Gardens last night. The earliest VC record is
the end of May and the norm is June/July. As Roy Leverton
commented, the poor thing will be unlikely to find a mate and its
early rise gene will not get passed on!|
||Hilary Swift spotted a
Comma butterfly laying an egg on some 4 inch high nettles near her
Peter Stronach found a Small Dark Yellow Underwing moth at a site
near Carrbridge, the first I've heard of this year.|
||It has already been an
interesting year for VC105. The 2nd ever Oak Beauty, the 1st
ever Pale Pinions (3), and now Lesley Spenceley at Rhiroy has turned
up only the 2nd accepted record for Brindled Beauty for the VC.
The previous was way down south by Lochalsh in 2014. Things
seem to be on the move.
Mike Taylor trapped a Kentish Glory in hos Boat of Garten garden, it
was outside and just underneath the trap and would have been easy to
||Barry Blake was not
impressed when the Heath Trap on loan to VC105 from Highland Branch
only caught one moth last night. However, on putting the gear
away, he found a female Emperor moth clinging to the electrics.
She then proceeded to lay eggs on a wire! A chance to try and
rear some Emperors?
Hilary Swift and Pete Moore found a female Dotted Border on a fence
post whilst unsuccessfully searching for Rannoch Brindled Beauty
||Barry Blake reports that a
Pale Pinion appeared in Lesley Spenceley's trap at Rhiroy near
Ullapool and it is the forst record for VC105. A good start to
the 2022 season.
Hilary Swift saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells courting in Cromdale.|
||This seems to have been a
good day to see Comma butterflies, I've heard of 4 sightings, 1 each
at Nethybridge, Forres, Logie Steading and Cullen.
Bob Turner and I saw our first butterfly of the year, a Peacock,
near Loch Pityoulish yesterday which we didn't get a photo of.
We had more success today with the Peacock we saw in a neighbour's
garden in Aviemore.|
||Barry Blake reports that
after a slow start to the year ther is suddenly an abundance of
moths in VC105, notably Yellow Horned. The Oak Beauty pictured
below is the second record for VC105, the first being reported last
year from a different site.
Mike Taylor had Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral butterflies in
his Boat of Garten garden.|
||Dean MacAskill saw his
first butterfly of the year, a Peacock, at Glen Loth, Sutherland.
Pete Moore had a look in some abandoned cottages on Dava moor and
found a total of 22 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Peacock butterfly and
4 Herald moths hibernating.|
Small Tortoiseshell, above, Herald, right