Newsletter 13: Spring 2008
Chairman's Introduction | Highland Branch News | Pale Brindled Beauty
Highland Branch News
In a departure from our normal routine we moved our AGM from the Spring to the Autumn. This left a gap in the Spring which we filled with a meeting to launch the recording year and generally generate a bit of interest in the coming season.
A record breaking number of members (around 30) attended this very interesting day at Strathpeffer Community Centre on Sunday the 15th of April which not only launched the season but brought us up to speed on developments regarding butterfly distribution and the National Macro Moth Recording Scheme.
David Barbour gave a splendid account of the expansion of ranges of the top 4 butterflies in our area over the last few years – they were Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Orange Tip, a further two to watch out for are Comma and Purple Hairstreak.
We really ought to add Camberwell Beauty to the list of butterflies to watch out for as we have had so many reports of this rare migrant during the Spring.
Tom Prescott followed with a talk on the “Dark Art” of moth recording disguised by the title “Introducing the National Moth Recording Scheme”. There followed a short discussion on recording and training before Tom treated us to details of the “Conservation of Priority Moths in Scotland”. As usual Tom gave us one of his lively, interesting and above all, informative lectures.
After lunch a slightly smaller audience regrouped to see a demonstration of MapMate by Jeff Waddell. This technical computer package was demystified and made to look quite simple and user friendly. The ease with which maps could be produced was a real eye-opener and it was generally agreed this had been a most worthwhile exercise. We were also given a demonstration of a Beta version of a lookup table in Excel devised by Tony Mainwood which simplifies the input of Latin and Common names when entering data into a spreadsheet in preparation for synchronising with MapMate. Another very useful shortcut / trick!
The “Strathpeffer Experience” was most professionally organised by Tony Mainwood from start to finish with help from the speakers to whom I personally would like to say a big thank you.
In yet another departure from our normal activities our “Tri-Branch, Annual Kindrogan Meeting” was renamed and moved to Birnam where we called it a “Members Day”. This too turned out to be a rather successful event with over 100 people attending and lots of opportunity to talk and circulate. The main point of note is that Highland regained the coveted “Kindrogan Cup” in the quiz. Well done that team!
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