Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Migrant Moths & Butterflies

After a week at Kindrogan I headed back to London via Ayrshire for the weekend to survey the rarer butterflies in the county such as Northern Brown Argus, Large Skipper and Wall. After watching a Painted Lady fly north along Irvine Beach at 2140h on Friday night, it was soon apparent there had been some recent and ongoing arrival of migrant leps. Silver Y (Autographa gamma) moths were everywhere and I was literally kicking them up from every area of grassland in the Girvan to Ballantrae areas on Saturday. Over the weekend I found at least 25 Painted Ladies and around 12 Red Admirals but sadly no Clouded Yellows. My brother, who lives in Spain, e-mailed me about reports in the national newspaper - see El Pais online - concerning the arrivals of masses of moths from Africa and, as I suspected, these were Silver-Ys. There were far less in the north in the Kilmarnock to Irvine area on Sunday. On the dragonfly front, Common Hawker, Four-spotted Chaser, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly and Common Blue Damselfly were found.

Below is a photograph of the small population of Wild Goats on the remote coastal hills in south-west Ayrshire.

The last image shows just part of a huge shoal of Minnows in the River Irvine near Shewalton - also large numbers of Stone Loach.

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