Monday, April 09, 2007

Early Pierids in Ayrshire

Went home to Ayrshire for the Easter weekend, leaving the camera equipment behind. Got my my second earliest county record of Small White (5th) with a male on the Knockentiber-Springside Disused Railway Line - now a cycle path and much degraded and damaged by Sustrans et al. Back in the early nineties this was a quiet, green, wildlife-full path but some misguided organisations thought that a bus-width of tarmac would somehow enhance it's value. Cycling and walking around some other old haunts left me with the feeling that the natural value of much the area around Kilmarnock is slowly being eroded away.

Chiffchaffs appear to be arriving back in good numbers following last year's unusual slump in Ayrshire. My first two Willow Warblers of the year were singing along the railway line on the 8th. I also had my earliest county record of Green-veined White with two in Changue glen on the 7th. Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell were out in good numbers. The pond near Kirstie's Stone had over 100 spawing Common Toads, several Palmate Newts and a Viviparous Lizard nearby. Orange Tip and Green Hairstreak may also be on the wing earlier this season but they managed to elude me despite extensive searching. Maybe on my next trip. For now, I'm off on a field course to Zahara...

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