Monday, 8 June 2015

The Scottish Skipper.

After several attempts over the last few years to get up to Scotland to see the Chequered Skipper, the
 only British butterfly that I hadn't yet seen, I'm pleased to say that this year I managed the long trip there. Picking Nigel up at Heathfield at 9pm it was then a really long drive up to Glasdrum Wood near Oban. We arrived at the wood at around 7.30am where we had a bite to eat and chill out before the sun came up. Just after 9am we ventured into the wood where a couple of White-spotted Sable moths were seen before it started to rain. Fortunately it soon stopped raining and then it was back into the wood where I soon saw my first Chequered Skipper. Following this several more of this delightful little butterfly were seen along the ride. It certainly was a relief to finally catch up with this rare species and to complete the full set of British butterflies.

Male Chequered Skipper.

Chequered Skipper underside.

In the next ride up I came across a fresh female Small Copper that seemed to have less black markings on it than the ones back down home.

Female Small Copper.

Later in the day we went to Glen Loy, another hot-spot for the skippers, here though it seems the butterfly is yet to emerge following the cold Spring we've been having. Several Green-veined White were seen as well as a newly emerged Four-spotted Chaser.

A newly emerged male Green-veined White.

Teneral Four-spotted Chaser.

This was day one of a great week spent dodging showers and bad weather seeking out rare dragonflies and other insects. Two dragonfly targets, the White-faced Darter and the Northern Damselfly were both early in their flight season, and with the late spring there was only a small chance of seeing them. My next few postings will be of our week in Scotland with many great sightings and some unexpected surprises.

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