Sunday, 28 June 2015

Archaeological Wildlife

The trouble with going on walks that are supposed to be looking at the local archaeology - which is quite superb - is that one also stumbled across the.... quite superb.... local wildlife as well. So, on our way to yesterday's walk into the Loch Mudle forestry, we spotted this fallow deer hind with her grown-up young on the edge of the Beinn nan Losgann forestry. We stopped the car to take pictures, and were hooted at by an impatient motorist who had come up behind us.

Once into the peace of the Loch Mudle forestry, the wildlife just got better and better.  This small moth resting in the middle of the track is, obviously, a speckled yellow, Pseudopanthera macularia.

In a clear area along the spine of one of the hills we watched, and were watched by, a red deer hind and a young stag, whose father....

....might have been this rather fine beast, who had met his end on a small hillside deep in the forestry.

In another open area we stumbled upon this rare white lousewort, Pedicularis sylvatica, also called red rattle. So, presumably, this is a white rattle.

In a marshy but open glade we came across a small group of these day-flying moths. The red-necked
footman, Atolmis rubricollis, isn't common along the west Highland coasts, though specimens have been reported from Glengorm Castle on Mull.

We found more along the banks of Loch Mudle. The footman's undersides even more spectacular than its top sides.  They are rather ungainly, looking as if they're about to fall off their grass stalk at any moment, and quite unbothered by a large lens, making the taking of pictures very easy.

We did apologise to this pair of small pearl-bordered fritillaries before we took pictures, but couldn't resist disturbing their peace as they were so beautiful.

They turned and displayed, perhaps in embarrassment or annoyance, the undersides of their wings, which have a quite spectacular pattern.

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