Monday, 19 June 2017

The Insects of Druim na Gearr Leacainn

This part of Scotland hasn't been enjoying the warm, sunny weather of the rest of the country so the sun's appearance this afternoon was very welcome - and we took advantage of it to walk up the back of the house, through the croft land and the gate at the top onto Ormsaigbeg's common grazings.

Druim na Gearr Leacainn, the ridge that runs along the back of the township, is cut by a number of steep, narrow glens which provided shelter for insects from the cool northwesterly breeze. There we found....

....the first common blue of the year, a male, and....

....the first ever orange underwing moth.

We also found a small pearl-bordered fritillary basking in the sun while it enjoyed sipping from a tormentil flower. It's a pretty butterfly but....

 ....spectacular when it closes its wings. The closed wings also show it's a male - the female has the paler patterning all over the underside of her wing.

Small heaths were by far the most common butterflies, this one - appropriately - choosing a spotted heath orchid to rest on.

Butterflies are beautiful but so is this shy beast, a large toad perhaps looking for a butterfly meal.


  1. It would have been a fine sight to see an Orange Underwing being such a beautifully patterned moth but unfortunately this is a Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba and far more usual.