Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Back Home

 Arrived home from Scotland today. This is a quick follow up from the last post, photos and more details will follow later in the week.
 Following our trip to Bienne Eigh and Gruinard Bay on Saturday, the weather prospects did not look good for Sunday so we went back to Inverness as it gave us more flexibility. As it turned out I think it was a good move of sorts.
 Culbin Sands Sunday was damp and drizzly. No idea where the Coral Root orchids were but we tried several likely spots without success. Lots of Creeping Ladies Tresses in bud, and the many lichen and moss species was worth the visit. Lochindorb was cold and alternated between heavy rain and biting midges. Nothing on the Loch, but found several families of Red Grouse and a flyby Twite. Also encountered two Short Eared Owls presumably close to a nest. Ended up searching round Tore Hill for Lesser Twayblade but the location seemed too overgrown and none were found. More Crossbills calling.
 Moved down to Fort William and called in at Loch Arkaig. Too late for Chequered Skippers, of course, but found a single Azure Hawker and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. Abundant Heath Spotted Orchids many being very pale or completely white.
 Monday we headed south to the Lakes. Stopped off at Honnister Pass. Weather poor-cool, low cloud and no Sun. No real hope for butterflies but we went up anyway. Met a fellow enthusiast at the top who had found many Mountain Ringlets despite the completely unsuitable conditions. Went with him and met up with others and we found at least a dozen-and some were even flying. Conventional wisdom for searching for this species appears to have gone out the window.
 Today we called in at Arneside Knott. Plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries but no High Browns. Raven family was nice too. We then went to Gait Barrows with it's fascinating Limestone Pavement. Signs still up for the Ladies Slippers but we were too late. However we found Northern Brown Argus, Grayling, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and a single High Brown Fritillary. Lots of Common Spotted Orchids and a small number of Northern Marsh in the meadows.

 Decent trip, despite some failures as we managed to see a fairly high percentage of our target species.

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