Sunday, September 09, 2012

Girvan to SWT Grey Hill–11th August 2012

Not many butterflies about this year so we decided as it was nice and sunny, to go in search of them. We looked up The Scottish Wildlife Trusts Grey Hill Grasslands online and saw that it was good for butterflies. We hadn’t been before, but weren’t disappointed, I think we saw 9 species in total! Here is a summary of our walk and our sightings.

1-rook

We parked in the lay-by just south of Girvan, there are toilets and refreshments here. The Rooks were loitering waiting for tit bits left by those using the refreshment kiosk.

2-Ringlet

Ringlet Butterfly

We followed the coast for a while going through a patch of “waste”  ground by the retirement home. This is a great place for invertebrates with plenty of ragwort, mallow, yarrow etc.

3-white

Green-veined White Butterfly

4-Udea-lutealis

Udea Lutealis Moth

5-mallow

Mallow

6-girvan-shore

Rocky shore

7-white

Another white butterfly

8-girvan

Looking back towards Girvan

9-burn

Jst past the burn you turn left up a farm track.

10-willowherb

Willowherb

11-bales

We followed the track as it winds up the hill

12-Girvan

Girvan starting to look very small now

13-cow

Through a cow field but still on the track. Looks like this one got his ear tack caught on something and its ripped part of its ear off!

14-grasshopper

Grasshopper

15-donkey

A pleasant surprise, we were welcomed by several friendly donkeys!

16-donkey

Posing for a shot!

17-hill

Byne Hill

18-view

On a clear day you can see for miles up here

19-common-blue

Common Blue butterfly

20-Antler-moth

Antler Moth on Ragwort

21-Monument

Craufurd Monument with Ailsa Craig beyond

22-monument

This neglected monument was erected in memory of Major Archibald C B Craufurd from Ardmillan Estate who took part in the capture of the Cape of Good Hope. Apparently there used to be a plaque on it but this was removed and dumped in the woods below.

23-small-copper

Small Copper Butterfly

24-common-blue

Common Blue Butterfly

25-copper

Another Small Copper

26-view

There was a Kestrel hovering about here plus a Sparrowhawk but I didn’t manage to capture

27-Cicadella-viridis

Cicadella viridis, didn’t manage a very good photo before it hopped away!

28-grey-hill-sign

We finally reached the reserve, the entrance isn’t very obvious as it is between farm walls, it could be made so much more straight forward if you were directed through the gate before the wall and you wouldn’t need to go near the house.

29-Small-tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

30-Grass-of-parnassus

Grass of Parnassus

31-ragged-robin

Ragged Robin

32-view

The path is quite rough and boggy but there are great views

33-wall

You follow the dry stone wall mainly but there are markers

34-scotch-argus

Scotch Argus Butterfly, the first I have seen this year.

35-common-darter

Common Darter

36-buzzard

Buzzard

37-ragged-robin

Ragged Robin

38-burn

The wall continues over the burn. We met a coupe of walkers here, the first people we had come across since Girvan.

39-wall

The dr stane dyke goes on for miles!

40-sheeps-skull

Sheeps skull

41-grayling

I chased this Grayling butterfly for a while before it settled on the wall, a good place to look out for them.

42-small-tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

43-sneezewort

Sneezewort

44-view

You can just see the windfarm in the distance

45-fritillary

Fritillary, presumably Small Pearl Bordered

46-Microgastrinae-cocoons

Strange cocoons on the soft rush, I later found out these belong to a parasitic wasp probably Microgastrinae sp

47-hoverfly Helophilus pendulus

Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus on Grass of Parnassus

48-marker

Almost reached the end of the linear reserve path now, time to head back.

49-newt

Newtpol in puddle

50-Meadow-Brown

A very tatty Meadow Brown

51 Black Clock Beetle-Pterostichus-madidus

Black Clock Beetle-Pterostichus-madidus

52-view

There was a Peregrine hovering above the rocks but again, I didn’t manage a photo

53-Girvan

Back to sea level again

54-small-tortoiseshell-caterpillars

Caterpillars on stinging nettles, Small Tortoiseshell i think.

A great walk and lots of sightings!

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