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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