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.
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.
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.
Green-veined White Butterfly
Udea Lutealis Moth
Another white butterfly
Looking back towards Girvan
Jst past the burn you turn left up a farm track.
We followed the track as it winds up the hill
Girvan starting to look very small now
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!
A pleasant surprise, we were welcomed by several friendly donkeys!
Posing for a shot!
On a clear day you can see for miles up here
Common Blue butterfly
Antler Moth on Ragwort
Craufurd Monument with Ailsa Craig beyond
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.
Small Copper Butterfly
Common Blue Butterfly
Another Small Copper
There was a Kestrel hovering about here plus a Sparrowhawk but I didn’t manage to capture
Cicadella viridis, didn’t manage a very good photo before it hopped away!
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.
Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
Grass of Parnassus
The path is quite rough and boggy but there are great views
You follow the dry stone wall mainly but there are markers
Scotch Argus Butterfly, the first I have seen this year.
The wall continues over the burn. We met a coupe of walkers here, the first people we had come across since Girvan.
The dr stane dyke goes on for miles!
I chased this Grayling butterfly for a while before it settled on the wall, a good place to look out for them.
You can just see the windfarm in the distance
Fritillary, presumably Small Pearl Bordered
Strange cocoons on the soft rush, I later found out these belong to a parasitic wasp probably Microgastrinae sp
Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus on Grass of Parnassus
Almost reached the end of the linear reserve path now, time to head back.
Newtpol in puddle
A very tatty Meadow Brown
Black Clock Beetle-Pterostichus-madidus
There was a Peregrine hovering above the rocks but again, I didn’t manage a photo
Back to sea level again
Caterpillars on stinging nettles, Small Tortoiseshell i think.
A great walk and lots of sightings!