Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Sat 5 Jun 2010 Loch Charn

Brachytron pratense, male

The scarce Hairy Dragonfly is fairly plentiful at this loch, but like most hawkers it rarely settles, and I only got one chance to photograph it with this very poor result.  You can see the hairs though!  There were often fights between this species and Four-spotted Chasers.  Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies were also present at the loch, which was heaving with tadpoles.

Euphydryas aurinia

I was hoping to see the Pearl-bordered Fritillary which some of us saw here last year, but had to make do with the Marsh Fritillary...

Boloria selene   Emberiza schoeniclus

... and the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, which was about in numbers, particularly where there were Bluebells.  This male Reed Bunting had a good view over the loch from atop an Alder.

Ematurga atomaria   Deltote uncula

Saw the Common Heath moth a few times today, couldn't get a good pic but this is a lot better than my previous effort which I won't even link to!  The little moth in the RH pic is a Silver Hook, which we haven't had before.

Tyria jacobaeae

Saw two Cinnabar Moths in different places; got a perfectly good pic of the other one, but I kind of like this composition.

Littorella uniflora, flowering

Shoreweed is under water most of the time but won't flower until it's exposed, and the dry weather this year has given it its chance as water levels have dropped in the lochs.  The outsize anthers were blowing about like mad at the end of their long white filaments, but by applying my one and only photography technique - take dozens of shots and one will come out ok - I managed to get them not too blurred.

Odontopera bidentata

Back home I found this Scalloped Hazel moth on my living room carpet.

Sun 6 Jun 2010 Taynuilt and Inverawe

Hirundo rustica

Not only does the Inverawe Smokery provide out of this world food, but while you're eating it at an outside table you can watch the Swallows on the weather vane.

Hysterophora maculosana   Helophilus sp

Another bird-dropping moth, this one is Hysterophora maculosana.  Thanks to Roy Leverton for suggesting this.  The hoverfly sunning itself on an Iris leaf is either Helophilus pendulus or H hybridus, I can't tell which as the amount of black on the hind tibia is intermediate.  One of our most attractive hoverflies anyway.

Turdus philomelos

Pensive Song Thrush

Like a bird on a wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

as Leonard Cohen once pointed out



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer