Borders sightings June 2019

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Borders sightings June 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Thu 06 Jun 2019 21:27

Abbie and I visited Burnmouth yesterday to look for Small Blues. I picked Abbie up in Haddington in fog and drizzle and we questioned whether we were mad to look for butterflies in such weather. However, it brightened up on the drive down and by the time we arrived the sun was shining. We saw about 15 Red Admirals on the road down to where we parked along with a lot of Green-veined Whites. I have previously wondered why I hadn't seen any butterflies along this track despite what appeared like great habitat for them.
We had a morning of sunshine and grey clouds and the first Small Blue we found was sitting next to the path. By this time I thought that we may not see any more sun, but I was pleased to have seen a Small Blue.
However, the sun returned and we had a good couple of hours watching butterflies. Iain phoned me and said that he had heard that there was a mass arrival of Red Admirals along the coast, which we confirmed!
Over the morning we must have seen close to 100 Small Blues, about 25 or 30 Red Admirals, about 60 Green-veined Whites, two Small Coppers, a Common Blue, a Large Skipper, 8 Wall Browns, a Small White and about 50 Small Heaths.
We returned back to East Lothian to be greeted by a monsoon! My wife told me that the weather had been very grey and cloudy up here all the time we were away!
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Re: Borders sightings June 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Sat 15 Jun 2019 19:49

I quickly visited the valley above our house near Selkirk this morning. It was 14 degrees and cloudy, but I was hoping that I may find some roosting Northern Brown Argus. My dad told me that he visited this spot one morning and found several Northern Brown Argus roosted on grass stems, so I thought it was worth a try. However, I am aware that things tend to happen down here a couple of weeks later than up in East Lothian, so I wasn't sure if there would be any NBA out yet.
There wasn't much happening when I first arrived there, but I did see a Green-veined White flying down by the burn, which at least suggested it was warm enough for butterflies to fly. After a while I disturbed a Small Heath and then another. I walked up and down the path several times seeing more Small Heaths and an Orange Tip. Then a very tattered Peacock.
There were a lot of moths flying and I followed one particularly interesting one along the path until it dropped down and I lost it. However, while I was looking for it I found a pair of Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. I have seen one there on two previous occasions. They seemed very vulnerable, right at the side of the path, but I don't suppose anyone else walked there today. While I was lying down in the grass trying to get a picture another Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary flew past.
I thought to myself that despite not seeing any Northern Brown Argus, it had still been a successful visit, so I turned for home. Then a little dark butterfly crashed into the grass in front of me. I assumed it was going to be a Chimney Sweeper moth, but it turned out to be a Northern Brown Argus.
So, a very successful visit!
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I also saw a lizard, which was a nice surprise.
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Re: Borders sightings June 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Sun 16 Jun 2019 23:14

I am pleased to report that Painted Ladies have made their way up the Yarrow Valley. I had one fly into our garden this afternoon.
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Re: Borders sightings June 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Sun 23 Jun 2019 10:25

It is interesting to see the difference a week can make. I visited the little valley above our house near Yarrowford yesterday. The weather had been sunny in the morning, but was a bit overcast when I arrived there. This time I saw 40 Northern Brown Argus on my first walk up the valley, along with 25 Small Heather and a Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary.
As I walked back and followed a few Northern Brown Argus trying to get some pictures I estimate that there must have been more than 100 of them there. The Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary patrolled up and down along the valley when the sun came out and there must have been more than six there. Those that stopped were all looking rather worn out.
I also disturbed a Dark Green Fritillary, which was a surprise. Sadly, it dashed off up over the heather never to be seen again.
There were also a few Small Coppers and only one Green-veined White.
On the way back I saw a Peacock in lovely condition. I think it must have just looked after itself well over the winter, as I can't believe that it could be one of this year's generation yet.
Back at the house there were just a few tattered Green-veined Whites and Orange Tips flying around.
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