East Lothian sightings July 2019

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East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby georgehogg » Mon 01 Jul 2019 20:40

Anyone else finding hundreds of Peacock caterpillars but zero Small Tortoiseshell larvae ? :(
Wasn't counting or keeping notes in Garleton Hills today but lots of ringlet and painted ladies .
Speckled Wood verging on abundant in any half hearted bit of woodland or even scattered shrub.
Red Admirals also fairly numerous.
1 Common Blue best of the bunch in Skidhill Quarry where I was sure I would find Wall or even Grayling ,habitat perfect for both (and skippers)
I'm sure it only needs time.
Over to you Abbie !
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Tue 02 Jul 2019 13:40

George,
I have found the opposite! In East Lothian I have found four clumps of Small Tortoiseshells and two of Peacocks.
In the Borders four Small Torts and only one Peacock. This surprises me given the number of Peacocks there were earlier in the year compared with only a few Small Tortoiseshells flying.
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby georgehogg » Mon 08 Jul 2019 21:51

Very glad to hear it Nick !
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby jpgn » Fri 12 Jul 2019 14:01

The dunes NE of Muirfield golf course - up towards Eyebroughy - were bouncing with Dark-green Fritillaries at noon today. Had at least 35 just as I was walking along the main path (with a slight diversion "off-road" to avoid the Scottish Open golf at Archerfield). Loads of Ringlets too, and a fair few Meadow Browns. Also had 5 Small Coppers, 5 Common Blues, 4 Small Heaths, 4 Small Skippers, 3 Painted Ladies, 3 Small Tortoiseshells and 2 Red Admirals.

Haven't see a single Painted Lady in Longniddry so far this week (although it has been fairly wet and overcast).
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Tue 16 Jul 2019 12:44

Some interesting observations there Jim.
It does appear to be a great year for Dark Green Fritillaries.
I am intrigued that Small Skippers first were discovered at Aberlady and they have since appear to have worked their way along the coast to the west, but I haven't received any coastal records east of North Berwick. I am sure there must be some there, but no one has recorded them. With them being found at Haddington, Gifford, Saltoun Big Wood, Humbie and Linn Dean, I am guessing that they made their way into East Lothian over Soutra, rather than the more conventional eastern coast route. They are recorded in Woodhall Dean, though. I must find out if they are common on the Berwickshire Coast.
Painted Lady numbers really seem to have dropped. I imagine there will have been quite a bit of dispersal inland - I saw quite a few down towards St Mary's Loch a couple of weekends ago - but I guess a number will have perished in the torrential rain showers we have experienced.
Meadow Brown numbers seem to have really picked up these last two weeks. I had 23 on my transect yesterday and 21 last week, but only 3 two weeks ago.
Small Tortoiseshells seem to be appearing in reasonable numbers now, so let's hope for a bit of a resurgence in numbers.
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Wed 24 Jul 2019 13:40

It was good to see the number of whites increasing yesterday on my transect. Most of the other species were lower than the previous few weeks and I put a lot of that down to the wind that was blowing. Most notable was the dramatic decline in the number of Ringlets at the meadow, down to 1 from 14 last week and 33 the week before. I was pleased to see 4 Small Skippers, though.
Last night on an evening stroll with my dog near Gifford there were still plenty of Ringlets there, but even more Meadow Browns. I was delighted to find Small Skippers in a field where I have been planting trees and looking after the field margins.
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby ricowells » Wed 24 Jul 2019 22:09

Linn dean yesterday, windy but warm. headed down to the burn to a sheltered spot (not so much yesterday) which is usually a butterfly hot spot. On the way circa 6 ringlets in the grasses and a couple of flyby whites. Down the slope to the burn 3 or 4 small skippers then a couple of common blues and 2 flyby duelling dark green fritillaries. Best find was 4 or 5 northern brown argus right down at the burn scuttling around on the mud/moss and potentially mating. Not sure exactly what they were up to but observing them was a fascinating way to spend an hour or so.
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby jpgn » Sun 28 Jul 2019 11:19

Another huge wave of Painted Ladies seems to have arrived along the coast in the last 36 hours of wet weather and easterly winds. Had at least 30 on short stretch of grassy path along the side of Gullane golf course during the early part of my run this morning - but it was when I reached the dunes N of Muirfield GC, up towards Eyebroughy, that things really kicked off. Along one 400m long stretch of a mown grassy path through the dunes I counted 165 PLs that I disturbed from the path itself and there were loads more in the long grass and still apparently coming in off the sea. I reckon I saw 350++ in total - and I met a dog-walker, who seemed to be ploughing his way through all the longest stuff on the smallest paths, and he said he'd seen "literally thousands". I never seen anything quite like it.
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Tue 30 Jul 2019 09:53

Jim, your rounds are going to take you ages this morning! I hope you have a large note book with you!!

I was feeling a bit left our from all of this action, with me being away at the weekend and stuck in the office during the week. However, last night I was delighted to see 15 Painted Ladies on my Buddleia when I arrived home, even though there were very threatening skies. I tried to take some pictures, but it was just too dark to get anything sharp. At least I have experienced a bit of this mass migration, I thought to myself.
This morning, when I went out with the dog there were masses of Painted Ladies on the Buddleias again. Along my walk there were a few Small Tortoiseshells, a couple of Large Whites, six Small Whites and probably 10 to 15 Painted Ladies on hedges, cars and the track.
Back at the house and with the dog fed, I had time to try to count the butterflies. A very conservative estimate of 140 Painted Ladies on my side of the Buddleia, three more Small Tortoiseshells, looking a little intimidated, two Large Whites and a Red Admiral landed on the house and then plucked up courage to feed on the Buddleia. Then three Green-veined Whites arrived together, as if they had heard there was a party. Eventually, I dragged myself away, but later as I left the house to go to work, I saw a beautiful fresh Peacock there, too. If that is what it was like at 8am, I would love to see it at 10 or 11.

Meanwhile I received an e-mail from Abbie who said that there is a stream of Painted Ladies going along a track, past her house heading inland.

What an amazing event we are witnessing.
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Re: East Lothian sightings July 2019

Postby NickMorgan » Tue 30 Jul 2019 09:55

ricowells wrote:Linn dean yesterday, windy but warm. headed down to the burn to a sheltered spot (not so much yesterday) which is usually a butterfly hot spot. On the way circa 6 ringlets in the grasses and a couple of flyby whites. Down the slope to the burn 3 or 4 small skippers then a couple of common blues and 2 flyby duelling dark green fritillaries. Best find was 4 or 5 northern brown argus right down at the burn scuttling around on the mud/moss and potentially mating. Not sure exactly what they were up to but observing them was a fascinating way to spend an hour or so.


Richard, I am pleased that you have made it to Linn Dean this year. I haven't managed to go there myself, despite driving past each weekend and I have received very few records from anyone else visiting.
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