Bird's Eye View of Bute

Red Necked Footman

(1) Red Necked Footman
(1) Red Necked Footman
(2) Red Necked Footman
(2) Red Necked Footman
(3) Red Necked Footman
(3) Red Necked Footman
(4) Red Necked Footman
(4) Red Necked Footman
(5) Red Necked Footman
(5) Red Necked Footman

 

 

The Red Necked Footman.

One fine summer’s day on the 1st of June 2009, I had just finished cleaning up the shores of Loch Fad of rubbish that had been left by visiting fishermen. (Well I can’t blame the local fishermen as they are usually well behaved?). It being a lovely day, I decided that it was too good a day to miss carrying on doing something else useful, so I wandered around the Kirk Dam looking for anything that flew, crawled, swam or just stood still waiting for me to take it’s photo, but not much was to be seen as it was midday and very hot so all wildlife was under cover, so it was time for me to do the same.


I headed along to the Chapelton woods and to the wee path that takes you up the north face of them where the coniferous trees gave shelter to the smaller bushes and the like and ideal for sleeping bugs etc.
I was in luck right away with butterflies that like the sun were well away from the woods and sunbathing on the paths or flowers, then I found a new thingy to me, and I was not sure if it was a Moth or Butterfly. It was small, but so are lots of Butterflies and Moths. Photo taken, then home to look at nature books. Very quickly I found out that it was a ‘Red Necked Footman’ a Moth, I was delighted. Then I sent it to the”Moth Man” Glyn Collis, and to be told that it was a first for Bute, so I was more delighted.
The story does not end there as on another day on 23rd of June of the same year I found more at Montford as I fed my pals garden birds, and then more on 1st of July in the woods surrounding Mount Stuart, and it went on and on till 2010 on 20th of June I found them in the Tor wood, so what was very rare on Bute had now got a stronghold and no doubt I will find more at other locations this year.
I believe that although I was the first to record this species, it was obvious to me that it has been around for a while going by the numbers that I found. I may have been first t but it may have been seen by many others before, but now with every second person with a built in camera in their mobile phone, images of moths etc. may be taken and shown to the right person, and if you do not know that person, give me a shout , or show me that image and I will put you on the right track
 

There is another Footman moth that is soon expected to arrive (if it not already here) the ‘Buff Footman’. The same size and shape, but a different colour. There are more of these species down south which may find their way up here eventually, but don’t hold your breath.


Norrie Mulholland

 

First Published in the Buteman  20-04-2012


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