Bird's Eye View of Bute

Speckled Wood Butterfly

(1) Speckled Wood Butterfly
(1) Speckled Wood Butterfly
(2)
(2)
(3)
(3)
(4)
(4)
(5)
(5)
(6) Top View 2011
(6) Top View 2011
(7) Underwing View 2011
(7) Underwing View 2011
(8) 21-07-2013
(8) 21-07-2013
(9) 21-07-2013
(9) 21-07-2013

 


 

“A FIRST FOR BUTE”

Well, 2009 was a learning year for me , as I really entered the life of Insects in a big way. ( by my standards) It was a year of finding one creepie-crawly after another, and pardon the pun, but “I was bitten by the bug”.

As 2010 moves on, I hopefully will unfold to you all that I have seen and done, but I will start with the one thing that will forever be in my mind, and that was finding a Butterfly that had never been seen on Bute before, so now the story unfolfds

Walking from Ettrick Bay one day on a lovely quiet September morning heading for Kilmichael area at North Bute looking for another species of insects, when appeared from nowhere came a butterfly and was being pursued by another of the same species. It was the first time that I had seen this one, yet I recognised it instantly as a “Speckled Wood”. Not the most colourful of Butterflies, but as It was my first time seeing it I was delighted. The name tells you a lot , speckled it is , and it lives in the woods. And in good days the males will venture to the edge of these woods and alight on open areas, like paths to bask in the sun as these one's did, as the sun's rays do not penetrate far into the woods. This fight I thought was a fight for retention of the area that was in question, but then again it might have been of a sexual nature, but as both sexes look the same, I was in a quandary as to which was which, and what they were doing, but it seems that the females stay in the woods, so my first thought was correct.
Well the winner left poste-haste when “It” saw me, leaving the poor defeated one trembling on a blade of grass. Well it was bedraggled, so it was not the best image to portray to you, so I took a good one of the victor, and that is the one that you see now. The defeated one ? was in no fit state, so I lifted it and put it somewhere safe so that no birds may enjoy it for a morning snack, and carried on with my original task.

Well back home I sat down with my butterfly book and checked this one out, and saw that it had never been seen on Bute before, but I thought that it may have been seen since the book was printed, so I sent an image of it to Glyn Collis, (Bute's Moth Man) who then sent it to Richard Sutcliffe (the Butterfly Man) and it came back at high speed with the news that it was indeed a first for Bute.
I was delighted with this news, as they were, but that was not the end of the celebration's as, in a few days later while walking with Elaine, (the daughter of friends of mine), on the Drumreoch Circuit in reverse. Start point Kingarth War Memorial then head towards Rothesay, when in a short time along this walk, you can join on to the West Island Way by way of Lord Jame's Ride, then along the Drumreoch Circuit then, onto a path that takes you down to Stravanan Glen, when at the point where there is a wood on your right, appeared another Speckled Wood. It came from behind us flying at shoulder height giving us a good view of it for only a few seconds, then it was gone, but that few seconds was all that was needed to book a second site on Bute for this species.
Richard said that it had also been seen at Culzean in Ayrshire, so it was moving South/East .
Well if you get a ruler and start at Glecknabae, then Stravanan Glen, at the other end, you will be at Culzean? I am not saying that a pregnant Speckled Wood flew in a straight line from the west coast, where they are in Abundance laying eggs at Glecknabae, Stravanan, and Culzean, as they always seem to fly in a hap-hazard way, but it is interesting.

 

Identification, well , dark brown yellow/white patches on their wings.

Well before I saw my first one there were 21 recorded Butterflies for Bute. Now it is 22, and I hope that I may find more as the years go by. It certainly was a first for me so roll on 2010, and see what I find.

All my finds are sent to Buteshire Natural History Society, via Glyn

Norrie Mulholland

 

First Published in the Buteman19-02-2010

 

 

 


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