(1) Grayling Butterfly
The Grayling Butterfly.
This is the Butterfly that I mentioned when I was looking for the Six-spot Burnet Moth, and it is the first time that I have seen this on Bute, in fact I have never seen it anywhere before. It is not a first for Bute, only for me.
“This one is a fast –flying coastal species that always rest with its wings closed.
Very well camouflaged when at rest and most often flushed from stony and sandy ground on dunes, beaches and under cliffs
Adults are on the wing during July to the beginning of September.”
This is text taken from a book that I have, and it certainly describes it to a T.
I found my first one between the Straad and Ard Scalpsie and proceeded to try and get a photo of it, which I soon found out that it was not going to be an easy one to get.
I followed one until it landed a fair bit away from me, and then I moved slowly till I thought that I was beside it. But, it had disappeared, so I went to look for another one, but as I moved, it took off from around my feet. It had been there all the time, but invisible to my eyes. It has a pattern on its wings that resembles the rocks that it rests on. So with that info gained I had to changes my plan of action.
Now, my articles about butterflies etc would be very short if all of them remained stationary until I got a photo of them, so with them flying off it gives me lots more to write about trying to catch up with them .
I have always said to walkers , ‘Stop and look. don’t walk and look’ . You may be in group or with your family and as one of them says’ look at that bird’, you look in that direction while you are still walking, and at times you will find yourself flat out on the ground, hopefully without injury, but maybe not.
I myself got caught up in the same scenario while following a butterfly that had flown off and gained a bit of height. As I kept my eye on it I could not see where I was putting my feet, and this resulted in me flat out on the ground , fortunately with only my pride being hurt. I have to force myself to keep my eyes down and say, there will be another time, but will I obey common sense?, more than likely not.
Back to reality.
I carried on, following many of these species trying to get one that had settled down with poor and distant images , but eventually I got a few good ones, and the best is this one that you see now ,and it was kind enough to settle down higher up for a change with a darker background giving me a good shot.
I then carried on to Ard Scalpsie getting more, not too bad images and a grand total of 111 from the shores below Little Kilmory Farm until Ard Scalpsie. All-in-all a very good day with no skint knees or twisted ankles.
First Published in the Buteman. 02-12-2011