Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Silver Y Moth

(1) Silver Y Moth
(1) Silver Y Moth


I was watching “Autumn Watch” on TV a few weeks ago when I noticed a picture of this moth , but no reference was made of it during the programme which I thought was strange, but the following week , they covered it , much to my delight. So a bit of info I am writing to you was sourced from that programme, and I was amazed at what they told us.

Lots of Moths that come to Bute are migrants, traveling many miles to reach our shores, and one that I have seen a few tines is the “Silver Y “. This one flies from the Mediterranean , and can be seen on most Months, but most frequent May-September ,and are active by day and night, giving me a chance to see them. As most moths, ( as you may know,) prefer the darkness, giving me a problem in photographing them.
They are only 13-21mm in size, and to fly from the Mediteranian to here which is no mean feat , as it is one thousand kilometers and they do this in three days, and at the end of the summer , they do the return journey. So it is not only birds that fly great distances, as Butterflies do it too, and now Moths. A few moths and butterflies stay here hoping to find a nice cosy spot to to see them into the following summer, but usually without much success., except the Peacock Butterfliy, as it is to be found often even in early February flying about looking for some warm sunshine. There is usuallly sunshine but not warm enough for it or the moths, so emerging too early may spell disaster for all that do so.
The first time that I saw this Moth was at the high tide mark in front of Mount Stuart, and I was intrigued by it's pattern on the wings. Most times it is very hard to see the full Y as when they land , their wings are usually half shut, as you will see in my photo, but , photo taken, and for a change I was able to identify it myself. . The second one was this year on the track up from Kerrytonlia Cottage, just before you enter the “Black Dub” plantation, of Sitka Spruce. At least I think that's what it was ,but being a joiner to trade, I only recognise wood after it has been cut down , sawn and planed , then I will know what it is. (maybe?) These ones were flitting from stone to plant , to earth, with not staying in the same place to get a decent image , and never once opened they wings fully for me to get the full “Y” no matter what I did.
Still we have to be gratefull for what we get, but sometines it is hard to be satisfied, and want more and more, not only for myself , but to show “you the readers of the Buteman,so I should get a report card , sayinging ,”could have done better”, but the word must have got around that I was around with my camera, and nothing was to be seen, so the report card was right.

Norrie Mulholland .
First published in the Buteman. 29-11-2013



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