As a break from my holiday diary ramblings I thought I’d interject with a post covering the Butterflies, Moths and Dragonflies from our little piece of Mull. The moorland and peat bogs there are alive with insect life of which these winged varieties are just the most obvious. By far the most numerous, and counter intuitively the most difficult to photograph due to their flighty nature, are the Small Heaths. These erupt from your feet wherever you walk and never sit still for more than a few seconds.

24569 - Small Heath, Isle of Mull

The second species is a new one for me; the Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary. We found at least four of these in a boggy area not far from the house, and several more scattered around the island.

24568 - Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, Isle of Mull
24564 - Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, Isle of Mull

Common Blues were also in the same areas in similar numbers, though interestingly we only saw males. The sunlight catching their wings brought out the iridescent blue perfectly. A stunning Butterfly.

24561 - Common Blue, Isle of Mull
24570 - Common Blue, Isle of Mull

Further along the coast at Eas Fors we spotted the following Meadow Brown just before it plunged over the cliff edge and out of sight. I certainly wasn’t going to follow it down there.

24571 - Meadow Brown, Isle of Mull

Now for the Moths. High above Eas Fors we found the following Clouded Buff, another new species for me.

24572 - Clouded Buff, Isle of Mull

At the north of the island our wet walk through the Ardmore forest delivered this very attractive Silver Y. These moths are summer migrants to the UK and arrive in great numbers from the continent. Early arrivals can often give rise to a second generation making their numbers greater in the autumn but it is not believed that either the moths themselves or their caterpillars can survive the British winter.

24576 - Silver Y, Isle of Mull

The final moth I was able to photograph was this Six Spotted Burnet. These were very numerous along the raised beaches from Calgary to Caliach Point and indeed seemed to favour that sort of habitat across the island.

24574 - Six Spotted Burnet, Isle of Mull

The walk out to Quinish Point was particularly productive when it came to Dragonflies with a couple of different species present. The largest and most notable were the Golden-Ringed Dragonfly.

24559 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Isle of Mull

Other species seen around the island but not photographed include Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and numerous macro-moths that I don’t yet have the skills to identify.


Bob Bushell · July 14, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Wowee, you have a tendency to the beautiful side, I love your butterflies, fantastic.

TexWisGirl · July 15, 2011 at 12:10 am

wow! the silver Y and the burnet are fascinating and beautiful! the butterflies are gorgeous too. no cliff diving for you for the sake of a photo?! what a shame! 🙂

and there is just nothing 'common' about that blue…

theconstantwalker · July 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Please carry on Mr Tilt your trip to Mull was fantastic.

MW · July 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

I can only concur with others who love the photos throughout this blog of your Mull trip. Some great shots & these butterflies & moths are no exception.
I will have to watch this space a bit more in future. Thanks for sharing.

Caroline Gill · July 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Yes, we saw the Blues and the Burnet Moths, too. What a wonderful set of posts, Adam. Just off now to read Part 5 …

That Fritillary is awesome!

Adam Tilt · July 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Bob – thanks.

tewsgirl – I know! I felt like I'd let myself down but I just wasn't in a cliff diving mood.

Andrew – I will. Plenty more to come.

Mark – I'm so glad that everyone has been enjoying this series of posts.

Caroline – I think it's the first Fritillary I have ever seen and it was definitely a beauty.

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