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