Islay - Blog


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Islay - Blog

  • Moths!

    The fine weather of last week gave us a bumper night with our moth trap on Friday at the Oa - nearly 300 moths of over 40 different species. Although this pales in comparison with some of the catches routinely made in other parts of the country at this time of year, this was a big total by our standards.

    Above, Dark arches and two True Lovers Knots. Below, a White-line dart...

    ...and a Narrow-winged pug

    Dave's been taking a break from his media commitments and used the time to get out and find this Manchester treble-bar last week, a good record for the island.

  • Grayling, Isle of Islay

    A grayling butterfly on scabious at the Oa reserve yesterday. The grayling is one of 4 butterflies on the UK BAP priority list that the reserve supports, the others being small and large heath and the marsh fritillary.

  • The Wee Bee Hunt

    It has been an amazing week of weather, over 25 degrees. In such glorious sunshine most of the birds take cover in the shade. The insects, however, really come to life.

    So, on Monday we took advantage of the good weather and went in search of Northern Colletes mining bee (Colletes Floralis) in the sand dunes to the north of Loch Gruinart Reserve.  It is a rare species in the UK, only found in a handful of places - mostly in the Hebrides.

    Mandy was quick enough to get a couple of photos - here is the bee itself, its legs covered in pollen.  Only a 'wee bee', it ranges from 8mm-12mm.  They 'nest' in burrows in the sand.

    You can see it emerging in the centre of this photo.

    Fortunately for us, the survey for this bee can only be undertaken on a hot, sunny day with little or no wind.

    I can think of worse places to stop for lunch!