Sunday, 3 April 2016

Enjoying the Scottish night life

An Easter break in Scotland with the family sees us in a cottage on the shores of Loch Creran, a marine Special Area of Conservation for which my friend and colleague Dr Ken Buchan wrote the management plan when he lived in these parts. And a fine job of it he did too, it looks in pretty good shape, albeit I can't quite see below the inky surface to see what's going on with the Serpalid reefs and other features for which the area is designated.

When I first met him, I remember asking Ken about the differences he noticed in moving from Oban to Dorset. ''I find people a bit more positive down here'' he said. ''If we had a nice, sunny day up there, folk would say 'Oh no, we'll pay for this next week!' '' I haven't had the opportunity to verify this yet in conversation with the locals as it's been reassuringly dreich since we arrived.

Not that we're complaining, it's been a good excuse to stay indoors and gaze at the Loch from the window, and, in any case, it's a bit early for the migrant birds to arrive, and much too early to see the Chequered Skipper, whose stronghold is just around the corner from where we're staying, on the wing (we made a pilgrimage in May a few years ago to see them). So we've been happy to let the moth trap do the hard work, wildlife wise. Nothing spectacular so far, but some nice specimens all the same.
Oak Beauty, a slightly worn individual
Hebrew Character - a couple of these in and around the light
Early Grey - the commonest species so far
Engrailed - a couple pitched up on the wall overnight
Yellow Horned - a lover of the birch which surrounds our temporary home 
And finally one from the archive when the sun was shining: Chequered Skipper at Glasdrum Wood, seen on my last visit to these parts in May 2008

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