|The pearly underwing of the Chequered Skipper resting on a Bluebell|
|Argent & Sable, a nationally scarce moth, was a bonus at Allt Mhuic|
The original plan was to head for a well known site at Glasdrum Wood, near where I spent a week at Easter. But on disembarking the ferry at Uig and setting the satnav we realised we had forgotten how big Scotland was! We were concerned that it might have been too late by the time we arrived there so we quickly hatched a Plan B to head for the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Allt Mhuic, an hour further north and therefore closer to us, and only a short detour off our main route south. I had not been to the reserve before, and my travelling companions had never seen Chequered Skipper, so all agreed it was well worth the diversion.
We bounced along the minor road which skirts the northern shore of Loch Arkaig admiring the attractive landscape and eventually found the reserve entrance. After a brisk walk anti-clockwise around the circular route with no sightings, I came across the first Chequered Skipper on the path on the downward slope heading back towards the car park. Once we had seen one, others started to appear and we admired their feisty, territorial behaviour.plans were announced last year to reintroduce it to suitably managed habitat in the East Midlands. Good news indeed which will hopefully lead to it becoming established in its former English haunts - though for dramatic backdrops, the Scottish colonies will remain difficult to beat. A spectacular setting, a lovely reserve and a fitting end to an excellent trip before the long journey south - a big thanks to my co-pilots Dave Bradnum and Paul Welling for their company.