09
Jul
13

A walk on the wild side

I must admit the walk we had planned to do didn’t look as good now we were on site as it did on the OS map the night before. Maybe it was the wine that had effected judgement. Immediately on exiting the car however the footpath into the forest started to shed its secrets.

Ardnamurchan is a truly beautiful part of Scotland and anywhere looks much the better for being bathed in bright warm sunshine. We had been lucky with the weather on our trip to Scotland last month. Despite the bright day however a Tawny Owl saw fit to stir the afternoon stillness with a hoot or two. This brought into action a Redstart chattering in the undergrowth with the supporting cast of a Wood Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher … things were looking up. Maybe the dark dank forest wasn’t as bad as it first appeared.

A little further on and trackside ditches started to fill with Large Red Damselflies and then Four Spot Chasers. Not one or two but hundreds. Half a Dozen Golden Ringed Dragonflies were noted; perching out in the open too (for once). We started seeing Emerald Dragonflies with chestnut coloured eyes; Northern Emeralds, newly emerged … we counted fifty or more. These are Dragonflies of the treetops that were festooned around us on the heather. Conditions were just perfect. There had been a hatch.
Tree Pipits came to feed on the glut … and then so did a bat. I’ve tried to photograph bats before. Not easy. I wanted a record shot to see if we could identify it. Debate still rages but Whiskered looks likely.
We found Chequered Skippers mating – a new site – and Potter Wasps building their nests from Mud amid Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries visiting the Rhododendrons. Even a Red necked Footman put in an appearance, a little out of range I would have thought; given the still heat it’s a shame he wasn’t accompanying a G&T with ice. Could we ask for more? … probably not … but just what was that large pale blue dragonfly disappearing over the treetops?

Chequered Skipper

Bat sp

Golden Ringed

Northern Emerald

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