Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Spirit of the oakwood …

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)

A visit to the Ardnamurchan peninsula at any time of year is always a great pleasure but in early June it becomes a very special place. Ariundle National Nature Reserve near Strontian is one of the many jewels in the stunning Scottish landscape and it is here, observing gems such as the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene, that one can truly feel at peace with nature. Time your visit well and patrolling males can be seen flying a short distance from the ground, alternating a burst of rapid wing beats with a short glide, searching out freshly-emerged females hidden amongst the vegetation surrounding the beautiful Strontian River.

The strongholds of B. selene are located throughout much of Scotland and Wales, and in the north-western and south-western counties of England with scattered colonies elsewhere. It is absent from the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The adult insect first emerges in south-west England, where it may be seen from the beginning of May. It emerges in the second half of May in other parts of England and generally does not make an appearance in Scotland until early June. The early emergence of the species in south-west England often gives rise to a partial second brood, which appears there in August.

I can’t wait to get back and have several more trips planned this year …


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