Thursday 7 July 2016

Moths and orchids at Killinallan

Well compared to yesterday's weather, Sunday's wasn't bad at all! Our group of 15 hardy explorers headed out to Killinallan dunes to see what wildflowers we could find, and ended up seeing lots more besides! As we walked up through the marram grass we spotted a beautiful Small Elephant Hawkmoth on the adundant yellow Ladies' Bedstraw, and a lovely furry-looking Drinker moth:

Small Elephant Hawkmoth
Drinker moth

Also spotted were a Common Blue butterfly, plus numerous 6-Spot Burnet moths (including the cocoons from which they'd emerged).

6-Spot Burnet moth cocoon
6-spot burnet moths

Common Blue butterfly

On to the flowers then, and two species stood out as coming into flower early - Devil's Bit Scabious (the food plant of the Marsh Fritillary butterfly) and Autumn Gentian which is, as the name suggests, an autumn flower - perhaps our warm summery May followed by a cooler June has brought some plants on early.

Autumn Gentian

And finally, the orchids. Lots of Pyramidal orchids were seen, plus a variety of others - see list below for all that we saw. 
Pyramidal orchid

Fragrant orchid

Frog orchid


Orchids: Pyramidal, Northern Marsh, Common Spotted, Heath Spotted, Fragrant, Frog, Twayblade,  
Other Flora: Marsh cinqfoil, ladies bedstraw, marsh bedstraw, fairy flax, eyebright, grass of Parnassus, meadowsweet, mouse-ear hawkweed, autumn gentian, milkwort, marsh lousewort, sea milkwort, sea plantain, sea arrowgrass, lesser meadow-rue, ragged robin, ragwort, devil's bit scabious. bird's foot trefoil, tufted vetch, valerian, burnet rose, knapweed, wild thyme, black bog rush, red clover, white clover, self heal, common cat's ear, germander speedwell, marsh thistle, spear thistle, tormentil, harebell.
Butterflies: Small Heath, Dark Green Fritillary, Common Blue
MothsSmall Elephant Hawkmoth, Drinker, 6-spot Burnet
Birds: Oystercatcher, Twite
Other: frog, Garden Chafer beetle

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