Scotland 2014.

Dave Gilmore, Mike Powell and I took a 3 day trip to Scotland in July 2014. The first day was spent on the isle of Skye primarily to visit Talisker on the far west of the island to look for the two rare Burnet moth species there. A car stop gave us some nice Scotch argus butterflies and on the walk down to Talisker bay, we saw juveniles of Cuckoo, Twite and Wheatear. Luckily we had hot sunny weather for the whole trip and both Butnet moths were seen well. Transparent burnet is only found in West Scotland and the Burren in Western Ireland and the Talisker burnet (zygaena lonicerae. ssp jocelynae) is only found on the undercliffs at Talisker.
                                    Transparent burnet
                                  Talisker burnet
                                  Scotch argus
                                Skye from the ferry.

                               On the way back we spotted a Golden eagle up ahead from the car, so we sped
up and caught it going over the road at close range. We drove down to Kylerhea to camp for the night and saw Otter, Common seal and a few Porpoises feeding in the sound at dusk.
                                  Golden eagle
                              Camping field.

                 I rose at dawn and left Mike and David snoring to go for a stroll. I saw Tree pipit, Redpoll,
Siskin, Grasshopper warbler, Hooded crow and Red breasted merganser and M+D were up cooking breakfast on the stove when i returned. Whilst the bacon was sizzling a superb adult White tailed eagle flew low right over us, a good start to the day. We drove up to Ullapool, stopping at Ben eigg to look for Northern emerald dragonfly but the pools there were dry. A friend of ours, John Martin, was holidaying near Ullapool with his wlfe, who invited us up for dinner before we looked for digs and a place to set the moth lights. In the evening, John joined us for what turned out to be a good night at Corrieshalloch gorge. Beech green carpet, Dotted carpet, Barred carpet, Lempke's gold spot, Ruddy highflyer and Rhopobota ustomaculana were the highlights and a great bonus was a superb Pine Marten as we drove back to the hostel.
                               Hooded crow
                              White tailed sea eagle
                             Ruddy highflyer
                              Dotted caepet
                            Lempke's gold spot.

                           The next morning we drove a few miles north of Ullapool to see a Red backed shrike that had been found the day before and we saw Red throated and Black throated divers on roadside lochs, along with Large heath butterfly and Northern marsh orchids. We then drove south to Aviemore and Loch garten. Two nearly fledged Osprey chicks were seen on their eyrie but Crested tits remained as elusive as ever, but several spikes of Creeping ladies tresses were found. While putting the tents up a Scottish crossbill flew over calling then we drove up Cairngorm mountain to 1900ft for some upland mothing. Hundreds of moths came to the lights, with an estimated 200+ of True lovers knot alone. Along with hordes of geometers, another good night was had and Scarce silver Y,  Grey mountain carpet, Cousin german, Pale eggar, Pretty pinion,  Gold spangle and Double dart were the highlights. A Mountain hare crossed in front of the car headlights on the way down.
                                Red backed shrike
                              The road to Ullapool
                             Sunset over Loch Broom
                           Creeping ladies tresses
                             Osprey eyrie
                           Gold spangle
                            Scarce silver Y.

                            In the morning we stopped at a site for Northern damselfly
                          and a singing Crossbill was a nice way to finish before the long drive home.

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