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Members of Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Argyll & Lochaber Group headed to Taynuilt for their first outing for some time and were rewarded with a rare sighting.
A small group of walkers met at Kelly’s Pier on Loch Etive and were led by David Croucher on a wander beside the River Awe, crossing to a pond on the other side of the suspension bridge where a rare Chequered Skipper butterfly was spotted resting on a bluebell, reports Maurice Wilkins.
Among the many birds seen were merganser, goosander, swift, house martin, swallow, siskin, sand martin, buzzard and a solitary dipper perched on a rock out in the current. Others such as blackcaps were heard but not seen, said Maurice.
‘It’s been a good year for bluebells and swathes of them filled the fields along with the frothy heads of pignut. Among the many other plants seen were yellow pimpernel, globeflower and common spotted orchids, including a pure white specimen. Many hawthorn trees were still in flower and among the normal white forms were many in shades of pink; this led to a discussion as to whether this was due to genetic diversity or a response to the unusually dry weather,’ he added.
If all goes well the Scottish Wildlife Trust hopes to restart its normal series of winter talks in October.