Glagow sightings- April 2011

Post your reports and photographs of butterflies seen in South West Scotland

Glagow sightings- April 2011

Postby scottshanks01 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:48 pm

Hi all,
On Monday the 18th, having spent the morning stuck inside preparing a talk for the next day while the sun shone, I finally cracked, grabbed my camera and set off for a walk along the Clyde from the SECC in the west end of Glasgow, through the concrete desert of Glasgow City centre, eastwards to Dalmarnock.
The sky was beginning to cloud over a bit, and so I hurried as much as I could towards Glasgow Green where the north bank of the Clyde becomes more wild and there was a higher chance of seeing some butterflies.
Just before I reached the park, near Albert Bridge, I spotted a male Orange-tip swirl up towards some willow flowers, then dive back down to patrol the bank for potential mates or rivals. There was lots of cuckooflower about, but evidently too early for females. There were also quite a lot of neds about, so I decided it was also a bit too early to get my camera out!

Walking through Glasgow Green, I tried to keep tight to the river bank to spot any further butterflies. It wasn't long before I spotted another male OT
Male OT wee.jpg
Male OT wee.jpg (21.74 KiB) Viewed 4002 times
, followed by a small ragged vanessid zipping along the bank and dodging around some geese that were out basking in the sunshine. I spotted it land for a few seconds just beyond the geese, long enough to register the outline of a comma(or a very ragged small tortoiseshell) before it madly darted off again. I'm 80% sure it was a Comma having seen my first Scottish Commas just last year.

Walking along the river bank I passed cuckoo flower and garlic mustard were more and more abundant, with small groups of male Orange-tips taking turns chasing each other.
Male OT on cuckoo flower wee.jpg
Male OT on cuckoo flower wee.jpg (10.44 KiB) Viewed 4002 times
Male Orange-tip on Garlic Mustard wee.jpg
Male Orange-tip on Garlic Mustard wee.jpg (18.79 KiB) Viewed 4002 times
Just before Dalmarnock Bridge I spotted a greenveined white land on some cuckooflower and then noticed 2 others hanging from flowers, both with half their hindwings missing!
Green-Veined White with torn wings.jpg
Green-Veined White with torn wings.jpg (17.16 KiB) Viewed 4002 times
I suspect the great tit that was scolding me at the time might have had something to do with it!

A hyperactive small white seemed more interested in willow flowers next to the bridge than the abundnt crucifers along the bank. I turned back at Dalmarnock bridge as the Clyde walkway was closed (probably something to do with the frantic building work that's going on around there for the 2014 Common Wealth Games). In total I counted 26 male Orange-tips up to Dalmarnock, 1 Small white, 3 Green-Veined Whites and a Comma. Looking forward to what should be a sunny Easter weekend for more butterfly hunting!:D

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Re: Glagow sightings- April 2011

Postby ScottD » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:42 pm

my first ever visit to Trinley Brae in Knightswood today saw 12 male & 2 female Orange Tips.
This is what I would describe as a local green space rather than a full blown park but it was noticeable that all the butterflies were around the edges (unmown grass, brambles, hedges etc.) rather than in the main grass areas.

Interesting to compare it to 2 local parks that I also visited:
Knightswood Park [roughly the same size as Trinley Brae] saw 1 indeterminate (small, gvw, ot?) white
Victoria Park [probably 2x the area of Trinley Brae] saw 2 indeterminate whites
- in both parks the butterflies appeared to be merely transiting through (flying quickly 8-10 feet up) over featureless mowed grass ...
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Re: Glagow sightings- April 2011

Postby andrewmasterman » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:10 pm

Although not in Glasgow, I visited the Bonhill area today for a National Bird Atlas tetrad survey and recorded Orange Tip, Small Tortoisehell (lots), a couple of Peacock and Green-veined White and three Green Hairstreak.
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Re: Glagow sightings- April 2011

Postby scottshanks01 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:52 pm

Great to see female orange-tips out now! :) There were quite a few out in various parks I visited today in Glasgow, but vastly out-numbered by the numbers of OT males!
Great to hear that Green Hairstreak are out around Bonhill. I was planning a visit to Carmen muir in Dumbartonshire today to look for some, but in the end decided to have a wander round various parks in Glasgow to see what was out.

Went past Yorkhill Park in the west-end of Glasgow, the lovely wild part of the park has been 50% cleared for development, however still managed to see 4 Small Tortioseshells, 1 female OT, 1 Small White.
Female Orange-tip on Garlic Mustard.jpg
Female OT on Garlic Mustard, Yorkhill Park
Female Orange-tip on Garlic Mustard.jpg (24.17 KiB) Viewed 3988 times
Small Tortoiseshell on dandelion wee.jpg
Small Tortoiseshell. Yorkhill Park
Small Tortoiseshell on dandelion wee.jpg (28.9 KiB) Viewed 3988 times

Then along the Clyde expressway= 1 Large White, 1 male OT, 1 GVW and a Dark Arches caterpillar being dragged across the path by ants! (Rescued)
Rough ground opposite BBC building by the Clyde= 12 male OT, 1 female OT, 3 Small Torts, 1 GVW (probably many more as only looked at edge of site)
Festival Park= 2 male OT, 1 female OT, 3 GVW, 1 Small White
Male OT on fluffy daisy.jpg
Male OT on fluffy Daisy. Probably not getting much nectar!
Male OT on fluffy daisy.jpg (26.05 KiB) Viewed 3988 times

Kelvingrove Park= 2 male OT, 1 female OT, 1 Small Tort
Banks of Kelvin= 1 GVW, 1 OT

Then Popped up to Garscube Colliery SINC, up at Summerston in the north of Glasgow. This site was designated a Site of Natue Conservation due to its population of Common Blues. I hope to pop back to survey the site later in the summer!
Garscube Colliery= 1 Small White, 1 GVW, 3 Peacocks, 3 male OT. Not many crucifers for breeding OT and whites.
Western Necropolis= 2 OT males at gate + 1 male darting about between head stones
Small marsh just north of cemetery= 5 male OT, 2 GVW
Parkholm farm (field) =28 Oange Tips, 4 Peacocks, 2 GVWs, 17 Small Tortoiseshells!:) Most of the butterflies were at the east part of the field sheltering from the wind. Loads of orange-tips roosting 2-3 per flower head in one wee patch of cuckooflower! Good numbers of Small Torts and male OTs flitting about the west-side of a wee hill that provided shelter and lots of young nettles (NS581705).

Right I'd better go work out the grid refs for all those! :)
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