Glasgow & SW Scotland Butterflies

Glasgow & SW Scotland Branch Website

June 9, 2009

Report on Green hairstreak walk at Loch Thom, 5th May 2009

Filed under: Butterflies, Events — Tags: , , , , — Scott Shanks @ 10:20 pm

It was a bright morning with patchy cloud and a fair bit of wind when I left Glasgow for the Cornalees Bridge visitors centre at Loch Thom. The temperature reading on my car dash board showed a rather cool 10 oC, but plummeted down to 5 oC on route to Greenock. Then, horror of horrors, hail stones started bouncing off the windscreen! It wasn’t looking good for the butterfly walk.

Four hardy individuals keen to see Green Hairstreaks were waiting in the car park. At this point the temperature was back up to 6 oC, but the wind was still quite strong and the sky overcast.  We had a chat about butterflies and moths as everyone got their walking boots on and considered going for a coffee in the visitor centre to see if it would brighten up. Then suddenly the sky cleared and the wind dropped completely! Hurrah!

We quickly set off looking for good patches of Blaeberry. We didn’t have to go far!  Just a 50 metres from the car park and a pair of green hairstreaks darted up into the air next to the path! Less than 100m from the car park and we’d seen 18 of these amazing little gems.

Green Hairstreak Loch Thom 




Green Hairstreak in sunshine at Loch Thom

Green Hairstreak in sunshine at Loch Thom


Green hairstreak colony at Cornalees Bridge

Green hairstreak colony at Cornalees Bridge


Everyone managed to get close up views and photographs and quickly learned to spot them resting on tussocks of grass and recognise their distinctive flight. We also saw a few green-veined whites and found lots of drinker moth caterpillars.

While the sun remained we set out for a walk along the nature trail towards Shielhill farm and managed to see more green-veined whites and had a good view of a female orange tip resting on cuckoo flower, before heading back for a well deserved coffee and muffin.

Female orange tip on Cuckooflower

Female orange tip on Cuckooflower


All in all it was a great day and a couple of people on the walk have been in touch to say they’ve found green hairstreaks in other places! Fantastic!

Scott Shanks

Committee member

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