Summer 201919th October 2019
I was thrilled to find a Golden-ringed Dragonfly exuviae back in Spring on a short break we had from the Croft to Perthshire with friends who were looking for Scottish Butterflies. Our friend Zoe showed us how to differentiate the Golden-ringed from other species by examining the jagged mouthparts. This specimen has now joined an array of such items on our bookshelf. The weather was perfect for our trip, we were incredibly lucky to have ideal warm and bright weather to find Butterflies. Our evenings were spent on the the banks of the River Tay quietly enjoying watching the Beavers do their thing. We spent a magical evening watching several Beavers, who were joined by an Otter at one point, and to top off our epic evening of mammal sightings a Fox made a brief appearance on the bank alongside us. Beaver shavings were another treasure we took home to Skye from this trip for our collection.
The ducks continue to be excellent habitat improvers, enriching the ground for us and still laying well despite their age. We recently lost one of our brown ducks, who hadn't been well for a wee while, and we planted a Rowan sapling to remember her. Our first loss in two years of having poultry and it was a sad day for us all.
Foodwise we've enjoyed bumper crops of potatoes, raspberries, and apples this summer. One of our winter projects is to prepare the ground for a polytunnel which will be ready to use next season.
We've been living here for four years now, which is hard to believe. The time has flown by so quickly. For me, it's beginning to really feel like home and we're starting to see some progress and the results of our efforts. We've so many plans and ideas for the croft it's exciting but sometimes it can be daunting and frustrating and difficult to know where to even begin.
We enjoyed plenty of Green-Brindled Crescent, Red-line Quaker and Black Rustic, with stars of the show being an Angle Shades and a scarce for us Chestnut.
The sun was out and it was a stunning morning to be outdoors.
The kids also found Ruby Tiger and Drinker moth caterpillars.
Summer mothing yielded a first record for Skye of Great Brocade, and the interesting observation of a Silver Y moth with what seemed to be orchid pollinia attached.
The moth in the image featured above is a Garden Tiger and the one to the right is an Angle Shades.
Phil discovered a new Orchid on the Croft this year, Lesser Butterfly Orchid, which brings our total count to 5.