Proposed Itinerary Summer Butterflies and Wildlife
The following itinerary gives an idea of what to expect this week. Exact locations will vary according to preferences and weather.
Saturday: Arrival. Orientation. Pine marten viewing (which are present most evenings). Moth trap (set each evening, time permitting).
Sunday: Glen Nevis. Walk up past the Steall Falls keeping an eye out for fritillaries and even late chequered skipper. Ascend from the Steall into sheltered corries on Aonach Beag, searching for mountain ringlet (also dark-green fritillary and heaths). Keep an eye out for golden eagles, deer, dippers and other upland birds.
Monday: (am) Glen Loy. Walk up the upper glen looking specifically for dragonflies including azure hawker and northern emerald in bog pools. Look out for Large Heath and Fritillaries as well as deer and eagles.
(pm) Glen Roy. Explore this fascinating glen and its unique geology, whilst looking for raptors and upland birds, including ring ouzel, red and sika deer and a range of butterflies and dragonflies.
Tuesday: (am) Creag Meagaidh. Walk up the path towards the corrie looking primarily for Mountain Ringlet, but also fritillaries (including Dark-green) Small and Large Heath and day-flying moths. Ringlet and Meadow Brown should also be flying ion the lower meadows, if fine, and we may have a chance of early Scotch Argus. Chance of scarce northern dragonflies, including Azure Hawker, as well as Golden-ringed, as well as upland birds such as peregrine and merlin.
(pm) Carry on to Creag Dubh near Newtonmore to look for Northern Brown Argus and a variety of other butterflies and moths.
Wednesday : (am / pm) Loch Arkaig. Explore a couple of sites for butterflies and dragonflies, including the Butterfly Conservation / FCS reserve at Allt Mhuic. Species we might see include Dark-green and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Small and Large Heath plus moths and northern dragonflies. Other species we might see include both white-tailed and golden eagle, as well as red deer and possible divers. If fine we will visit a further nearby bog for a variety of dragonflies and damselflies, as well as Large Heath.
Thursday: (am/pm) Ardnamurchan peninsula – Ardgour and Morvern. Cross the Corran ferry stopping to look at black guillemot, with further stops on Loch Linnhe for seals, divers and possible otters. Continue to Morvern via the Kingairloch loop, where we also look for otters and wild goats, and then on to Inniemore, where we walk in the woods, scanning the basalt hills for eagles, and looking out for a variety of birds, butterflies, including the Scottish variant of Speckled Wood and various odonata, including Beautiful Demoiselle.
Friday: (am/pm) Boat trip from Arisaig to the Small Isles. We visit Eigg and Muck, with time on shore to explore Muck (possible rare burnet moths, seal and tern colonies, corncrake, twite). Look for seabirds, including thousands of Manx Shearwaters, gannets, grest skua and auks. Chance of minke whale dolphins, porpoise and even basking shark
Saturday: Depart after breakfast.
Other options – Glencoe, Ben Lawers
Timing of visits and destinations may change depending on the weather.