Caroline Anderson regularly visits Taynish National Nature Reserve with her camera. The recent addition of a pollinator trail on the reserve has added a little more interest, and in this, the second of her regular updates, she takes a stroll and reports back on what caught her eye.
Up early and off to Taynish to walk the Pollinator Trail. Another stunningly beautiful day – does it ever rain at Taynish? 😊 The early morning air was a bit nippy, so I was hopeful of catching the insects before they warmed up their wings and were too flighty. As if on cue, at the first new bench along the track, there was a Large Red Damselfly basking in the sun.
It’s always a good sign when you see insects so close to the beginning of the trail, it means they will be plentiful at the lochan and in the woods. Along the boardwalk, and with a little bit of bog jumping, I noticed the Blue-tailed Damselflies are back now too. They are quite entertaining wee things – avoiding the camera wherever possible. Bit of a hiding fail for this one though!
Also hidden in amongst the heather by the boardwalk was what looked like a wasp’s nest. Funnily enough I didn’t investigate that one too closely.
As I continued along the path I spotted a Drinker Moth caterpillar hiding in one of the tussocks. They are believed to drink dew hence the name Drinker. The moths are very beautiful and can range from buff colour to reddish-brown – one to look out for in July and August.
Next stop the picnic tables, usually a good area for butterflies and damselflies and perhaps the source of the wasp’s nest up at the boardwalk. This one was happily stripping the fibre from Gordon’s shed!
In the wood alongside the burn, the butterflies were stirring, Orange Tips and Speckled Wood flying amongst the trees and bracken and warming their wings in the early sun.
Down on the shore this little bee was enjoying the Red Campion. There is certainly no shortage of floral opportunity around just now – which is great news for so many insects.
On the way back to the car park, I took a wee detour up through the wood beside the sluice to the Mining Bee site, just to check if there was any activity at the upturned tree root. No Mining Bees to be seen just yet, but to my surprise and delight, I saw the first Four-spotted Chasers of the year and an abundance of Large Red Damselflies.
Insects are absolutely fascinating, from the tiniest fly to the largest dragonfly. Water Boatmen can walk on water, Monarch butterflies can fly thousands of miles, dragonflies have been on earth for millions of years, and bee’s wings beat at 190 times a second! Incredible!
Find out more about Taynish National Nature Reserve