With the summer heat finally here and the woodlands full of the flowering trees and plants, it is the perfect time to see butterflies out on the reserve! These brightly coloured insects spend much of the day flitting between flowers feeding on nectar, but also playing a vital role in the pollination of these plants.
Some of the most common and easily recognisable species likely to be seen include the peacock and small tortoiseshell species. There are also four common species of white butterfly found in South Lanarkshire, which belong to the Pieridae family. These are the large and small whites, the green veined white and the orange-tip all of which are fairly common and widespread. Apart from the Orange-tip they are fairly similar at first glance, but a closer inspection will reveal the differences between them. Even so I am having to go out armed with a good field guide to stand a chance in telling them apart!
On the reserve the best places to spot these species are along the edges of woodland as well as the field flower meadow along the blue trail which provides the perfect habitat and a rich food source for these species, so keep your eyes peeled if you walk along that way. Other species prefer the more shaded areas of the deciduous woodland so you still stand a chance of seeing them throughout the other trails.
I will be attempting to carry out a few butterfly transects on the reserve other the next few months if the weather is kind enough to stay pleasant, so will report any interesting finds to the blog.
Bye for now!
Alex Kekewich – Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger