Last weekend I paid a visit to one of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s other reserves in Clydesdale: Cander Moss near Larkhall, to carry out some surveying and habitat restoration with Butterfly Conservation’s bog squad. This area of raised bog is a fantastic habitat of sphagnum moss and heather that supports a wide range of wildlife. On Saturday evening I manged to put out a moth trap, though I was uncertain of how successful this would be due to the heavy rain forecast for that night. However, I was pleased to see that on Sunday morning there was a myriad of different moth species that had been caught including my first ever tiger garden moth!
The reserve is also home to other species including beetles, butterflies, amphibians and many more. While surveying for large heath butterflies we were able to cover a larger area of the bog and found plenty of invertebrates, frogs, a toad and even some Round-leaved Sun Dew: a carnivorous plant species! Unfortunately we did not spot any of the large heath butterflies but while clearing birch saplings we did discover this amazing emperor moth caterpillar! A fantastic find to end a fantastic day!
If you would like to find out more about the bog squad and the work Butterfly Conservation do please check out their website: http://butterfly-conservation.org/ or read the bog squad blog for news from previous work days, and photos from Sunday here: http://bogsquad.weebly.com/
Bye for now!
Alex Kekewich – Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger