We spent a week in the Newtonmore area in search of the elusive mountain ringlet
butterfly. It’s not an easy butterfly to find as it mainly lives above 400metres.
Thanks to a very informative talk and field trip organised by Butterfly Conservation
(Dr Tom Prescott and Andrew Masterman), we learnt about the life cycle and habits
of this tough little butterfly and how to identify suitable habitat and foodplants.
With a few pointers on mountainous locations to scout, we set about several hikes
but were not too hopeful as the weather was windy and cool. However, on a couple
of days we found a few mountain ringlets and also another new butterfly for us -
the large heath
As a rest from mountain climbing we took a few woodland walks in search of the beautiful
After a week of walking, we were ready for some more intensive photography. The final
few days of our Scottish trip were spent in the company of a small group of masochistic
photographers who rose every morning at 2.45am only to be driven to a small wooden
hide in which we sat for many hours. Were we mad ? Well, possibly, but it was good
We joined one of Northshot’s “Fish Eaters of the North” trip. Ospreys were the main
course, with a side-dish of dolphins. Our thanks to Pete Cairns for dragging us out
of bed at such an unruly hour and providing great photo opportunities, not to mention
superb hospitality. Also thanks to the rest of the small group who were great company
- hope you’ve caught up on all the lost sleep by now !