"Scottish Snippets"

"Colour Supplement"

Each week the Rampant Scotland Newsletter includes a number of photographs which illustrate the weather, flora and fauna of the current week around Scotland. There are so many such graphics worth including that a separate "colour supplement" is created so as not to totally overload the Newsletter. Here is this week's crop!

Small Copper butterflies have been conspicuous by their absence this year. Then, in the last ten days, I have seen them in several locations, including this one, spotted last Sunday in the countryside north of Glasgow. With a wing span of less than an inch, the Small Copper is sometimes hard to spot.

Despite its small size, the Small Copper is an aggressive, territorial insect and will chase off other butterflies, not just rivals of its own species, but also larger butterflies. With its big eyes and a fighting spirit, it's not surprising that the other butterflies retreat!

The nature reserve of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at Vane Farm near Loch Leven is home to thousands of wildfowl but also provides plenty of nesting locations for land-based birds, including swallows. This nest is in a pedestrian underpass which provides access to the reserve and so all the visitors pass within a few feet. This does not seem to deter the parents who swoop past on their way to feed their hungry offspring.

This picture is of the same young swallows as in the illustration above. But this time they are waiting expectantly on the steps leading from the underpass. I tried to get a photo of the parents actually feeding them, but they sped in and out so fast that all I got was a blur of wings!

The Green Veined White is seen more frequently than the Large or Small Whites. The vein markings on the undersides of the wings make it well camouflaged when it rests feeding among vegetation.

The advancing seasons are well illustrated by these ripe Rowan (Mountain Ash) berries.

Increasing numbers of Peacock butterflies this month meant that I was able to get this picture of two of them, side by side, as they fed on the remaining thistles. By now, most of the thistles have seeded and are their seed "parachutes" are flying everywhere in the countryside.

If you want to look back at earlier editions of this Colour Supplement, there is an Index Page

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