Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog


At the foot of Arthur's Seat I embarked on a Grayling quest.

I'd never seen a Grayling. They don't live round where I live. But they do live in Holyrood Park, which was a stone's throw from where my work meeting was today. Indeed I chose a seat which had a view through the window of Salisbury Crags, and all through the day I watched a crocodile of people ascending the slopes.

I knew that by the time I got up there it would be 5pm, and there had only been a few glimmers of sunshine all day. But it's a day after the longest day, and I figured the butterflies might be staying up late. Hopeful more than optimisitic.

The meeting ended, and in ten minutes I was on Radical Road climbing steeply along the foot of the crags, with two and half hours before my train home.

I had half an eye open for Northern Brown Argus as well, so peered at every patch of Rock-rose as I walked, but we have those relatively locally, above Grassington, so not quite the cachet for me today.

Nearing Hutton's Section, the ground opened out a little, and there was a sheltered rocky hollow below the main cliff face. The sun popped out for a bit, and it felt warm enough, so I walked slowly through the hollow hoping for some flying movement.  The first flying object was a surprise in itself, a Humming-bird Hawk-moth and then another. Although they're common enough migrants to the UK, I'd only ever seen them in the Med.

And then a grey-brown butterfly zipped in front of me, and after following it by eye for a while it settled a couple of metres up a rock. I approached as carefully as I could, and there in its characteristic perfect camouflage, was my first Grayling.

And here it is for you.


Butterfly Journal 2017

24. 22/06/17 Grayling, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. VC83.

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