Comma caterpillars feed on elm, nettles and hops. The adults hibernate and emerge in early spring, producing a second generation from July to early October.
There are between 1,200 and 1,300 species of moth in Scotland, compared with only 33 types of butterfly, that are conveniently split into two groups – the macro moths and the micro moths.
The painted lady is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world, inhabiting every continent except Australia and Antarctica. It is the only butterfly ever recorded in Iceland.
The American mink was widely kept in fur farms in the mid-20th century. Some escaped and it was first reported breeding in the wild in Britain in 1956.
The cliffs at Fowlsheugh are packed with more than 130,000 breeding seabirds during the spring and summer months. It is the largest mainland seabird colony on the east coast of Scotland.
The jay is a member of the crow family and is locally common in parts of Courier country. They love to feast upon acorns in the autumn and will bury them for retrieval later.
It was the second time in as many weeks that I had spotted a brown hare in this Kinross-shire field, and this one was moving with real purpose. The reason soon became apparent because suddenly another hare, hidden in the grass, reared-up before it and there was a temporary stand-off.
Red-breasted mergansers belong to a group of ducks known as the ‘sawbills’, so called because of the serrated edges to their bills, designed for gripping slippery fish.
A summer visitor, the dotterel is a specialist of the arctic-alpine zone of high mountain plateaux above 2,800ft, its strongholds lying in the Cairngorms and adjacent mountains.
Ravens are intelligent and enshrined in our folklore from the earliest of times and until recently relatively scarce birds in Scotland. The population is now recovering in many parts of the country.