We are quite used to seeing Scotch Argus, Spotted Wood and more fluttering about the Reserve, but this year has seen a major conservation success, with the first ever recorded Chequered Skipper on site!
This small, fast-flying butterfly is now restricted to damp grassy habitats in western Scotland. Males are seen more frequently than females, perching in sheltered positions either next to wood edges or amongst light scrub or bracken. They dart out to investigate passing objects, defending their territory against other males and other butterfly species, or in the hope of locating a potential mate. Females are less conspicuous and fly low among grasses when egg-laying.
The Chequered Skipper died out from England in 1976 and re-establishment trials have taken place since 1990. In Scotland, there are thought to be about ten core areas and there have been no obvious recent changes in range.