In search of the Large Heath butterfly

On July 3rd, we met up with CEI volunteers and RSPB staff to survey RSPB Airds Moss for the Large Heath butterfly. The Large Heath is a bog specialist and priority species for the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and has been recorded at the site for the past few years. Successful monitoring relies on good weather conditions (above 14ºC and no more than light breeze), which can prove tricky during July in Scotland, but we decided to give it a go! Armed with sweep nets, collecting tubs and local moth and butterfly recorder Tom Vorsterman, we set out onto the bog hoping to spot some active butterflies.

CEI volunteers net a Red Admiral during the hunt for the Large Heath

The weather proved to be just a bit too breezy and only one Large Heath was recorded at the site. On the plus side, several other records were made including two adders (one male and one female) and several species of moths (Small Argent and Sable, Latticed Heath, Common Carpet and Silver-ground Carpet). Big thanks to the CEI volunteer team, much appreciated!

Photo credit: Tom Vorsterman

To find out about getting involved with the CEI please contact Gemma Jennings, CEI Project Officer, at or call 01563 576771.