Rachel who is the Ranger at the Mull Eagle Watch hide near Dervaig came over on Friday evening and set three traps. Sadly only one of them worked overnight and actually didn’t attract very many. The idea was to spend an hour identifying the moths before setting off for the walk. In the shelter of the barn (it was gently but persistently raining), cups of tea in hand, we learned about moths from Rachel and she showed us the four that had come to the trap set in the farmhouse garden. It was great to see a Poplar hawkmoth up close and the pretty White Ermine.
Quite a large group of 35 set off, all kitted out in full waterproofs against the weather. We walked along the track down to the Haunn field, the Coronation Meadow, looking at the flowers along the way. The first stretch of the walk is through the Amongst others, we saw Wood sage, Fragrant orchid, Northern marsh orchid, Lady’s Bedstraw, Thyme, Milkwort, Heath bedstraw, Wood bitter vetch, Heath pea vetch, Meadow vetchling, Yellow rattle, Knapweed (not in flower), Red bartsia, Eyebright, Red clover, White clover, Buttercup, Field daisy, Tufted vetch, Small white orchid, Greater butterfly orchid, Forget-me-not, Self-heal, Marsh lousewort, Lousewort, Stonecrop, Pignut and lots of the yellow Hawkbit/Hawkweed ones I always get mixed up about! The weather was miserable but the enthusiasm was undampened and we even found a Large orange Underwing near the Haunn Cottages.
As we walked back towards the farm the weather began to lift, and Jeanette from Ballygown Restaurant was waiting in the barn with a wonderful Moveable Feast – we had a delicious home made Scotch egg and the tastiest salad to accompany it you can imagine, with Jeanette’s own elderflower cordial and an exotic Eton Mess to finish with.
We are very grateful to Rachel whose interest, knowledge and enthusiasm was inspiring talking about moths, moth trapping and wildlife in general; to Meryl (from the Mull Eagle Watch hide at Tiroran) for coming along to support; to Jeanette for providing the wonderful Picnic and finally to everyone who braved the weather and came along.