New Stacumny Transect

After a slow start to the year, I’m getting record numbers on my two butterfly transects. I now have a second official transect at Stacumny (N997318) where Lucy and I have our allotment. There’s lovely natural meadow full of wild flowers adjacent to the allotments and I counted 161 butterflies there last week on my designated transect walk – this included 83 Meadow Browns and 41 Ringlets.

This is my original back-of-the-envelope map of the transect which I never got around to redrawing. A new Section starts when there is a significant change of habitat – each circled number is the start of a Section. On this transect there are seven Sections and four habitat types (three of the habitat types occur twice) and the total length of the transect is 1400 metres. The hatched area in the middle of the allotments is our vegetable plot!

Map of Stacumny transect


Meanwhile my Royal Canal transect yielded an all-time high of 54 which included 29 Ringlets and 11 Meadow Browns. These two butterflies are single-brood midsummer stalwarts which have been doing well despite the recent bad summers.


Hot Afternoon in Hortland

It’s turning out to be one of the best summers in years. Lucy and I spent an afternoon in Hortland (N794357) recently surrounded by a wealth of wildlife. Here’s a few pics:

hortland 1 june 2013 13
Pair of mating Speckled Woods
hortland 2 june 2013 14
Meadow Brown


burnet moth 16
Cinnabar moth
red damselfly hortland june 2013 15
Large Red Damselfly














Footnote, February 2014.

I didn’t know it at the time but my mother had suffered a heart attack that sunny summer afternoon last July so I’m afraid I have bittersweet memories of that day now. When two of my brothers found her semi-conscious in her yard her faithful dog and cat were sitting one each side of her head and remained there until the ambulance arrived. Although she also suffered a subsequent stroke, she made a good recovery and is now in a nursing home. I think I got my love of wildlife from my mother and father and I have wonderful memories of magical days in Pollardstown Fen with my father who had grown up nearby – the fen was being drained at the time (and in danger) but it was much easier to move around in than it is now.