Granish Moor, Scottish Highlands

The magnificent Scottish Highlands - a landscape of panoramic mountains and sweeping heather moorland interspersed by mosaics of birch woodland - provide an inspirational holiday for the ledpidopterist. Aviemore is a popular all year round destination for the moth enthusiast and tourist alike, providing a great range of accommodation ranging from international hotels to welcoming B & B's and also comfortable self-catering cottages and chalets.

Granish, a quality site comprising of moorland, grassland and woodland, is just a mile to the north of Aviemore and has for many years been a special location for the ledidopterist. Here a galaxy of nationally scarce species can be seen throughout the year with peak daytime activity during May and June. From mid-March to mid-April Rannoch Sprawler, a Highland speciality, is on the wing amongst mature birch, together with the striking Scottish race of Yellow Horned. Sugaring and light-trapping at this time of year, and during the Autumn, could produce the Sword-grass.

Granish Moor is particuarly good for day-flying moths in the early summer and during May and June. Netted Mountain Moth is on the wing amongst areas of Bearberry. Small Dark Yellow Underwing has been found on the series of railway posts crossing Knockgranish; it has not been seen in recent years but is likely to remain present. During late April and May the impressive Kentish Glory appears and purplish-brown egg clusters can be located on young birch saplings. By late May and throughout June sugaring and light-trapping produces good numbers of the Saxon.

During the Summer, Granish is well known for a selection of special day-flying species including Grey Scalloped Bar in areas of heather and Pretty Pinion and Heath Rivulet in mosaics of flower-rich grassland.

By late Summer there is a rich assemblage of notable species, including Plain Clay, Cousin German, Scotch Annulet and Angle-striped Sallow. In addition to the wealth of Nationally Scarce moths, striking regional forms of commoner species such as Ingrailed Clay and Dark Marbled Carpet are as stunning as the landscape in which they occur.

by David C.G.Brown

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