The Burren Second Visit

/ in The Burren by Marek

When we began planning our second trip to Ireland we were hoping to return to the same cottage as our previous visit.

Unfortunately, it was not available this time, so we settled for smaller cottage within walking distance of Corofin, which had certain benefits.

Lessons learnt from our previous trip regarding the unpredictability of the weather on the west coast of Ireland meant that this time we were better prepared for whatever nature was to throw at us.

I had also taken the precaution to invest in a mosquito face protector which would hopefully make the experience of recording moths first thing in the morning rather more enjoyable.

On arrival we checked the long-range forecast and it was pretty much as expected with an emphasis on wind and rain for our two weeks stay.

Photo of me sitting under my fishing tent with bug net on my head and sun hat
Suited, Booted and ready for action

Although moths don’t seem over bothered about the rain unfortunately the egg boxes we use in the trap become drenched and unusable and we only had the limited supply we brought with us.

In an attempt to keep them dry one evening I placed the trap under the eaves of the cottage to afford some protection.

The trouble was that for some reason in Ireland they don’t always bother with such things as guttering, so I had managed to make things even worse than if I had left the trap out in the open.

Photo of the underside of the guttering in our place to stay

As we were now desperately short of egg boxes we decided that maybe warming them in the oven might help.

Like most things attempted for the first time there are always lessons to learn and maybe a lower oven setting for a reduced period of time may have helped prevent the singeing causing the fire alarm to go off.

Still the boxes were dry, and we were back in business and the moths wouldn’t notice as it would be dark. The butterfly we were in search of this visit was the rare Marsh Fritillary which we did manage to record on our very first outing but only fleetingly and from a distance.

Although we would have liked better pictures for the site the fact that we were lucky to see one at all was its own reward

Over the two weeks we ignored the weather forecast and managed a field trip on most days exploring some different locations from our previous visit.

We discovered an area close to the Carran Loop where we found a kaleidoscope of Dark Green Fritillaries and we returned on several visits to get some excellent shots, some at close quarters.

Close-up shot of the face of a Dark Green Fritillary butterfly
We don’t always see eye to eye

We also managed a few new moth records during our stay with my favourite being the Brindled Plume we saw on a shop window in Ennis whilst shopping.

As my cameras were at home and we had no container with us we went into the supermarket to buy something to pot him if still there on our return.

We searched and searched but could not find anything suitable and finally asked a member of staff who said that we could just take an empty salad container free of charge.

This we did and as luck had it our record was still there waiting on the shop window for us.