Butterflies of Assynt booklet – free to download

January 9th 2021

This Project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and NatureScot


Butterflies of Assynt booklet

For almost 25 years Assynt Field Club has been recording species of butterflies that occur in this small parish in the north-west Highlands. Over that time a remarkable 2737 butterfly records have been made by volunteers and friends of Assynt Field Club.

For the first time these records are summarised in this full colour booklet which is free to download from our website.

Our booklet describes the 19 species of butterflies that have been recorded in Assynt out of the 30 known to occur in the Highlands, and some 59 species in the British Isles as a whole. The booklet suggests good places to see them and what time of year is best. It also contains a distribution map for each species.

Although we may be too far north to have a great range of butterfly species there are some gems to look out for. For instance, we do have good populations of UK priority Biodiversity Action Plan species. Butterflies such as the large heath, small heath, small pearl-bordered fritillary and grayling can all be seen in plenty here.

New butterfly arrivals

Climate change has driven the range of some species northward into Assynt in recent decades. Species such as speckled wood, peacock and orange-tip, are increasing in Assynt and others may well follow. However, it is also putting pressure on others such as grayling and fritillaries. Milder and wetter winters are having a negative impact on some of our butterflies including the small tortoiseshell. As Climate change continues, we may see some fast-moving shifts in our butterfly populations. It is therefore vital that we, with your help, continue to record their distribution in detail and over time.

We hope that this booklet will inspire you to help us record our changing butterfly populations. Please tell us what you find! Good luck and remember you can report your sightings on our website’s Report a Sighting form.

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Risso's Dolphin

Five animals c. 6km off Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (19/06)

Common Dolphin

Seven animals c. 4km off Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (19/06)

Common Blue Butterfly

Single butterfly in garden, 83 Torbreck (Gwen Richards) (19/06)

Lesser Redpoll

Single male bird on garden feeder, 81 Torbreck (Cheryl Smith). It has been an exceptional year for reports of Lesser Redpoll. (19/06)


Four birds, Bay of Culkein (Janet French). Photo Gallery - Birds (19/06)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)

Pair of dragonflies coupled in pre-mating flight, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (18/06)

Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)

Single moth flying in trees, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (18/06)

Pied Wagtail

Adult bird feeding two juveniles, Culkein Drumbeg jetty area (Steve and Carol Langford) (17/06)