Society News

What’s On and Activities



We are sorry to inform you that, as of March, all our activities are suspended until further notice due to the restrictions in place for the Covid-19 epidemic.

In the meantime, keep in touch and keep a lookout for wildlife – we will keep the “wildlife spot” going on the website and you are welcome to send sightings in. We will also post any update information we have.





 Bee Moth First For Lanarkshire

A fantastic find at the beginning of June – Julie’s friend spotted a narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth at Barncluith. It was hovering at some lilac in the garden. The sighting was sent into the Lanarkshire recorder, who is delighted as this is a first for the county. Lorna sent us the video below. See below for a photo and fact sheet (pdf 541KB) courtesy of BCS.

The moths are on the wing from May to July so there is still time to look for them. They like to feed on flowers such as bugle or birdsfoot trefoil, especially on warm mornings. The caterpillars like devil’s-bit scabious.

 Michael’s Moths

Michael has also had his moth trap out at Sandford and sent in these 3 beauties:

Michael and Val have been recording their garden butterflies: green-veined white, small white, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, orange tip, small copper (and a silverY moth) plus a small heath locally. Val also noticed young tree bumblebees on cotoneaster earlier in the month so they assume there is a nest nearby.

 Member’s Photos

Irene sent in the photo of young starlings being fed in her garden. There were more of them nearby and they were making a lot of noise. Michael sent in a pic of some more Dryad’s Saddle fungi – it seems to have been a good year for them. Fiona spotted this wildflower meadow of ox-eye daisies in Hamilton. This section must have been seeded with a mix but the uncut long grass behind was also quite flowery.


Sightings List For June

Flowering: crosswort, red campion, cow parsley, common bistort, germander speedwell, woody nightshade, fox & cubs, meadow buttercup, spear thistle.

Trees: Elder flowers out.

Cute wee foxes (Hamilton) have turned into teenage hooligan foxes – nearly as big as mum. Newts (Chatelherault), common blue and red damselflies (South Haughs), peacock butterfly (Millheugh),

Birds nesting/fledging – swallows, blue tits (Sandford), dunnocks, blackbirds (Hamilton), coots (South Haughs). Also sand martins flying at river (Sandford) and swallows/swifts now seen over Hamilton. Wren (Cadzow Glen).




We can still keep doing some natural history activities while stuck in lockdown. As well as continuing to send in your nature spots (which we will post mid-month), here are some ideas:


A plea from Phyllis: she is asking if anyone would like to sign a petition to get Pollock House reopen sooner than next summer if possible. They have already exceeded the original target of 5,000 supporters. Read more/sign petition at:  or


A plea from SL Rangers: it was Volunteers Week earlier this month and they have a small survey running on “Volunteering in South Lanarkshire”. If you would like to take part or can pass it onto someone else interested go to:


National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects. Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects.

Entomology at Home for National Insect Week 2020  #EntoAtHome  #NIW2020

This year for National Insect Week we hope everyone can appreciate the ‘little things that run the world’ from wherever you live by doing some entomology at home. If you can find a live insect, why not take a photo and enter our photography competition, look at our discover insect pages or use some of our learning resources to find out what kind of insect it is.  Help scientists know more about the insect by making a biological record, that tells them where and when you saw it.  If you want to get creative you could do a drawing or other artwork inspired by your insect and contribute to our Insect Isles project.



OU Pollinator Watch

As part of the above and following on from BBC Springwatch 2020, The Open University invites you to:

  • Share your observations and photos of insect pollinators to discover more about them.
  • Find out how to identify a selection of insect pollinators.
  • Learn why insect pollinators are important and why they need our help.

“We are asking you to share your observations or upload photographs of the insect pollinators you see and answer some questions. In doing so, you will help us understand which pollinators are commonly observed and where, as well as how much we know about these important species. This mission will help you learn about different types of pollinating insects, why they are important and why they need our help.”

For anybody that missed BBC Springwatch, it is still available on iplayer. The Facebook/Twitter feeds are still up and have links to the above project (

Invasive Species Week: this had been scheduled for May but was cancelled. Instead, the SL Rangers sent us some info on things to do connected with this theme. Since HNHS continues to send in records (especially of giant hogweed, japanese knotweed or himalayan balsam) you could still do some of this. Information sheet (pdf 300KB)

Virtual Tours and Wildlife Watching – since we can’t visit in person, many visitor attractions/organisations have by now posted video clips on their websites that you can use to have a look round online and keep up with what’s happening, eg. botanic gardens, zoos, museums, open gardens. You can watch a live feed of the osprey nest at Woodland Trust’s Loch Arkaig reserve.

 Nature’s Calendar

A citizen science project in phenology you can take part in all year. The Woodland Trust is asking people to record the changing seasons to help track the effects of weather and climate change on our wildlife. More info at:

 Become a Backyard Nature Guardian – pledge to look after nature on your own patch. More info on:

Butterfly Recording

Those of you at the March meeting may remember that there was a Butterfly Recording workshop to be held at Blantyre in May. Although this is now cancelled, the “Helping Hands for Butterflies” project is still ongoing. You can help by joining the Urban Butterfly Survey and count and record the butterflies that visit your garden this year.

The workshop is now available online along with videos and a quiz at: Helping Hands for Butterflies  (look under – our work/conservation projects/ scotland). The website will be kept updated with more tips, classes and Q&A sessions so keep an eye on it. Alternatively, download the survey info here: Butterfly ID (pdf 2.82MB) and Recording Manual (pdf 2.39MB). If you intend to take part, project officer Anthony McCluskey would like to know, as it helps Butterfly Conservation Scotland’s reporting to their funders. Contact Anthony at: or 01786 459 811 to let him know.

RSPB Scotland’s “Breakfast Birdwatch”

Although their reserves are all closed, why not take part in this? Look out your windows between 8-9am daily weekdays and record what birds you see. Post sightings/photos on their Twitter feed (@RSPBScotland, #breakfastbirdwatch). Already, thousands of people are joining in.

 Free online ecology training courses – brush up your knowledge by taking part in some distance learning, eg.

Stay Connected With Nature

This is a great guide from the Lanarkshire Green Health Partnership with lots of links and good ideas for ways to stay calm and healthy while indoors. Download it here: Stay Connected (pdf 173KB)


South Lanarkshire Volunteer Network Newsletter

Download a copy here: Newsletter Spring 2020  (pdf 3.5MB).  Please note: as of March, SLC Ranger Service have cancelled all events till further notice due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

South Lanarkshire Biodiversity Partnership

The partnership’s website is back in business! Thanks to Central Scotland Green Network Trust, the website has been revamped and can be found at:

It contains info on the partnership and it’s work, places to see wildlife and a range of useful resource material, particularly if you have or are planning a biodiversity project or are recording wildlife.

RSPB Lanarkshire Local Group

Meetings are held in South Parish Church, Motherwell, 7.30pm. For further details see:

  1. RSPB are looking for any old photos of puffins carrying food (as part of a research project). If you have anything, send it in to them.


Lanarkshire Botany – Team 77

To take part or send records in, contact the BSBI recorder for Lanarkshire (VC77), Michael Philip at:

Team 77 has a Google Group page and are on Facebook at: Lanarkshire Botany. Michael has also produced a Training Pack for beginners to help them learn plant identification.

Download the training pack here: Training Pack No1 (pdf 2524KB)

The summer programme was cancelled in March. Michael Philip is encouraging everyone to keep looking for plants even if you can’t go very far and even if it is “ordinary” things, as they may not have been formally recorded in your km square. Send in any sightings/photos/requests for ID help to him. He is also asking people to record in 1km squares that have no records – he has a list of ones to do if you are interested (to avoid duplicating work).

Also look out for species which are possibly under-recorded in the county. The “Species Hit List” is: primrose, globeflower, orchids (any), sundews, herb paris, poppies.

Also  looking for sightings of Rue-leaved Saxifrage (Saxifraga tridactylites). Mostly found among moss on tarmac, concrete, gravel, pavements, old walls etc. In 2016 there were only three records – now it has been recorded in Glasgow, Cambuslang, Motherwell and Hamilton. Let’s keep the records coming in for 2020!


TCV are running a citizen science project called “Glasgow HogWatch” to record hedgehog numbers in the West of Scotland/ Glasgow/ Lanarkshire area. They would like anyone in our area to send in all sightings. You need to record: date, location and condition (live/dead/roadkill) of any hedgehogs seen. Send the info in either via HNHS or directly to

Lots more info on the project and about hedgehogs is available on the TCV website and social media:

Lanarkshire Badgers

Following our really interesting talk in Oct 19, find out more at Lesley’s blog: badger nests  and check out some great local badger footage below.

Jan 2020 update: a Masters student has started a year-long research project using this data, following 11 nests across two Lanarkshire sites. Scottish Badgers are hoping the work will be published as it is the first research on badger nests in the UK.

Wildlife Surveys in South Lanarkshire – help wanted!

A couple of wildlife surveys are running just now and want your sightings.

 Badgers in the Landscape are looking for records of badgers in South Lanarkshire and are also providing opportunities to learn and volunteer. For more information go to

The Water Vole Survey is looking for your sightings of these animals to improve the records in South Lanarkshire. Download the information leaflet here: Water Voles (204KB pdf).

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