THE warm summer in the Wee County has really benefited our butterflies, making this a great year to seek them out.

My highlights have included dark green fritillaries fluttering in Ochil glens and peacock butterflies supping the nectar from garden buddleias.

I always find the name of the dark green fritillary rather inappropriate because it is not green at all but instead the upper-wings feature a wonderfully intricate pattern of orange and black.

Another good sighting was a painted lady butterfly in Glen Sherup in the Ochils.

They are long-distance migrants from the Continent and North Africa, and in some years they can be reasonably plentiful, but in others hardly any arrive on our shores at all.

I was hoping that my Glen Sherup painted lady was the precursor to an influx, but sadly this has not happened.

There have been some good finds in my garden moth trap too and I never cease to be amazed by the sheer variety of moths that thrive in Clackmannanshire, with my live captures ranging from large poplar hawkmoths to tiny micro-moths.

Over the last week, the weather has become more inclement and there have been periods of rain, which has benefited other creatures, most notably our local badgers, where the damp ground will help them in their foraging for worms and other invertebrates.

And on a walk-up Glen Quey last week, the downpour was the cue for hordes of froglets to leave their watery breeding ditches and disperse over the hills where they will try and gain as much weight as possible before the start of their winter hibernation.