The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!

Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Vice County Maps

I learnt something new last week after I had found the Green Hairstreak butterflies that I mentioned in my previous post. Given that I have been co-ordinating the butterfly records in East Lothian for a few years now, it is something that I really should have known!
I have always used the current boundary of East Lothian to differentiate between East Lothian records and records from outwith East Lothian.
However, I was informed that biological records use the Vice County areas. This was a system that was devised in the 1870s by a botanist, dividing Britain into 113 roughly equal sized areas based on the old counties. These areas remain the same, despite more recent changes in county boundaries, so biological records are measured consistently.

Vice County 82 - East Lothian

The current boundary for East Lothian
If you compare the maps above you will see that using the Vice County area we lose Musselburgh on the west, but we gain a little spur to the south west and we also gain the bite that is missing on the current south east border.
Linn Dean Nature Reserve, where I saw the Green Hairstreak butterflies, is in the spur to the south west. I can't believe my good luck!!


  1. What a fantastic discovery!!
    So the hairstreaks were an East Lothian record after all! Congrats!

    1. Yes, it seems unbelievable, particularly as the area where I saw the Green Hairstreak is the best area for butterflies anywhere near here!