Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 7 Sep 1919

It’s a Sunday afternoon and Viola is back visiting Touch House, where she describes in detail a bright yellow moth. We suspect this could be a Brimstone Moth.
Brimstone Moth

Her entry continues in the evening when she has returned home (Gargunnock House) and is ‘conversing’ with four different owls from her bedroom window. The ‘brown owl’ that she mentions is probably a Tawny Owl and the ‘white owl’ a Barn Owl as both are frequently found in Scotland. She certainly seems to have a sense of humour, surprising one owl with a cat’s miaow rather than a hoot back!


Transcript, Page 4

Sept. 7. Touch House. 3pm

I found a moth of a bright yellow colour

with a streak of browny yellow across both

wings. A wonderful instance of natural

camuflage for it exactly resembled a faded

rose-petal. About ¾ or 1 inch long.

Again from my bedroom window at 9p.m.

I had a long hooting talk with a distant

Brown Owl

At 9.15 I spoke to a White Owl and he came

round from the shrubbery at the side

of the house and circled round me so

close that I could have knocked him


Page 5

down with a stick. I also observed something

white in the woods to the west of the

house. It several times moved its posit-

-ion and there were two bright lumin-

ous points towards the upper part of it

I can find no explanation for it except

that it might have been a white owl

and the luminous points its eyes

But it did not give any reply to

me when I gave both white and

brown calls. There are other owls

though I do not know if they are

found near here. I think one

kind must be as there is an owl

which gives a third kind of call

I must try and find out what

owl it is.


9.40 I got into conversation with yet another

owl. That makes four different kinds round

here. After a time I gave him the surprise

of his life by giving a cats miaow and

all four calls one after the other. He

gave one skwawk of surprise and I

have not heard him since. Now I’m so sleepy.