Portnalong

I spent the day around Portnalong on Skye.  A beautiful day with my first green hairstreak butterfly of the year as well as the usual skylarks and cuckoos.

There is a fine gorge  where the Eisgill Burn heads towards the sea with its banks covered with Orchis mascula (Early-purple Orchid), Trollius europaeus (Globeflower) and Rubus saxatilis (Stone Bramble). 

The best finds were Lepidium heterophyllum (Smith’s Pepperwort), an uncommon plant in the vice-county, and a possible specimen of Cirsium  x wankelii (C. heterophyllum (Melancholy Thistle) x C. palustre (Marsh Thistle)).  It had pinnatifid leaves and six capitula but otherwise looked like the nearby C. heterophyllum.  A further inspection later in the season is called for.

There were some unexpected plants on the roadside, probably from imported soil – Lilium pyrenaicum (Pyrenean Lily), Aconitum napellus(Monk’s-hood) (probably) – and elsewhere on the roadside Lysimachia punctata (Dotted Loosestrife), Geranium lucidum (Shining Crane’s-bill) and Spiraea  x pseudosalicifolia (Confused Bridewort).

Unidentified alien on roadside at Portnalong

Unidentified alien on roadside at Portnalong

On the shore I found Suaeda maritima (Annual Sea-blite), Aster tripolium (Sea Aster), Juncus gerardii (Saltmarsh Rush) and Puccinellia maritima (Common Saltmarsh-grass) but I was perhaps a little early in the season for the previously recorded Polygonum oxyspermum subsp. raii (Ray’s Knotgrass) and Salicornia sp. (Glasswort).

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