Rubha Hunish

Yesterday I led a SWT walk to Rubha Hunish, the northernmost point of Skye.  The weather was kind, the nesting sea-birds were excellent and we also saw a Minke whale and an otter.  The plants we saw were varied since we started with a look at some Centaurium erythraea (Common Centaury) on a roadside bank which was still some way from flowering and then moved on to Loch Cleat with its various sedges and horsetails, notably Carex diandra (Lesser Tussock-sedge) and Carex canescens (White Sedge).  The former is restricted to a very few sites in the vice-county. 

We walked across moorland to the shore where there was fine Dactylorhiza purpurella (Northern Marsh-orchid) and then to Meall Tuath: 

The path down Meall Tuath, seen from Rubha Hunish

The path down was steep for some but beside it there were interesting plants such as Silene acaulis (Moss campion) and Juniperus comunis ssp. nana (Dwarf Juniper).  

Rubha Hunish had the expected sea-cliff plants like Silene uniflora (Sea Campion), Sedum rosea (Roseroot) and Ligusticum scoticum (Scots Lovage), but it was pleasing to find Sagina maritima (Sea Pearlwort) for which there are few recent records in the vice-county and a little unexpected to find Blysmus rufus (Saltmarsh Flat-sedge) on the top of the sea-cliffs. 

The thrift (Armeria maritima) forms notable tussocks here, which Chris Mitchell called Bactrian thrift:

Bactrian thrift

On the way back I spotted this pupa: 

Pupa at Meall Tuath

I am hoping to hear what it is shortly.   LATER: Brian Neath tells me it is a magpie moth pupa. 

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