On Friday the sun shone and I was able to continue Site Condition Monitoring of the vascular plamts on the Raasay SSSI and check Polystichum lonchitis (Holly Fern) sites for the Threatened Plant Project.
The results were mostly good news. I found a new site for Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) with 44 plants and additional specimens of Sorbus rupicola (Rock Whitebeam) at one of the known sites. This latter is difficult and dangerous terrain and I am not convinced that I have found them all yet. At another site I found a young sapling – the first time that I have seen evidence that the seeds ever germinate on Raasay.
The only downside was the loss of a single holly fern plant from an isolated site – probably a natural event but one worries about fern collectors for this species.
Up on the limestone the fragrant orchids are large and late but still seem to be Gymnadenia borealis (Heath Fragrant-orchid):
Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort) is only known on Raasay from this area but here it is quite abundant:
The butterflies were varied and numerous – Dark-green Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Small Heath and Small Tortoiseshell. Also, adult Magpie Moths are now in evidence.