Archive for August, 2010

Loch Duagrich and Glen Bracadale

August 29, 2010

A day’s trip allowed me to re-find Subularia aquatica (Awlwort) in Loch Duagrich in large numbers.  On the way there was still Mercurialis perennis (Dog’s Mercury) along the side of Glen Bracadale, also in large numbers but this is a rare plant on Skye.

There was another new site for Sparganium erectum (Branched Bur-reed), a plant that has either been overlooked in the past or is expanding its range rapidly on Skye.  Perhaps more on this expedition later…..


August 29, 2010

On a visit to Roineval, I failed to find the previously recorded  Subularia aquatica (Awlwort) in the nearby lochan but the water was dark with peat and rippled by the wind so I may have missed it. Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow) , Sedum rosea (Roseroot) and Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady’s-mantle) were all present on the summit.

Near the lochan was this enormous hedgehog:


Some Raasay Things

August 29, 2010

A garden throw-out has been identified as Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (C. paniculata x C. masoniorum), a fine-looking giant compared with Montbretia: 


I am waiting confirmation of the identity of a small fungus that I think is Mycena galopus var. nigra


A gall on a rowan in Inverarish is caused bythe gall-mite Eriophyes sorbi


Rowan Gall

Loch Connan

August 19, 2010

Continuing my survey of the 10 km square NG34 which has been a bit under-recorded, today I visited Loch Connan and the surrounding area (tetrad NG34W).  The loch has been recorded previously and has interesting species.  I failed to re-find Potamogeton berchtoldii (Small Pondweed) but added Utricularia intermedia agg. – probably U. stygia (Nordic Bladderwort) again.  

I was also pleased to re-find Subularia aquatica (Awlwort):  

Subularia in Loch Connan


 The adjacent tetrad (NG34R) was generally a bit dull, but there were no previous records from it so things like Potamogeton gramineus (Various-leaved Pondweed) in  a slow part of a burn are worth having recorded.

Nordic Bladderwort

August 18, 2010

Sarah and Fred Longrigg have looked at my bladderwort from Loch Ravag which was clearly Utricularia intermedia agg. and from a microscopic examination of the quadrifid hairs in the bladders have concluded that it is U. stygia (Nordic Bladderwort).  This is only the third record for the vice-county. and one of those is a little uncertain being a SNH Loch Survey record from Rum in 1993. 

Loch Ravag


White Heather, Loch Ravag

Loch Ravag

August 10, 2010

A trip to Loch Ravag was made easier by the new road put in for the nearby windfarm.  I didn’t find Elatine hexandra (Six-stamened Waterwort) or Potamogeton berchtoldii (Small Pondweed) which had been recorded there in earlier years, but I did find P. alpinus (Red Pondweed) and a new site for Carex paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge),  the  first record for Skye since 1970.

Potamogeton alpinus

Carex paniculata

Nearby there was some striking Veronica officinalis (Heath Speedwell) with red fruits:

Red-fruited Veronica officinalis

Site Condition Monitoring on Raasay

August 9, 2010

The last vist to the Raasay SSSI for this year in order to monitor the vascular plant assemblage was undertaken on Sunday.  The known population of Pyrola rotundifolia (Round-leaved Wintergreen) was unchanged.  No flowers this year – as in many a year. The Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) in the same area had the same number of plants as last time (47) but rather fewer were flowering – perhaps  an effect of the severe winter.

Nearby, I went to visit the site of the putative Polystichum x ilyricum.  It is showing no sign of sporing unlike both putative parents nearby.  This  may be because it is in fairly extreme shade at the back of a small cave-like area under a boulder:

P. x illyricum site

 Photo taken from top of boulder under which lives the possible hybrid.  It still looks convincingly intermediate to me.

Lunch was taken at a fine spot on the cliffs with two golden eagles doing a flyby.

Lunch stop

Threatened Plants Again

August 9, 2010

On Saturday I visited Digg in a vain attempt to find an old record for Glebionis segetum (Corn Marigold) and then to the Quirang to visit a Polystichum lonchitis (Holly Fern) site which was doing fine.  After that, I went to do a tetrad around Uig and had a good time. 

Near Digg I found an area of garden throw-outs with Sidalcea malviflora (Greek Mallow) (insofar as one can determine species of garden Sidalcea) and Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy) which are rare on Skye plus some more common garden throw-outs.

In the Uig tetrad there was a small amount of  Diphasiastrum alpinum (Alpine Clubmoss) at a previously known site, three plants of Torilis japonica (Upright Hedge-parsley) near an old site – a very local plant in NW Scotland – and some locally unusual weedy things – Sonchus oleraceus (Smooth Sow-thistle) and Chenopodium album (Fat-hen) (probably).  There was also a black or hybrid back poplar which needs revisiting.

Ascribs and Rona Again

August 9, 2010

Having quizzed one of the recorders, I have now accepted Vicia sativa (Common Vetch) from Rona where it was probably introduced with animal feed and with a bit more reluctance from South Ascrib.  Also, Rumex longifolius (Northern Dock) from all three 1km squares visited on the Ascribs.  This is frequent enough around here but usually near houses or at least sheep fanks.


August 9, 2010

I have removed the last Rhododendron ponticum from my garden and whilst doing so I found this:


At least I now know what bird netting is for.