Archive for June, 2011

SWT Walk at Eyre, Raasay

June 30, 2011

We were 15 for the walk today that I was leading, though it was a bit damp.  Two days ago I had a recce and found a bit of bog that I had never visited.  I added 20 1km square records to the Raasay flora, including some nice things like the pale form of Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. pulchella (Early Marsh-orchid) and Platanthera bifolia (Lesser Butterfly-orchid).

Dactylorhiza incarnata

There was Ceratocapnos claviculata (Climbing corydalis) in a known site:

Ceratocapnos claviculata

Today there was a sedge in an odd condition – of which more later, and on Tuesday I spotted a lot of Carex echinata (Star Sedge) infected with what is probably Anthracoidea karii  according to Carl Farmer. Final confirmation awaited, but this is a fungus with only six records in the BMS database :

Anthracoidea karii

Later: Confirmed by Brain Spooner, Head of Mycology at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


June 23, 2011

Yesterday, by kind permission of the owners, I had a look at the gardens and grounds of Lyndale House.This allowed me to check up on plants recorded there in 1978 and earlier.  Many were still present, though a few were not found.  I extended my walk into the rest of the tetrad and up to the next at Lyndale Point.

Planta re-found in the grounds included Carex sylvatica (Wood-sedge), Taxus baccata f. fasciculata  (Irish Yew) planted in the walled garden and Veronica filiformis (Slender Speedwell) in a lawn.  There was also Mimulus x robertsii (Hybrid Monkeyflower):

Mimulus x robertsii

and Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Ink Cap or Lawyer’s Wig):

Ink Caps

Further north I found the remnants of a good meal:

Lobster head - just the shell

and a Common Marbled Carpet  (Chloroclysta truncata):

Common Marbled Carpet

(Thanks to Brian Neath for the i.d.)

There were pure white forms of both Pedicularis sylvatica ssp. sylvatica (Lousewort) and Pedicularis palustris (Marsh Lousewort or Red Rattle):

White Red Rattle

Other nice finds included Suaeda maritima (Annual Sea-blite) and Pinguicula lusitanica (Pale Butterwort).  There was also this interesting geological formation:

Not so Threatened Threatened Plants

June 22, 2011

Today, I returned to the Pseudorchis albida (Small-white Orchid) site near Kensaleyre that I thought was grazed beyond redemption and was delighted to find two specimens of this species plus lots of  Gymnadenia borealis (Heath Fragrant-orchid) – compared to three last year and three when the site was first found in 1996. The sheep were clearly taken off in time – and some grazing is essential, so it looks like a near ideal regime this year.

Ajuga pyramidalis on Canna

June 22, 2011

Darrell Watts has found Ajuga pyramidalis (Pyramidal Bugle) on Canna, the first record for ten years:

Ajuga pyramidalis on Canna - 1

Ajuga pyramidalis on Canna - 2

He will be sending a full list of records in due course….

Silver-ground Carpet

June 21, 2011

This was in our garden this morning:

Silver-ground Carpet

Silver-ground Carpet

and has been confirmed by Brian Neath as a Silver-ground Carpet, “a common enough species but only one….record for Raasay”.

Kaarin & Kevin’s Holiday Snaps

June 21, 2011

A selection from my friends from Norfolk during their week on Skye:

Carabus arvensis or granulatus? Photo K. Parker

Meloe violaceus Photo K. Parker

Vicia sylvatica Photo K. Walls

Mitrula paludosa (Bog Beacon) Photo K. Walls

The Camera Never Lies Photo K. Parker & Photoshop

River Ose, Dun Arkaig Broch & Broisgillmore Burn

June 21, 2011

After a visit in Ose to see the site of some Veronica filiformis (Slender Speedwell) reported earlier, I went east and recorded (rapidly) in four tetrads that had only one earlier record between them.

The meandering River Ose

The river was full of Sparganium erectum (Branchd Bur-reed) and S. angustifolium (Floating Bur-reed).  The river also had great patches of Callitriche brutia ssp. hamulata (Intermediate Water-starwort):

Callitriche hamulata

Dun Arkaig Broch had nettles on the top with Puccinia uricata (Nettle Rust)

Dun Arkaig Broch

The day yielded 534 plant records including a new Schedonorus arundinaceus (Tall Fescue) record by the roadside en route.

Kilmaluag Area

June 18, 2011

The northern tip of the Trotternish Peninsula has quite a few plants that are not found very much elsewhere on Skye such as Carex diandra (Lessser Tussock-sedge) and Lemna minor (Common Duckweed). For both of these I found new sites. Neottia ovata (Twayblade) was new to the 10km square NG47.

There was Carex extensa (Long-bracted Sedge) on the shore,

Carex extensa

and Asplenium marinum (Sea Spleenwort) in the rocks:

Asplenium marinum

Some of the Sedum rosea (Roseroot) had an unusual leaf shape:

Sedum rosea

On the cliff top there was Populus tremula (Aspen) and Juiperus communis susp. nana (Dwarf Juniper):

Cliff-top Aspen and Juniper

and along the burn and by the shore was”Mimulus x caledonicus” (Mimulus guttatus × nummularius × variegatus):

Monkeyflower triple hybrid

Caroy River, Rageary Burn & Ben Aketil

June 18, 2011

On Wednesday I went to look at this under-recorded area and without finding any great rarities, I was pleased with things like Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid):

Platanthera chlorantha

and Veronica beccabunga (Brooklime):

Veronica beccabunga

Rageary Burn was exciting to get along:

Rageary Burn - Skye Lianas!

and ther was this extraordinary hanging Veronica officinalis (Heat Speedwell):

Hanging Speedwell

and some ancient hazel trees:


Ben Aketil was uninspiring botanically but does have this:

Ben Aketil Wind Farm



Poppy on Raasay

June 18, 2011

The soil used for remediation after the construction of the new Raasay ferry terminal, or the grass mix that was sown afterwards, has produced a fine plant of Papaver rhoeas (Common Poppy):

Poppy flower

Poppy buds and fruit

This is extremely rare in the vice-county and a first for Raasay.

Much of the grass seed turns out to be Lolium multiflorum (Italian Rye-grass), another rarity locally but not new to Raasay:

Lolium mutiflorum near ferry terminal