Yesterday was a beautiful day that merited an expedition. I decided to return to Dunvegan Head, the site of the July Field Meeting and see if I could spot any of the old records we had failed to re-find. In particular I was looking for Viburnum opulus (Guelder-rose), Lycopodiella clavatum (Stag’s-horn Clubmoss), Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens) and Saussurea alpina (Alpine Saw-wort).
I had most hope of the Viburnum as we had not gone into the gorge where it was recorded, but despite adding quite a few species to the July list for that tetrad, I could not spot any V. opulus. The Lycopodiella was more of a forlorn hope as we had looked for it in July and the area of heather from which it had been recorded had clearly been burned not too many years ago. Again I failed.
On the western side of the Head I also failed to find the Saussurea but there was quite a lot of Dryas, which was the one I was most hoping to find:
All in all I added forty plant records to the four tetrads I visited.
I found an additional site for Carlina vulgaris(Carline Thistle) not far from one of the July sites:
and there were still a few flowers on the Silene acaulis (Moss Campion):
I found a moth that Brian Neath has identified as a Treble-bar, and there were Heather Flies (Bibio pomonae) about. There was a colony of the solitary bee Colletes succinctus(Common Colletes) and I managed to get a photo of one:
I spotted what appears to be Ergot on Nardus stricta (Mat-grass):
There were lots of fungi and I have asked Ern Emmet to look at these two which I think may be Hygrocybe cocccinea
and Lycoperdon perlatum
The birds were the usual mix of buzzards, ravens, rock doves golden plovers etc., but I also had a fine sight of a peregrine.