This blog is going into hibernation. There will probably be no more posts until 2012.
A few things I have missed:
In late August I sent some scat from Raasay to Roger Cottis who assures me it is hedgehog. This is the first Raasay record for hedgehog and if more than one are present, not good news for ground-nesting birds. I wonder how it/they got here?
The swallows finally left a couple of days ago – 29th September I think. I counted about 40 a few days earlier on the wires by the house – the same as last year.
The specimen of ergot on Nardus stricta (Mat-grass) has gone to Kew as there is only a single collection on this host that has been databased at Kew. Martyn Ainsworth says “I’m sure it is Claviceps and it will be assigned to purpurea for now (although quite how the fungus has co-evolved with its different grass hosts is probably not fully worked out yet). The size of the sclerotia is likely to match the resources available hence large on Spartina and tiny on Nardus.”
Four curious “weeping” Salix purpurea (Purple Willow) trees were spotted by the old road not far from Broadford:
and a dozen black poplars have sprung up by the main road not far away:
Yesterday there were several patches of slime mould on the lawn. I think this is Mucilago crustacea: