The Ascrib Islands

The Ascrib Islands are in  Loch Snizort off the north-west coast of Skye and yesterday a group of us went to see what we could record.  Vascular plants, bryophytes, birds, mammals and spiders were the main targets but other species were recorded when we could.

In vascular plant terms the most interesting thing was the confirmation of Vicia sativa subsp. nigra (Narrow-leaved Vetch) from what appears to be an entirely natural habitat.

Vicia Sativa subsp nigra on South Ascrib

Vicia sativa subsp. nigra on South Ascrib

This was reported in 2010 but I had reservations, particularly as the recorders’ plant list did not include the much commoner V. sepium (Bush Vetch) (which was also present yesterday). Anyway, there it is!

Ligusticum scoticum (Scots Lovage) was common and Carex otrubae (False Fox-sedge) pretty frequent throughout the islands. Populus tremula (Aspen) was found on South Ascrib as was Carex extensa (Long-bracted Sedge), though the latter was also on Eilean Garave, where Salicornia (Glasswort) was also spotted.

I made the first ever plant records for Eilean Iosal  and Eilean Creagach, the two very different islands at the north-west end of the group, the latter being the only place I spotted Cerastium diffusum (Sea Mouse-ear).

Bryophytes  turned out to much be as expected but mammals were restricted to common and grey seals and otters, with possible traces of mink. Puffins were breeding in large numbers and sea-birds generally were a major feature of the day.

The northern section

The northern section

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