A Raasay Weekend

Yesterday and today I visited five 1 km squares on Raasay with pre-2000 records for Orchis mascula (Early-purple Orchid). I only re-found it in one. Partly this is because I only had four-figure grid references  and 15-20 years have passed since I last recorded them. Also, some of the sites are quite well grazed by sheep this year.  Anyway, here is the 1 km square map of records for Raasay before this weekend:Orchis mas Raasay 1km

where red squares are pre-2000 and black dots more recent records. The middle of the N-S line of three red squares in the south-east of the island now has a black dot in the middle.

The first Dactylorhiza maculata (Heath Spotted-orchid) are in flower:

Dactylorhiza maculata

Dactylorhiza maculata

I found this tachinid fly Gymnocheta viridis which is one of HBRG’s TRY species and is a bit short of records in the Highlands:


Also, I found  Rhododendron Bud Blast (Pycnostysanus azaleae):

Pycnostysanus azaleae

Pycnostysanus azaleae

which is also a bit short of Highland records:RBBThere were quite a few Common Heath moths about and I got a better photo today:

Common Heath

Common Heath (female)

Getting back to plants, there was a large patch of Symphytum tuberosum (Tuberous Comfrey) where I had not spotted it before. It is well established along the road near Raasay House and also in the grounds but this was a little way outside.

Symphytum tuberosum

Symphytum tuberosum

Yesterday, Alasdair had a dead female Emperor Moth caught in a spider’s web and a couple of days ago I had this very fine-looking sawfly:



As we have no-one within Highland Region who can determine these, I let it free – probably to lay eggs on my gooseberry bushes.


Tags: , ,

3 Responses to “A Raasay Weekend”

  1. croftgarden Says:

    We’re obviously a little behind with our flowering dates as I’ve not seen any Dactylorhiza maculata in flower yet.
    I’ve just checked the records for Orchis mascula for South Uist and the last is dated 1971, so perhaps we’d better go and have a look.

  2. Stephen Says:

    It is only a few very early populations in flower – most are not showing yet. The BSBI Distributional database has this:
    Orchis mascula

    Smith, P.A.


    Bun an Amair, South Uist



  3. Early February at Home | Plants of Skye, Raasay & The Small Isles Says:

    […] have recorded Rhododendron Bud Blast before. Then it was called Pycnostysanus azaleae, but now it is Seifertia […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: