Beyond Dalavil

Yesterday I went through Coille Dalavil to Inver Dalavil and then west and south to the tetrad designated NG50M which lies between Rubha Caradail and Rubha Charn nan Cearc. It contains about 13 hectares of land, so a little over 3% of a full tetrad, and with a limited variety of habitats. Despite these shortcomings, I recorded just short of 100 different plants including Asplenium marinum (Sea Spleenwort), Juniperus communis subsp. nana (Dwarf Juniper), Phegopteris connectilis (Beech Fern), Populus tremula (Aspen) and, struggling somewhat, Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn):

Hawthorn -1

Hawthorn -1

Hawthorn -2

Hawthorn -2

Travelling through tetrad NG50S, the next to the east, I almost doubled the taxon count to 140.  This is a more varied area and I am sure that the count could be quite a bit  higher if I spent longer there. I had the mad idea that I would also have a go at NG50T for which there is a single record – Juniperus communis subsp. nana (Dwarf Juniper) by Roger & Pat in 1998, but there just wasn’t time. I shall go in from the north some time – a much shorter walk in.

There a great many Common Heath moths and I also disturbed a Brown Silver-line and a couple of very early Clouded Borders plus caterpillars of Northern Eggar and Six-spot Burnet.  By way of butterflies there were Green Hairstreaks, Green-veined Whites, Peacocks and my first Speckled Wood of the year.

Green Hairstreak on Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Green Hairstreak on Hyacinthoides non-scripta

There were Reed Buntings near the path down and I had a close encounter with a cuckoo while I was having lunch. It had obviously not noticed me and flew very close.

I also spotted St Mark’s Fly (Bibio marci) named after St Mark’s Day, 25 April, around the time when they first appear. This is quite like the
Heather Fly, males flying lazily with long legs dangling. Heather Flies are to be seen in August.

Miscellaneous images:

Hang on Heather!

Hang on Heather!

Otter Spraint Site

Otter Spraint Site

and to prove that as well as woods and sandy beaches we also have sunshine:

Rum Cuillens from Sleat

Rum Cuillins from Sleat

 

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