Archive for June, 2014

Portree Weed, Rum and Soay Moths

June 30, 2014

Gwyn reports Linaria vulgaris (Common Toadflax) from a garden in Portree. Long-term readers of this blog will recall that it appeared in my garden a couple of years ago. It is still here.

Sean reports that the Calystegia soldanella (Sea Bindweed) is still in the Kilmory dunes on Rum:

Calystegia soldanella

Calystegia soldanella      Photo: S.. Morris

as is Centaurium erythraea (Common Centaury).

Bill tells me that he had Clouded Buff and Brown China-mark moths on Soay when we went on the SWT excursion last week. The latter has no records for Skye on the NBN Gateway – but does have pre-2000 records for Rum.

Brown China-mark

Brown China-mark       Photo: Bill Johncocks

Plant Catch-up Time

June 30, 2014

Steve sent me nearly 1400 records for Skye in June including some nice things like Botrychium lunaria (Moonwort), Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. coccinea (Early Marsh-orchid), Dactylorhiza x formosa (D. maculata x purpurella), Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine), Neottia ovata (Common Twayblade), Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern), Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort), Pseudorchis albida (Small-white Orchid), and Stellaria graminea (Lesser Stitchwort). He also had some garden escapes like Lilium pyrenaicum (Pyrenean Lily) and for a first VC104 record, Sempervivum tectorum (House-leek).

Morag reports a good population of Pinguicula lusitanica (Pale Butterwort) at Camas Malag and Marie and Marjorie went to check the Coeloglossum viride (Frog Orchid) at the Coral Beach:

Coeloglossum viride

Coeloglossum viride

Tony has had a look at some ferns of the Dryopteris affinis complex on Skye and Raasay and identified several to subspecies level e.g. Dryopteris cambrensis subsp. pseudocomplexa and Dryopteris cambrensis subsp. cambrensis. All help welcome in this area!

George Ballantyne has confirmed that a bramble I saw in a couple of places on Skye last week is Rubus latifolius infected by the smut Hapalospheria deformans:

Rubus latifolius infected by Hapalospheria deformans

Rubus latifolius infected by Hapalospheria deformans

Last week’s activities added quite a few new 10 km square records such as:

NG41 (Soay): Juncus bufonius (Toad Rush), Carex x fulva (“Empty Sedge”), Juncus ranarius (Frog Rush) and I found that Charles Sinker had recorded Vulpia bromoides (Squirreltail Fescue) on Soay but with no further localisation – so now we have a precise record.

NG24 (Skye): Carex oederi (Small-fruited Yellow-sedge) and Sparganium erectum (Branched Bur-reed). Cakile maritima (Sea Rocket) was the second record for NG24 but only the fourth site for Skye. There was only one plant.

NG47 (Skye): Phleum pratense (Timothy) and Cryptogramma crispa (Parsley Fern).

NG36 (Skye): Cortaderia richardii (Early Pampas-grass), unfortunately.

NG53 & New to Raasay: Cotoneaster bullatus (Hollyberry Cotoneaster).

Senecio inaequidens etc.

June 29, 2014

The Senecio inaequidens (Narrow-leaved Ragwort) from Edinbane is now flowering well in the greenhouse:

Senecio inaequidens

Senecio inaequidens

and is pretty obviously a Senecio. I shall take a specimen for herbarium purposes and then make sure that it doesn’t seed and have the chance to spread on Raasay.

I have updated yesterday’s entry on Oskaig with images and news on the saxifrage.  I am embarking on a week’s data entry and as I go I shall probably find interesting things to report that have escaped my rapid daily entries – so there may be a few out-of-sequence things to follow….

Oskaig, Raasay

June 28, 2014

Lynne and I had a short visit to Oskaig on Raasay today and found several interesting new tetrad records: Cryptogramma crispa (Parsley Fern) on a wall, unlike all previous records which are on scree or natural rocks:

Cryptogramma crispa

Cryptogramma crispa

Spergularia rubra (Sand Spurrey):

Spergularia rubra

Spergularia rubra

and Vulpia bromoides (Squirreltail Fescue):

Vulpia bromoides

Vulpia bromoides

plus a garden escape – a saxifrage that is probably Saxifraga rosacea (Irish Saxifrage), which would be new to VC104. Later (Sunday) I learnt that this has been planted by the householder across the road.

Saxifraga rosacea (maybe)

Saxifraga rosacea (maybe)

Meanwhile at home we had this fabulous male Poplar Hawk Moth:

Poplar Hawk Moth

Poplar Hawk Moth

Leac nan Fionn

June 27, 2014

Our trip to Fladaigh Chuain today was postponed owing to high winds.  Lynne, Ro and I inspected the Orobanche alba (Thyme Broomrape) by the Uig Z-bend and counted nearly 60, before heading to Leac nan Fionn to try to re-find Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens) previously recorded in 1968 and 1992. We first found a patch some distance from the previous grid reference but still within the same 1 km square. However, later we found about 100 plants close to the old grid ref:

Dryas in NG47

Dryas in NG47

Other useful records were made for Arabidopsis petraea (Northern Rock-cress), Draba incana (Hoary Whitlowgrass), Gentianella campestris (Field Gentian) and Persicaria vivipara (Alpine Bistort).

On the way south we stopped by the Equisetum x font-queri (Font-Quer’s Horsetail):

Equisetum x font-queri

Equisetum x font-queri

With luck, the boat trip will happen next week…..

Out of County

June 26, 2014

James, John, Lynne and I trespassed into Duncan’s vice-county (105) today. We had a look at the Adiantum near Kishorn:

Adiantum sp.

Adiantum sp.

We feel the need for greater expertise of alien Adiantum spp. for a definitive view on which one this is.

Nearby there were many Neottia ovata (Twayblade) and Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) plus one Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine). There was a smut on Carex flacca that looked very similar to those I have reported before on C. panicea and C. echinata:

Anthracoidea pratensis (?)

Anthracoidea pratensis (?)

After a pause at the excellent Kishorn Seafood Bar, we moved on to Loch Duich to inspect the Carex salina (Saltmarsh Sedge) of which there was plenty though we found no flowers/fruits:

Carex salina

Carex salina

At a site near Nostie , James showed us Polypodium vulgare (Polypody), Polypodium interjectum (Intermediate Polypody) and their hybrid, Polypodium x mantoniae. Also Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-Fern), Dryopteris dilatata (Broad Buckler-fern) and their hybrid Dryopteris x deweveri.

Polypodium x mantoniae

Polypodium x mantoniae

 

Aligro & Ardroag

June 25, 2014

We spent a good part of the day trying to refind Mertensia maritima (Oysterplant) on Skye but it seems to have gone from the sites where it was known from 1933 to 1993. It could be elsewhere in the area as it is known to be a mobile species. The only recent records in the vice-county are from Sandy (Canna).

However, we counted many Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid):

Platanthera chlorantha

Platanthera chlorantha

and saw Vicia orobus (Wood Bitter-vetch):

Vicia orobus

Vicia orobus

and over 60 Orobanche alba (Thyme Broomrape) at the Caroy site:

Orobanche alba (1)

Orobanche alba (1)

Orobanche alba (2)

Orobanche alba (2)

and a large-flowered bramble that I think is Rubus latifolius:

Rubus latifolia specimen

Rubus latifolia specimen

There were also quite a few Six-spot Burnet moths

Six-spot Burnets

Six-spot Burnets

 

 

Raasay Today

June 24, 2014

Lynne & I went to update some Platanthera bifolia  (Lesser Butterfly-orchid) records in NG54 where I had not recorded it since before 2000.  We found it in two 1 km squares, though only one plant in each case. The third square had been burned fairly recently and we failed to find the orchid. There was plenty of Carex lasiocarpa (Slender Sedge) and Carex limosa (Bog-sedge) by the big patch of Cladium mariscus (Great Fen-sedge) to the southwest of Brochel and we found Clouded Buff which has rather few recent records in VC104:

Clouded Buff

Clouded Buff

I had it in NG53 near Eyre, Raasay last year.

Soay

June 24, 2014

Yesterday, SWT Skye Members’ Centre had a trip to Soay (Skye, not St Kilda). Many useful and interesting records were made.  I went west and Lynne went east while others stayed nearer the centre and/or went up to the top of Beinn Bhreac.

My most interesting find was Carex arenaria (Sand Sedge) on a cliff top with Empetrum nigrum (Crowberry), Eriophorum angustifolium (Common Cottongrass), Carex nigra (Common Sedge) etc – not its normal habitat of sandy shores and dunes. Interestingly, there is an unlocalised 1961 Soay record from Charles Sinker.

Carex arenaria (and Empetrum nigrum)

Carex arenaria (and Empetrum nigrum)

I also had an Isoetes that may be I. echinospora (Spring Quillwort) – the only recent records in VC104 are from Rum.

Lynne had a fine group of Hammarbya paludosa (Bog Orchid):

Hammarbya paludosa

Hammarbya paludosa

plus Carex lasiocarpa (Slender Sedge) and Carex paniculata (Greater Tussock-sedge):

Carex paniculata

Carex paniculata

We both had Hymenophyllum wilsonii (Wilson’s Filmy-fern) in several places and the “Central Group” found Cladium mariscus (Great Fen-sedge).

I was attacked by a pair of Great Skuas and we both had red-throated divers. I also found an eider duck on a nest with three eggs. Amongst insect records there was a Wood Tiger:

Wood Tiger

Wood Tiger

plus Large and Small Heaths and Common Blue butterflies.  All in all a very enjoyable day – and there were many more pretty good records.

 

That Adiantum and a new Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides Site

June 23, 2014

The Adiantum is very probably A. pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern) – already found nearby and presumed to be an escape from an old fernery . This species is native to moist forests in eastern North America.

Adiantum pedatum, Kishorn

Adiantum pedatum, Kishorn   Photo D. Donald

Terry reports a new Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides (Narrow-leaved Marsh-orchid) site from the Belig area. One suspects there are still further sites to find……