Archive for December, 2014

2014 in review

December 29, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 29, 2014 is a site where people travelling away from home can record observations of plants, animals, etc. It is most used by folks from Belgium and the Netherlands. There are currently over 10.8m observations of which over 360,000 are plants. Narrowing this down a bit, there are currently 239 observations of plants from the Isle of Skye including a few interesting records. Jean-François has put his Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima (Sea Beet) record at Glenbrittle there, and there is a useful record of Parnassia palustris (Grass-of-Parnassus) which localises an older vague record at Lower Breakish.

Many records are accompanied by images which allows confirmation (or otherwise) of the recorded species. Locations are given only as latitude and longitude so it is necessary to convert these coordinates to the British National Grid if they are to fit into the standard UK recording schemes.

The website is not entirely user-friendly towards someone wanting to extract details but with a bit of effort it can be done.

Further afield there are, for example, 33 records for Mull including a new tetrad for Parnassia palustris (Grass-of-Parnassus), two for Okney and two for Fair Isle.  Skye seems to especially favoured.

Sea Beet at Glenbrittle

December 27, 2014

No sooner had I written in my H2 2014 review that the last record for Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima (Sea Beet) on Skye was from Glenbrittle beach in 1972, when Jean-François sent me this picture of it there on 21 September:

Beta vulgaris ssp maritima   Photo: J-F Olivier

Beta vulgaris ssp maritima        Photo: J-F Olivier

Congratulations to him!

Equisetum variegatum

December 20, 2014

Following the publication of my H2 2014 report, Nick tells me that he has found Equisetum variegatum (Variegated Horsetail) in Coir’ an t-Seasgaich on two occasions, very close to where I am doing my annual vegetation monitoring re grazing and erosion.

These are the first records within the Trotternish Ridge SSSI and the only post-2000 Skye records.

Elsewhere, Sean has recorded Xylaria carpophila (Beechmast Candlesnuff) on Rum, which is a nice extension to its known range.

The Second Half of 2014

December 15, 2014

Before it is even over,  I have posted a report on H2 2014 on my home page. No more exciting finds are allowed until 1st January. Many  thanks to all who contributed records this year – it has been a great one.

HBRG Meeting at Tain

December 9, 2014

This happened ten days ago and I was much enamoured of a talk on the Highland Seashore Project by George Brown. I am hoping he will give a talk on Skye next year.

Yarrell’s blenny in a scaffold tube below Kylesku Bridge   Photo: G. Brown

Yarrell’s blenny in a scaffold tube below Kylesku Bridge         Photo: G. Brown