Yesterday I took to an area of the limestone near Suardal. It is still too early for many plants but I recorded over 100 taxa in one tetrad including seven that were new – mostly not noteworthy but in a tetrad with a previous 909 records of 237 taxa, something of a surprise. Partly this was because I found a wooded area with cliffs that I think had not been recorded before.

One addition was Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail) from a couple of very wet areas where I suspect later in the season a casual glance would not have sorted out the vegetative material from Equisetum palustre (Marsh Horsetail).

Fertile Stem of Equisetum arvense

Fertile Stem of Equisetum arvense

I have occasionally worried that in early years I may have over-recorded this, having determined vegetative stems – now the reverse seems more likely.

Some plants in flower:

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In most cases these are early examples – most individuals of these species are not yet in flower here.

From a distance this lichen-covered rock had me thinking it was a football nestling in the heather:

Lichened rock

I spent the day accompanied by cuckoos. There was a mass influx about a week ago. I also had small numbers of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Snipe and Skylark – typical Skye avifauna!

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