Orbost & Healabhal Bheag (MacLeod’s Table South)

I had an excellent walk from Orbost Farm, up the Orbost Burn and on to Healabhal Bheag yesterday. Tetrads NG24G & L had their recorded taxon count raised from 12 and 6 to 107 and 173 respectively and a very brief wander into NG24F improved the count there from 12 to 65.

MacLeod's Table South

MacLeod’s Table South

Ten species were found that had not been recorded in the 10km square NG24 since before 2000:

Botrychium lunaria Moonwort
Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd’s-purse
Diphasiastrum alpinum Alpine Clubmoss
Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb
Gentianella campestris Field Gentian
Neottia cordata Lesser Twayblade
Pilosella aurantiaca Fox-and-cubs
Salix pentandra Bay Willow
Saxifraga oppositifolia Purple Saxifrage
Vaccinium vitis-idaea Cowberry

and seven of these had never been localised to a tetrad before.

The preceding post shows Epilobium brunnescens (New Zealand Willowherb) on the south end of Healabhal Bheag, great swathes of it as one finds on the Trotternish Ridge.

Dwarfed Prunellla vulgaris (Selfheal) can look quite exotic once it loses its petals:



I had a close encounter with a fox in very fine condition and found this True Lover’s Knot

True Lover's Knot

True Lover’s Knot

drowned in this pool


which as well as the Sparganium angustifolium (Floating Bur-reed) had Large Red Damselfly and another moth that declined to stay still long enough to have its picture taken.

There were Magpie Moths everywhere. Brian says from Carr Brae “we never see [them] here on the mainland any more.  Very strange as it used to be very common.”

I may have found Vaccinium x intermedium (V. myrtillus x vitis-idaea) growing with both parents (Bilberry & Cowberry) but I am seeking expert opinion.

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