Archive for February, 2016

Nead na h-Iolaire (The Eagle’s Nest)

February 29, 2016

A short walk from Sligachan is a foothill of the Black Cuillin called Nead na h-Iolaire, which translates as The Eagle’s Nest and is better known to climbers than to botanists. In 1909 someone called A. Wallis recorded Hymenophyllum wilsonii (Wilson’s Filmy-fern) from the chimney and yesterday I was able to go straight to it.

Eagle's Nest Chimney

Eagle’s Nest Chimney (It is steeper than it looks)


This refreshed the records for this plant in the 10 km square NG42 where the last record was in 1976 from Allt Daraich, even nearer to Sligachan – somewhere to pick off another day.  See recent distribution map.

Clearly, this is a spot where no-one has recorded vascular plants, probably because it is all too easy to go straight past heading along Glen Sligachan or up to Pinnacle Ridge, recording only the moor and bog as one passes through.

Even at this time of year I was able to add Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady’s-mantle) as new to the tetrad (2 x 2 km square) and refresh the 10 km square record for Asplenium adiantum-nigrum (Black Spleenwort) for which there had been only an unlocalised and undated record for the whole 100 sq km.


Pinnacle Ridge

In fact, I added 20 species to the list for the tetrad containing The Eagle’s Nest, almost all from the drier ground above the bog.

Some things just carry on, never mind the season:


Sporing Huperzia selago (Fir Clubmoss)

Leaves Are Good Too

February 22, 2016

Come on, the one in the middle…..Amars.jpg

Identification Courses

February 20, 2016



February 17, 2016

Dunvegan Castle opened its grounds for free today so that folks can see their snowdrops in flower – and see how the garden is shaping up before this year’s opening on 1st April. Complimentary tea and cakes too!  There is another opportunity next Wednesday (24th).


Bill & Deirdre and I went to inspect them and on the way paused at Gesto to see some flowering there. Later I checked Edinbane Cemetery and found a few there, too.

Cold Weather Botany

February 14, 2016

A little chilly today for botany:


Callitriche stagnalis (Common Water-starwort) under ice

I have updated all the distribution maps for plants in the Rare Plants Register  like this one:



which includes a new tetrad record made by Nick last week.

Patterns of Flora -Arts & Business Scotland Awards

February 7, 2016

We were “Commended” i.e. we came second in the Placemaking category of the Arts & Business Awards Scotland 2015.  Given the size and the budgets of some of the other organisations, we are delighted with the outcome.

A good time was had by all from Atlas Arts, Raasay House plus Frances and myself.