From Glenbrittle towards Loch Eynort

I had a very useful day yesterday travelling due west from Glenbrittle beach, getting into three tetrads with only a dozen plants recorded between them.

The first, NG32V, had Lycopodium clavatum (Stag’s-horn Clubmoss), the first record in NG32 since 1973.

Lycopodium clavatum

Lycopodium clavatum

The long white hairs on the tips of the leaves are a useful means of distinguishing this (and L. lagopus) from L. annotinum (Interrupted Clubmoss):

Lycopodium clavatum 2

I assume this isn’t L. lagopus (see this blog entry), my only question being that there does seem to be a hint of annual growth constrictions:

Lycopodium clavatum 3

Anyway, on to other things…. There is still lots of Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady’s-mantle) on Truagh Meall where Catriona Murray found it in 1996 and, new to NG32, there was a single frond of Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder’s-tongue) in the sort of habitat I would have thought Botrychium more likely:

Ophioglossum vulagatum Truagh Meall

Nearer to Glenbrittle, a spring contained Saxifraga stellaris (Starry Saxifrage).

Heading west into NG32Q there is still Carex limosa (Bog-sedge) in the Loch an Leth-uillt area (which also had Palmate Newts) and there is also Bog-sedge in an unnamed loch east of Cnoc nan Uan.

Carex limosa

Carex limosa

One of the burns had Chara virgata (Delicate Stonewort) which was new to NG32.

But the richest area was the coastal cliffs in NG32Q and NG32K with all sorts of nice plants. Carlina vulgaris (Carline Thistle) was present in good numbers, previously only know from NG32 as an unlocalised entry in the 1962 BSBI Atlas. There was lots of Agrimonia procera (Fragrant Agrimony), again new to NG32, Trollius europaeus (Globeflower) in flower already, Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage) and pink specimens of Orchis mascula (Early-purple Orchid) as well as some more standard versions:

orchis mascula pink

Everywhere I went there were Common Heath moths – day-flying moths that do not stay still for long to have their photo taken but I managed this one:

Common Heath LR

Common Heath

There are some stunning views on the coast, but it is quite a walk in.



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