Archive for March, 2017

Talk in Sleat

March 31, 2017

Coming up…..

Orchids to Invasives Poster

Caterpillar & Fern

March 26, 2017

Nick reports Hymenophyllum wilsonii (Wilson’s Filmy-fern) from Allt Daraich where I failed to re-find it based on an old record, just over a year ago.

I found this moth larva whilst doing a bit of spring tidying in the garden:

larva 170324

Nigel tells me it is the larva of the Large Yellow Underwing – a moth I often get in the moth trap later in the season. It apparently comes in brown and green forms.

Tree Diseases

March 26, 2017

I went to an interesting pair of talks on tree diseases at the HBRG Spring Meeting yesterday by folks from Forest Research.  There is much useful information at the Observatree and Forestry Commission’s Pests and Diseases websites.

We know all too well about Phytophthora ramorum on Larch on Raasay – so it may be elswhere. Also Phytophthora austrocedrae which causes dieback and mortality of juniper may be worth looking out for. It is not known locally but the population of potential human observers is low.  That’s potential observers rather than potential humans.

If you see something worth reporting, they would like three photographs – of the tree, the infected area and a close-up, as well as a grid ref etc.

Raasay Fungi

March 15, 2017

Back in October 2014 I put an image of a bracket fungus from Screapadal, Raasay on this blog. Recently, Neil Mahler has suggested that it is Stereum subtomentosum (Yellowing Curtain Crust). You can see his comments on that post.

If this is right, it looks like being the third record for Scotland – see the distribution map on the NBN. Bruce Ing also says he thinks that is the right identification, though he is not 100% sure, and tells me that it came into the UK from France in the 1960s.

Stereum subtomentosum

Stereum subtomentosum (?) – Additional image

Meanwhile, Bruce has confirmed Phomopsis leycesteriae growing on Leycesteria formosa (Himalayan Honeysuckle) in my garden. It is probably common wherever this shrub grows – and it has spread into the wild on Skye and the mainland nearby. Indeed, my interest in this was stirred by Murdo finding it near Plockton and asking me to identify the host plant.

Phomopsis leycesteriae

Phomopsis leycesteriae

Whisky Fungus

March 2, 2017

Baudoinia compniacensis grows faster in the presence of alcohol and is found in and near distilleries. It causes the distinctive blackening of warehouses in Cognac and Scotland. Until recently there was only one official mycologically approved record from Scotland but a bit of effort my members of HBRG has improved that:


My modest contribution is that dot on Skye as it is present at Carbost on trees near the Talisker distillery – I found it on Beech, Hawthorn & Sycamore.

My thanks to Bruce Ing for identification.


Baudonia on beech

Raasay Willows

March 1, 2017

My contribution to Am Bratach: Raasay’s Community Newsletter concerns willows and can be found via a link on this page.

The picture captions didn’t make it so here they are:

Salix aurita (Eared Willow) Photo: Geoorde Wilg

Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow). Insets flower and gall. Photo: SJB.

Bluebells and Orchids

March 1, 2017

My first bluebell of the year:


Hyacinthoides hispanica

though I have had to travel 1250 miles south to see it. This also explains Ophrys tenthredinifera  Sawfly Orchid (probably) today:ophrys-tenthredinifera-tomar

Greetings from Tomar, Portugal to all my readers!