On Tuesday, Skye Nature Group went to Tokavaig to look at Dorothy’s croft which is managed by her and Andy for the benefit of wildlife and the environment  – which includes scything the bracken and woodland regeneration.

We recorded 156 plant species and 92 other species from lichens to amphibians, but mostly invertebrates. It contains a variety of habitats and at least two of us want to make a return visit, preferably with Nick to cover bryophytes as well – perhaps next year.

In the process I added a few plants to the list for both NG61A and NG61B and down in the wet area I was able to show Dorothy her Sparganium erectum (Branched Bur-reed) which I struggled to find back in 2012.


Sparganium erectum (Branched Bur-reed) – with a rust?

We found several orchids that seemed to me to be pretty clearly Dactylorhiza x formosa (D. maculata x purpurella), but they smelled sweet, like Gymnadenia. Further investigation showed that the nearby Dactylorhiza purpurella (Northern Marsh-orchid) also smelled  sweet. Not a property I was aware of before, but then who smells orchids that are not supposed to smell?  Well, obviously Hilary does. And now so do I.

The best thing of the day for me was a shower of Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens), something I do not remember seeing on Skye before and which on Skye is almost restricted to Sleat.


Keeled Skimmer

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