Coir a’ Ghrunnda

I had never been into tetrad NG41P at the southern end of the Cuillins and there were only 21 post-1999 records for it plus about the same from before. Yesterday I went with the intention of doing something about that by visiting the two lochans, the Allt Coir a’ Ghrunnda and the higher rocks for alpines. All this was achieved and the total taxon count now stands at 95.

This view from part of the way up shows Soay in the foreground then Eigg and Rum, and in the distance Muck:

Islands from Coir a' Ghrunnda

Islands from Coir a’ Ghrunnda

There were two plants recorded from the more southerly lochan that have not been recorded in NG41 since before 2000: Isoetes lacustris (Quillwort) and Sparganium natans (Least Bur-reed). I only found the former.

However, I added Salix x ambigua (S. aurita x repens)to NG41. It is quite widespread in the Black Cuillins in NG42 so it was no great surprise to find it just over the 10km square boundary. The first one I found was in open ground and grazed but as I worked my way up the corry there was quite a lot more, some fruiting:

Salix phylicifolia

I found that I had wandered so far up Coir a’ Ghrunnda that I was within 20m of the next tetrad north, NG42K, and not far inside it there was Loch Coir a’ Ghrunnda, so I made the extra effort.

Loch Coir a' Ghrunnda

Loch Coir a’ Ghrunnda

The only vascular plant I could see in the loch was Juncus bulbosus (Bulbous Rush) but there was a good colony of Saussurea alpina (Alpine Saw-wort) nearby.

Part way up I spotted this cranefly:

Crane-fly

Crane-fly

Thinking that pattern on the thorax like a gurning gargoyle would make it easy to identify, I didn’t take it. Doh! My friendly fly experts can’t do it from the image. On the bright side I did take a couple of crane-flies from 600-700m altitude so I am hoping that they turn out to be interesting.

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