Posts Tagged ‘Sea Creatures’

Culnacnoc and Port Earlish

May 18, 2018

Skye Nature Group went rock-pooling yesterday at Port Earlish and beforehand I took the opportunity for a little botany in the adjacent area. I re-found Crepis capillaris (Smooth Hawk’s-beard) and Veronica arvensis (Wall Speedwell) in NG56 – firsts since before 2000 and added Rosa canina (Dog-rose), Rosa spinosissima (Burnet Rose), Aegopodium podagraria (Ground-elder) and Geranium macrorrhizum (Rock Crane’s-bill) to the NG56 list.

I am left wondering how this large block comes to be on the top of a very tall sea stack:

The SNG rock-pooling will be recorded elsewhere but here are a few images:

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The Shore

March 4, 2018

Yesterday Skye Nature Group went to Broadford Bay at low tide. We found lots of nice things such as the following – thanks to Seth Gibson for the images (see his blog of the event here):

and the Eelgrass (Zostera marina) was looking good:

Zostera marina LR

So today I went to Eyre on Raasay at low water to see if I could find the source of Zostera wash-ups there. I found a nice piece with root (apologies for image quality):


Unfortunately, it was not attached to the substrate. Today the tide was not as low as yesterday and there was quite a strong onshore wind driving the tide higher and making waves that beat wellies. I suspect that if I had gone yesterday and been able to wade a bit further out I would have found the source.

Anyway there were other things like several seven-armed starfish (Luidia ciliaris), something we didn’t see yesterday:

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A Spring Weekend on Skye

April 3, 2017

With other reasons to be on Skye, I took opportunities for a couple of modest excursions, one at Aird of Sleat and one along the north bank of Loch Sligachan from Peinnachorrain on Braes.

Spring seems to have come early on Skye this year at least at sea level. Not too surprising given the mild winter and recent warm days.

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The north side of Loch Sligachan had hazel with Glue Fungus (Hymenochaete corrugata) gluing sticks at odd angles to a Hazel::

Glue fungus

There was a great deal of Cotoneaster simonsii (Himalayan Cotoneaster):

Cotoneaster simonsii

The shore had several Horse Mussel shells and above the shore were many whelks, clearly a favoured food of local birds.  Both of these need further work to determine exactly.

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Egg Rings

March 22, 2016

Out on the shore recently there have been lots of small yellow tori on the kelp. George Brown tells me that they are the egg circles of the beautiful snail Lacuna vincta (Banded Chink Shell) and sent me this image of parents and eggs (plus one Gibbula cineraria (Grey Top Shell)).

DSC_0534 LR

Lacuna vincta – adults and eggs               Photo: G. Brown

Talk on Thursday in Portree

March 11, 2016

In place of the previously advertised talk SWT Skye Region Group presents:

Up for Crabs

My Local Kelp Forest – Part 2

March 11, 2016

OK. Here come the crabs:

Green Shore Crab

Green Shore Crab

Edible Crab

Edible Crab


Velvet Crab

Spider crab 1

Spider Crab

Liocarcinus sp Raasay 1.jpg

Swimming Crab awaiting identification

My Local Kelp Forest – Part 1

March 11, 2016

Inspired by Wednesday’s excursion, on Thursday at low water I wandered out the door onto the beach and down to the exposed kelp forest here on Raasay.

I found five different crabs and five different echinoderms. Here are the echinoderms:


Bloody Henry Starfish

Common Starfish

Common Starfish

Spiny Starfish

Spiny Starfish


Common Brittlestar

Edible Sea Urchin

Edible Sea Urchin

The Seashore at the Equinoctal Tide

March 9, 2016

A little early for the equinox we are seeing the extreme equinoctal tides. James took a group to see what we could find at low water today at Ardnish. Here are a few of the things we saw:

Zostera growing in maerl bed

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) growing in maerl bed

Marbled Swimming Crab.jpg

Marbled Swimming Crab (Liocarcinus marmoreus)


Gadoid fish

Feather Star

Rosy Feather-star

Bloody Henry Starfsh

Common Starfish

Peacock Worm

Peacock Worm

Seashore Trip

May 27, 2013

The joint SWT/SLEF/Highland Seashore Project trip to Lampay north of Dunvegan took place on Saturday.  It was a good low tide following the previous night’s full moon and we found lots of interesting species at low water including Hairy Crab and Risso’s Crab:

Risso's Crab

Risso’s Crab   (Xantho pilipes)

It was a pity more folks didn’t turn out.

Loch na Beiste

May 3, 2011

It is probably as well to have gone here too early in the year for too many wee beasties:

Loch na Beiste

There are quite a lot of plants in flower now:

Bird Cherry on the Shore


and many that are not, including this very darkly pigmented Angelica sylvestris (Wild Angelica):

Black Angelica

I had a close encounter with a roe deer; there were seals in the bay and on the wracks at low water large numbers of this sea squirt:

Sea Squirt

Later: George Brown of the Highland Seashore Project tentatively identifies this as Dendrodoa grossularia.

This is the only area of Skye where Wood Ants are known and I found a fine nest:

Scottish Wood Ant Nest

This is the Scottish Wood Ant (Formica aquilonia), at least that is my belief until I get it checked….