Sunday, March 19, 2017

Skye - It's a Shore Thing

Only been out a couple of times this past few days. After several days' worth of howling, battering WSW winds and high water in the bay I snuck down to the beach the morning after the winds dropped. Pretty damn good on the water with 4 Great Northern, 2 Black-throated and 1 Red-throated Divers all being new for the year. I managed one superb pic of the Black-throats, clearly good enough even to rule out Pacific Diver, just check out that clean throat and the crown profile

Award-winning camera skillz...
Also trawled through the great heaps of washed up seaweeds finding Dabberlocks Alaria esculenta in good quantity and a few Cuvie stipes with the encrusting red alga (or pinky-purple to be precise) Melobesia membranaceae, both being lifers for me. 

Must be a deep water species, only ever see it washed in after storms
Also found on the Cuvie stipes were lots of weird and wonderful looking bryozoans. I took a batch back with me but couldn't say I was convinced with the IDs of several. However, I was happy with two that were new for me - Callopora lineata and Disporella hispida. Here's a pic of the latter

Disporella hispida alongside the ridged tubes of Janua pagenstecheri
Still on the shore, but above the beach itself, I found a large patch of Yellow Iris pushing through the damp soil and Silverweed is coming through too, both new for the year. I found a dock leaf full of a fruiting microfungus and took that back for a bit of microscopy. 

Turns out to be the very common Venturia rumicis, yet another lifer for me
The next day whilst I was painting a wall, I had a Meadow Pipit fly low overhead - calling like a goodun but heading south. Probably telling it's mates to turn back. This too was a first for the year. Looking forward to more migrants, plenty of Pied Wagtails this past week, plus another Lesser Black-backed Gull (pure...) but I'm just waiting for Wheatear, Skylark, Twite, waders, hirundines and the warblers now! They'll be here soon. 

401 - Black-throated Diver (bird)
402 - Red-throated Diver (bird)
403 - Great Northern Diver (bird)
404 - Dabberlocks  Alaria esculenta (marine alga) - Lifer
405 - Melobesia membranaceae (marine alga) - Lifer
406 - Callopora lineata (bryozoan) - Lifer
407 - Disporella hispida (bryozoan) - Lifer
408 - Yellow Iris (plant)
409 - Silverweed (plant)
410 - Venturia rumicis (microfungus) - Lifer
411 - Meadow Pipit (bird)


  1. I'm not really into birds but i would love to see some of those divers. Only seen GND once, it was at a local res feeding on White-clawed Crayfish.

  2. Some were coming into decent plumage too, brilliant birds! Only crayfish I've ever seen were in Nicaragua. Yet to see one in Britain, of any species :(

  3. Its a cracking res for fishing mate, if your ever passing i will see if we can catch a trout or two. ;)