Sunday, April 30, 2017

Skye - End of April

Well the big news is that my 'Fringecups Tellima grandiflora' of mid-April is actually the first known instance of Bishop's-cap Mitella ovalis growing wild in the British Isles! Coolness personified :) Here's a pic of the local BSBI Recorder taking a pic of it

We mapped out quite a few clumps in the end, all proper scientific shizzle! 

After he'd had his fill of Mitella, I showed Stephen around a bit of the square, merrily adding species to the monad (and tetrad) list as we went. In the space of 300 metres I added three new plants to my list - clearly I should be accompanied by an expert botanist more often! First lifer was a confirmation really, Rhubarb. I hadn't ticked it yet but Stephen confirmed the ID so it's on the list now.

Common Whitlowgrass was growing alongside Glabrous Whitlowgrass (lifer!) and a bit further down the lane was a Garden Solomon's-seal growing rather incongruously in the weedy verge at the top of the beach (lifer!) In the woods we checked a few Alchemilla finding Soft Lady's Mantle A.mollis and a single plant of Pale Lady's Mantle A.xanthochlora (lifer!)

Pale Lady's Mantle - glabrous upperside and hairy underside
Other than plants it's been a bit lean. Did see a Green-veined White and a Peacock at last, my first ever butterflies up here! Moths are starting to become more regular at the security lights here with The Streamer and Brindled Ochre being the first records for this part of Skye, the latter also a lifer for me

Brindled Ochre  - a stunning moff. I really need to build myself a trap soon!
507 - Shelduck (bird)
508 - Redwing (bird)
509 - Rhubarb (plant) - Lifer
510 - Reed Canary-grass (plant)
511 - Osier (plant)
512 - Glabrous Whitlowgrass (plant) - Lifer
513 - Garden Solomon's-seal (plant) - Lifer
514 - Oxeye Daisy (plant)
515 - Lyme-grass (plant)
516 - Meadow Foxtail (plant)
517 - Broad-leaved Willowherb (plant)
518 - Soft Lady's Mantle (plant)
519 - Tufted Hair-grass (plant)
520 - Black Currant (plant)
521 - Narrow-fruited Water-cress (plant)
522 - Whitebeam (plant)
523 - Pale Lady's Mantle (plant) - Lifer
524 - Green-veined White (butterfly)
525 - Peacock (butterfly)
526 - The Strteamer (moth)
527 - Brindled Ochre (moth) - Lifer
528 - Brown Rat (mammal)
529 - Golden-scaled Male-fern (plant)
530 - Garden Snail (mollusc - and quite uncommon up here!)

Be nice to hit 600 by end of May, I have no idea if that's achievable or not but it's a target number to aim towards. And the weather, dare I say it, is looking ok for the next few days at least...


  1. A lot of moths can be recorded just by wandering around at night with a head torch and net. Even without a net (bit late now maybe) just looking at willow catkins or bramble flowers at night will add a few species.

    1. Getting most of mine from searching the white walls in the vicinity of security lights! I have a torch though, may strap it to my head and go a-wandering...

    2. You want one of these:

    3. Last time you recommended something to me I ended up buying a microscope...not complaining mind, it's been well worth the money.

    4. Whilst we're talking Vipers and what I want....

    5. I'd never get all my kit in the boot

  2. Love the Brindled Ochre. Not been one on my patch since 1958. Well done on the plant as well.

    1. I read that as you hadn't seen one on your patch since 1958 :) I loved it too, first for me and first for Trotternish. I have to thank the BSBI chap for the plant, I was happy with his ID of Fringecups, though I would have eventually realised something was wrong when the petals didn't develop any further and turn red!