Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Skye - I'm a Creep, I'm a Willow...

Made an incredible discovery yesterday, one that I'm really very excited about...the top of the hill in my square is fairly mundane cow-chomped sward with a few undulations and the crofter's house. Fairly uninspiring stuff, though plenty of flowers to be seen. These were both new additions to the tally

Sneezewort-  dotted about in the grassy sward
As Thom Yorke says, "I'm a Creep, I'm a Willow"...
I decided to venture over one uninspiring undulating slope and came to a shocked halt at the sight ahead of me...oh boy, oh boy, oh boy....I think I may have grinned somewhat!

Blody hell - I have a bog in the square!!!!
With a slight 'whoop' I ran down the slope and straight into a brand new habitat, with associated brand new species. Within moments I had recorded Carnation Sedge, Bog Asphodel, Bog Pondweed, Marsh Cinquefoil, Common Cottongrass, Marsh Lousewort, Marsh Speedwell, Star Sedge, Ragged Robin, Marsh Bedstraw, Cross-leaved Heath, Deer-grass and, best of all, Round-leaved Sundews amongst Pale Butterworts with Lesser Clubmoss alongside!!! Here's the proof

This is my favourite square foot of NG3963. AWESOME!!!
I have a thing for carnivorous plants and Pale Butterwort eluded me for many a year. You can imagine the glee on my face when I found these beauties! No idea what the Sphagnums are, I'll get back to them some other time. The whole bog is maybe only a couple of acres in extent but it kept me quiet for some time. The hopper Cicadella viridis was absolutely abundant and a stunning Volucella bombylans landed on a flowerhead nearby. It zoomed off before I could take a pic, but it was very, very smart!
Eventually I quit the boggy hollow and hit Uig Woods. Different habbo, different suite of species. Tree leaves are getting interesting at last with a few lep mines noted

Stigmella floslactella mine on Hazel leaf
Stigmella magdalenae mine on Rowan leaf
Sycamore white Spot Cristulariella depraedans on Sycamore leaf
 Also found in the woods was this monster!

Pedicia rivosa - one very smart cranefly!
All in all it was quite a successful outing. And, rather surprisingly, one that nudged me over the 800 species mark in my 1000 species in a 1km square Challenge. That bog has raised my hopes that amphibians may actually occur in my square. We shall see. Now the list, feel free to skip it!

765 - Plant - Bell Heather (simply overlooked until in flower)
766 - Plant - Viviparous Sheep's Fescue
767 - Plant - Sneezewort
768 - Plant - Creeping Willow
*discovered the boggy area!*
769 - Plant - Carnation Sedge
770 - Plant - Bog Asphodel
771 - Plant - Marsh Cinquefoil
772 - Plant - Bogbean
773 - Plant - Common Cottongrass
774 - Plant - Marsh Lousewort
775 - Bug - Cicadella viridis
776 - Plant - Marsh Violet
777 - Plant - Ragged Robin
778 - Plant - Marsh Bedstraw
779 - Plant - Marsh Speedwell
780 - Plant - Marsh Willowherb
781 - Plant - Cross-leaved Heath
782 - Plant - Bottle Sedge
783 - Plant - Round-leaved Sundew
784 - Plant - Star Sedge
785 - Plant - Bog Pondweed
786 - Plant - Many-stalked Spike-rush
787 - Plant - Pale Butterwort
788 - Plant - Lesser Clubmoss
789 - Plant - Deer-grass
790 - Moth - Antler Moth
791 - Hoverfly - Volucella bombylans
792 - Plant - Red Bartsia
793 - Plant - Short-fruited Willowherb
794 - Plant - Creeping Forget-me-not
795 - Moth - Phyllonorycter coryli 
796 - Cranefly - Pedicia rivosa - Lifer!
797 - Bug - Evacanthus interruptus
798 - Plant - Devil's-bit Scabious
799 - Fungus - Sawadaea bicornis (Sycamore Mildew)
800 - Gall-midge - Dasineura urticae
801 - Moth - Stigmella magdalenae
So, just 200 more species required to complete The Challenge. After that everything is a bonus...


  1. Green with envy - what a cracking find. Got to love P.rivosa. Sphagnum is papillosum? (Paul will know, probably) I'll send you my cut down Sphagnum key. Nice title too.

  2. Couldn't let you have monopoly on ALL the nice titles ;) Sphagnum key gratefully received, ta buddy.

  3. You've got your own bog, I'm so pleased, everyone should have one.