Thursday, April 13, 2017

Skye - first half of April update

Blimey, been a while since I last updated, two weeks in fact. Slowed down a bit in April, it's been relatively cold and wet most days, only sunny while I'm busy at work. Still to see a butterfly and only seen half a dozen individual bees (of one species) in total. Warmth - need more warmth. I did see a White-tailed Eagle today, but it was over a mile south of the square. Still pretty bloody cool to see though!

Plants have been bursting forth and into my recognition zone. Turns out I've been wandering past a mature Wild Cherry and several Rowans without knowing it until the blossom appeared. 

Wild Cherry or Gean (also called Geen, Guin and Guean up here)
Had a few new microfungi, all on living leaves and all worth seeing too. Much nicer-looking than the Milesina genus I targeted in March. 

Peyronellaea curtisii on Daffodil leaf
Birds have been moving through on migration with the likes of Wheatear, White Wagtail, Sand Martins, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all being additions (White Wag isn't counted on the tally) whilst Linnet, Starling, Razorbill and Merlin have also made an appearance on the list. 

Merlin - the epitome of the Record Shot...
Despite the generally cool conditions, I did manage to hit some warmth for about an hour or so. Lots of sudden invert activity (needless to say I'd left my net indoors) though I did encounter a loose nest of Drinker larva sunning themselves on dead grass stems

Drinker larva on unknown grass hosting unknown microfungus....
Nothing at all from the sea this past fortnight, tides are wrong at the moment to be very productive. It's also very exposed out there, big jess that I am. Here's a list of the additions. SLOWLY creeping closer to reaching that halfway mark.

454 - Thinobaena vestita (beetle - thanks to Mark Telfer for the ID suggestion) - Lifer
455 - Endrosis sarcitrella (moth)
456 - Meadowsweet (plant)
457 - Water Avens (plant)
458 - Rowan (plant)
459 - Willow Warbler (bird)
460 - Uromyces muscari Bluebell Rust (fungus)
461 - Puccinia tumida Pignut Rust (fungus) - Lifer
462 - Razorbill (bird)
463 - Chiffchaff (bird)
464 - Wheatear (bird)
465 - Euthrix potatoria Drinker (moth)
466 - Bracken (plant)
467 - Thale Cress (plant)
468 - Wild Cherry (plant)
469 - Slender Speedwell (plant)
470 - Larinoides cornutus (spider)
471 - Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (plant)
472 - Arctia caja Garden Tiger (moth)
473 - Sand Martin (bird)
474 - Peyronellaea curtisii Daffodil Leaf Scorch (fungus) - Lifer
475 - Glaucous Dog-rose (plant)
476 - Pterostichus niger (beetle)
477 - Pterostichus nigrita (beetle) - Lifer
478 - Octolasion cyaneum (earthworm)
479 - Hydroporus discretus (beetle) - Lifer
480 - Melampsora hypericorum Hypericum Rust (fungus) - Lifer
481 - Merlin (bird)
482 - Linnet (bird)
483 - Starling (bird)
484 - Notiophilus biguttatus (beetle)
485 - Meadow Vetchling (plant)

The weather forecast for the next six days is resolutely sticking at 7 or 8 degrees but the "feels like" temperature never gets above 4 and drops to -1 this Fri/Sat night. Best put the butterflies and beeflies on hold for another week I guess.


  1. I suppose I should, in theory, look for some more microfungi. I really should ... it's so warm and sunny though! ;)

  2. p.s. go out and get Ceratinostoma ostiorum. It's all over the rocks on the shore here. Should be a dawdle. Big obvious grey dung fly. Jizz like a tall kelp fly. Only one Skye records looks like

    1. Looks a bit of a chunky monkey, should be able to find it with a bit of effort. Cheers for the heads up! Sitting here with a scarf jammed into the window frame that doesn't close properly, electric heater is on full blast and I'm sipping a nice hot black coffee (no sugar coz I is sweet enough already)and you DARE to mention "warm" and "sunny" in the same sentence? Bah humbug!!! ;)

    2. Which map are you looking at? NBN shows no records for anywhere near Skye. Admittedly that doesn't mean an awful lot....

    3. The Scathophagid recording scheme suggests it may be no further north than Arran on the west coast, Inverness on the east. In which case I'm outta luck. Still gonna go check though, obviously!

  3. Puccinia tumida will be a new one for me. Plenty of Pignut growing down along the river, will have to pay more attention to it. :)