Saturday, March 31, 2018

Skye - 500 (with minutes to spare!)

I believe the phrase is "eleventh hour", and indeed mine came with just 43 minutes remaining at precisely 11:17pm. Annoyingly, it was something I'd overlooked earlier rather than something amazing on a tree trunk, found whilst lamping in the woods. Though, speaking of lamping in the woods....

Nuctinea umbratica by torchlight at night
According to the Spider Recording Scheme, this is the first record of the species on Skye since "1980-1991", so that's a nice update for them. Even better, and on the same outing after dark, was this fine lady

Steatoda bipunctata - on the shop windowframe! 
As can be seen from the SRS website, this is entirely new to Skye. 

I've been joined by my good friend Tony the last week or so, it's entirely down to him that I went out lamping last night and that I've been pushed into successfully achieving 500 for the square by end of March. I have to say, I'm blown away by it all. 500 - by March!!! I know Ali is storming into the sunset of his home straight already, but it's pretty good going for someone like myself. 

Highlights since my last update have been many and varied. Yesterday, again thanks to Tony's prompting, this fat bugger has made it onto the VC104 list at last, must be massively overlooked!

Glyphipterix haworthana extracted from a Cottongrass seedhead. New for Skye, bizzarely!
I was pretty darned chuffed to finish work, look out the window and see this fine fella sat on the suet ball feeder a week or so back, first time I've encountered it anywhere on Skye

Male Reed Bunting. He pit-stopped for two whole days whilst on passage back to...somewhere! 
A huge surprise (for me, at least) was finding an area of Sphagnum bog that held several dozen Fir Clubmoss plants. I've only ever seen these at the top of Cairngorm and had absolutely no idea they occured in lowland bogs too. Still, that's one of the great things about this 1KSQ mallarkey - you sure do learn a few things along the way! 

Fir Clubmoss in a bog - who'da thunk it? 
So, I'll do a breakdown of my first 500 of the year (haha, cocky bugger or what?) tomorrow. Tony, should you be reading this at some point after journeying back down south again, thank you so much for heading all the way up here (and in the middle of an Ice Age too, good effort!) I hope you had a blast, I certainly did. Ali, Pete and Tim - I'm still stoked at being able to share NG3963 with a decent naturalist, so hurry up and get yer arses on up here! 


  1. Great stuff Seth, well done. Still enduring cool, wet weather with grey skies down here in Norfolk, although it's meant to be warming up a bit from Tuesday onwards, so might start getting more insects. Just looked out the bedroom window and there's a pair of Canada Geese on the fields, new for the year. There's a small flight pool I can see from the window and I'm sort of hoping it might attract a passing pair of Garganey...

  2. Thanks Tim. Canada Goose, yet another mega bird up here. We just get dross (like eagles) up here. You southerners have all the best species...

  3. Well done Seth and also well done on yet more new for Skye records!

  4. Cheers Pete, I suspect we'll all four of us be able to find something new for Skye in June. Place your bets now for who finds the most across the weekend! :D

  5. hurrah! I had every confidence