Thursday, April 26, 2018

Skye - 600

Managed to hit 600 before month end, which was my goal for April. After a couple of nice warm days the weather has turned crap again with cold winds and lots of wet (and occasionally frozen) stuff dominating both days and nights of late. The moth trap filled with rain twice but defied being blown away again after I moved it to a slightly more sheltered spot. But I have snuck out and about a few times, usually with a woolly hat on my head - definitely no swishing of my butterfly or sweep nets just yet! The Glaucous Gull was on the beach again today, looking slightly odd with a small flock of Sand Martins wheeling over the waves just behind it.

This trunk is a fly magnet (when the sun shines....)
Cheilosia pagana from that very tree trunk - note the zygoma, common to all Cheilosia

A stonefly on!
That big plate thing over-reaching the 8th sternite makes it a female Nemoura cinerea
Puccinia tumida on Pignut - I'm seeing quite a bit of this lately
The light trap has only been run twice in the last week, still a handful of Ophion scutellaris and Ophion obscuratus to be found, moths have pretty much dwindled to just a few Noctuid species with Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab making up the bulk of the catch. Red Chestnut is seemingly almost over, Early Grey too. Did manage this smart fella though

Early Tooth-striped - just had two of these so far
Up at the Sphagnum bog I came across several of these hairy beasties

This is what my beard looks like nowadays - which is why I've started shaving again
Also, it just wouldn't be spring on the croft without these guys!

Scathophaga stercoraria busy making more Scathophaga stercoraria
So that's me up to 604 species and I've still to see a butterfly this year. Cuckoo song can be heard wafting down from the hill above the house, though I've yet to clap eyes on it yet. Corncrake is back on Skye, one was heard a few days back on another part of the island. Will this be the year I have one in the square? Oh - almost forgot, had my 100th bird species for the square earlier this week. Twite, four of them drinking at a puddle just 30ft away. Lovely, it's not often I get to use the expression "flocking Twite" in context :)


  1. Well done on the 600 plus Twite is a very smart bird to bring up your 100 for the square.

  2. Cheers Pete, was my 75th bird for the year, precisely 3/4 way to achieving my 2018 target of 100. Reckon I've a few bankers due - any tern, House Martin, Little Grebe, a scoter, a lost Osprey, any number of waders that could turn up - Dunlin, Knot, Barwit, Willet....that'd be nice! My money's on Whinchat, Tree Pipit and Grasshopper Warbler before the end of May, fingers crossed. The top Skye lister has over 200 species on his list - though over many years and not all from a single square either!

  3. Three of us over 600 in April, pretty amazing. And May might heat things up even more? Like your Twite, only ever seen one here at Horsey.

  4. I'm going to have to try this again some year aren't I? Currently on about 580 this year, but not within the 1 km sq. And since it got sunny am deliberately trying to resist collecting lots of things, to focus on sawflies. Think I need to move house, then have another go. Current plan is west Cornwall, maybe in 5 years or so. (But the best laid plans of mice and men....)

  5. Nice update and congrats on the 600. I've been spending a lot of time scanning sunny tree trunks of a morning! Seems I should have also spent some time looking at pignut