Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Thu 20 May 2004

Just a quick late evening stroll.  Two trees of the Rose family are coming into flower now, the Bird Cherry (below left) and the Rowan (right)

Prunus padus   Sorbus aucuparia

Fri 21 May 2004

Saw a pair of Long-tailed Tits in Hazel and Willow scrub quite close to home - hope they're nesting there.

The unfolding ferns make interesting shapes.  On the left, the Hard Fern (fertile frond) and on the right, the Scaly Male Fern.

Blechnum spicant   Dryopteris affinis

This lone Wood Horsetail (below left) was growing right in the middle of a burn, where the water flows fastest.  In more sheltered damp areas, the Water Avens (below right) is beginning to flower

Equisetum sylvaticum   Geum rivale

Sat 22 May 2004

Tormentil flowers are opening everywhere now (below left).  This plant is very common and grows in a wide range of habitats.  It will continue flowering until autumn.

Potentilla erecta   Lotus corniculatus

Above right are buds of Birdsfoot Trefoil.  The red disappears when they're fully open.

Carex binervis   Luzula multiflora var congesta

The Green-ribbed Sedge, above left, is flowering nicely now.  The top spike is male, the lower one female.  On the right, the Heath Woodrush.

Polygala serpyllifolia   Potamogeton polygonifolius

This Heath Milkwort, above left, had 17 flowers or flower-buds.  The books say if it has over 10 it's Common Milkwort, under 10 its Heath.  This looks very much like a spike of Common Milkwort, but the boggy habitat, the opposite lower leaves, and other factors prove it's Heath.  On the right, the Bog Pondweed flower-spikes are now emerging.

Arctia caja caterpillar   Arctia caja caterpillar

This Garden Tiger caterpillar was on Birdsfoot Trefoil, though I didn't see it eating any.