Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Tue 29 Jun 2004

This morning was the follow-up visit to one of my BTO Breeding Birds Survey squares, the one that is all within a forestry plantation.  As with the first visit, there was less variety of species than last year, but I think that is due to the weather, as it was rather windy and soon became dull, though bright at first.  No use waiting for the ideal day or you'd never get it done.

I did get Heron, Buzzard and Red-throated Diver, but these are likely to be breeding outside the square - certainly the Diver was from a loch in an adjacent square.  The birds of the forest were mostly Willow Warblers, Coal Tits and Wrens, with Chaffinches the next most numerous, and the occasional Robin, Song Thrush and Dunnock.  The vast majority of these are not seen but heard, so identification can be very difficult, and so can the assessement of distance, which one is required to put on the form.

The route ends at some interesting pools but as it was beginning to rain by then I only got a few photos before deciding this was a day to be indoors making inroads into my workload.

Utricularia minor   Marchantia polymorpha ssp polymorpha

Was surprised to find the Lesser Bladderwort (above, left) in flower this early in the year, especially as it has not been particularly warm or sunny of late.  On the right is a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha ssp polymorpha, growing on the muddy pool edge.

Parasemia plantaginis   Parasemia plantaginis   Parasemia plantaginis

This beautiful female Wood Tiger moth deserves pictures from all angles.  It was scrambling about in the grass for quite a while but did not seem inclined to fly.  As usual, the more ordinary a creature's behaviour is, the more mysterious it seems when you think about it.

Unknown moth   Unknown moth

This strange looking moth was also wandering about on grass, but dead grass in this case.  Haven't id'd it yet.  Later: Gill Smith with her usual wisdom suggests that it's a moth just out of the chrysalis which hasn't formed its wings properly yet.  Never thought of that.