Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Tue 9 Nov 2004

Was lucky enough to see several Bramblings foraging in Beech trees at the Lump, Portree.

Sat 13 Nov 2004

The weather has been wet but mild for the past week or so, but this afternoon was dry and even sunny for a while.  As a follow up to the 2nd Nov effort I went out for a couple of hours to see what further plants I could find in flower at this time of year.

Hypericum androsaemum   Silene dioica

Two of the most attractive are Tutsan and Red Campion.  The former has a long flowering period beginning in late June, while the latter has two distinct flowering periods, the main one in Spring and the secondary one in Autumn.

Cerastium fontanum   Lotus pedunculatus   Rumex obtusifolius

This Common Mouse-ear, left, and Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil, centre, were the only ones of their species that I've found in flower so far this month.  On the right is Broad-leaved Dock; flowers are common on side-shoots of this species at present though the main infloresence is usually brown and withered.  The flowers are very inconspicuous but they were present on this plant.

Urtica dioica   Dactylis glomerata

Two more plants with inconspicuous flowers: the Stinging Nettle, which is a bit of a cheat as all its styles had turned brown but many of the flowers were otherwise in the flowering state which is very distinct from the fruiting one.  The grass is Cocksfoot which springs up on cut verges and other disturbed places; flowering heads are common on it at present.

Crepis capillaris   Lapsana communis

Many yellow Dandelion-like flowers are still out; as well as the four shown on 2nd Nov, here are Smooth Hawksbeard, left, and Nipplewort, right.  The former can be told by its deeply toothed stem-leaves with backward pointing auricles at the base.  The latter only has about 7-15 florets, much fewer than the rest of the group.  Dandelion itself is flowering too but I forgot to get a picture of it.

Trifolium pratense   Polygala serpyllifolia

Red Clover flowers are still easy to find in grass alongside paths or roads, while those of Heath Milkwort can still be seen among the heather.

Ulex europaeus   Hedera helix

On 2nd Nov I expressed surprise at finding no flowers on the Gorse; it certainly has some now, and will continue to do so until June.  The Ivy is an autumn flowerer.

Persicaria maculosa   Senecio vulgaris

Finally a couple of weeds of cultivated ground: Persicaria and Groundsel.

These added to the 34 on 2nd Nov make a total of 49 plants photographed in flower in November so far.  In addition I've noticed the following this month during non-botanical outings without a camera.  Tufted Vetch, Meadow Vetchling, Dandelion, Chickweed, Thale Cress, Broad-leaved Willowherb, Tall Oat Grass, Smooth Sow-thistle, Curled Dock, Pineapple Mayweed, Sticky Mouse-ear.  Total 60 seen in flower on Skye this month.  Also yesterday in Kyle I saw what appeared to be Spring Whitlow-grass (Erophila verna).  I'd not previously noticed this short-lived annual popping up in autumn.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer