Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Thu 27 Sep 2007 Taynuilt
Overnight - the first frost. Unexpected this early in the year.
Found indoors - the Canary-shouldered Thorn.
Sat 29 Sep 2007 Isle of Kerrera. Weather overcast with the odd spot of rain.
As it was the first time I'd been to Kerrera I did the standard walk, at least as far as the castle (via the tea-room!), then back to the ferry using different routes where possible. Wonderful place, will go there lots more and visit the less-explored bits. Here is a Rock Dove watching the waves from the castle. At the foot of the cliffs there was a patch of Hemlock, the first time I'd seen it in this part of the world, though it is familiar further south. It had long finished flowering; these are the fruits, but it did have some autumn regrowth at the base with fresh leaves and small umbels of flowers on very short stems.
These tiny leaves belong to Slender Parsley-piert, which covers the ground for some distance along the edges and centre-line of an island road. The greenish-yellow flowerheads belong to Pineapple Mayweed, normally found in the same kind of habitat, but here growing in shingle at the top of the beach.
Found another dry stone wall for the survey. I was baffled by an unusual feature of its lichens. In the LH pic the upright podetia belong to a Cladonia species, I don't yet know which one. The one on the right is pink with red bobbles and so is the foliose lichen Parmelia saxatilis that's up against its base. Later on I found another Parmelia saxatilis on a different part of the wall in the same condition, this is shown in the RH pic. The medulla (the material inside the lichen) was also pink instead of its usual white. It turns out that these effects are due to the fungus Marchandiomyces corallinus, which grows on lichens. Thanks to Gill Smith for putting me on the right road and Stuart Dunlop for confirming the ID.
Another unknown Cladonia on the wall; it is one of C rangiformis, furcata, portentosa or ciliata, none of which are noted for growing on walls. I'll get it eventually. Note the shoots of Red Banana Moss, or in this case Orange-brown and Green banana moss. Finally a Cladonia that I can identify: Cladonia pyxidata, with the tiny stalked brown fruitbodies all round the rims of the cups.
View south-west waiting for the ferry back to Oban.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer