Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Thu 21 Aug 2008 South Shian

Juncus maritimus   Colocasia coryli caterpillar

We've not had the Sea Rush on the site before.  It's not all that common this far north, but there is a fine stand of it at Shian.  The brick-red cattie on Grey Willow is the Nut-tree Tussock, whose imago we had on 17 May.

Fri 22 Aug 2008 Insh Island

Approaching Insh

Approaching the shores of Insh Island, past the seal haulout of Sgeir Beul na h-Uamhaidh.

Calluna vulgaris   Parnassia palustris

Heather (in the foreground) and Bell Heather (background) gave the island splashes of colour, and there were still many herbaceous plants in flower, such as this Grass of Parnassus.

Filipendula ulmaria   Lythrum salicaria

Meadowsweet and Purple Loosestrife were among the more conspicuous plants of the wetter patches.

Silene uniflora   Aster tripolium var tripolium

Sea Campion and Sea Aster brightened the shoreline.

Lotus corniculatus   Maniola jurtina

The fruits of Birdsfoot Trefoil show how the plant gets its name.  Several kinds of butterfly were seen including this Meadow Brown.

Campanula rotundifolia   Ramalina siliquosa

A harebell growing in a rock crevice.  Tall cliffs on the north-east side of the island are festooned with the Sea Ivory lichen.

Fri 29 Aug 2008 Lachlan Bay, Cowal

Autographa gamma caterpillar   Episyrphus balteatus

The caterpillar of the Silver Y Moth, feeding on the bracteoles of Spear-leaved Orache.  We had the adult moth at the same time of year in 2004.  There are influxes of immigrants throughout the summer, which breed here for one or more generations till the frosts, but very few survive the winter..  The whole life cycle from egg to adult only takes about 8 weeks. (Porter 1997)

The insect on Autumn Hawkbit is the Marmalade Hoverfly, an easy one to recognise.


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer