Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Fri 2 Jan 2009 Ardsheal

Primula vulgaris   Heterobasidion annosum

Several early Primroses in flower today.  Other than that, very wintry.  Bracket fungi are present all year round, this one is Heterobasidion annosum, on dead wood of some unrecognisable fallen tree.

Xylaria longipes   Lecanora expallens

On more unrecognisable tree remains, probably Sycamore, we found these Dead Moll's Fingers (Xylaria longipes).  They are like the well-known Dead Men's Fingers but more delicate, and less often seen.

A line of Larch trees had this powdery greenish lichen, Lecanora expallens, on their south-eastern side.  On the south-west side they had Hypogymnia physodes, Platismatia glauca, and the moss Hypnum andoi.  On the NE side, facing the sea, they had nothing.  This was remarkably consistent from tree to tree down the line.

Mon 5 Jan 2009 Ganavan.  Cold, sunny.

Eurhynchium striatum   Graphis scripta

Eurhynchium striatum with capsules, on the oakwood floor.  Graphis scripta, the archetypal script lichen, on Hazel.

Peniophora incarnata   Parmotrema perlatum

Two from Gorse: the fungus Peniophora incarnata, and the eyelash lichen Parmotrema perlatum.  I find it hard to get the eyelashes to show in photos but you can see some of them in this one; the sorediate lobe tips are also visible.  Other species common on the gorse wood were Parmotrema crinitum, Parmelia saxatilis, Flavoparmelia caperatum, the moss Hypnum andoi and occasional Yellow Brain Fungus.

Went up to the Cemetery Loch, three-quarters of it was frozen, the rest had 8 Tufted Ducks, 2 Mute Swans, 3 Mallard, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Moorhens and a Heron.  For a while two of the moorhens walked about on the ice picking at whatever they could find on its surface.  The loch is probably frozen over completely by now.

Also watched a group of 7 Meadow Pipits pecking at the frozen turf among some sheep. They were clearly benefitting from the animals in some way, as they moved about with them.

Thu 8 Jan 2009 Glen Feochan

Hunting alongside a burn overhung with ash and hazel.  Very rich in lichens and fungi, many of which I haven't yet identified so are not included here at present.

Peltigera collina with apothecia   Byssomerulius corium

Peltigera collina is not often found with fruits, and when it is they are very dark as shown here.  The white fungus on a dead Ash branch overhanging the burn is Byssomerulius corium, the Netted Crust.

Plagiomnium undulatum   Thamnobryum alopecurum

Two mosses from the damp shady ground beside a wooded burn, Plagiomnium undulatum and Thamnobryum alopecurum.

Plicatura crispa

A new fungus for me and a rather attractive one, Plicatura crispa, on Hazel.  The next 3 pics show more detail.

Plicatura crispa

Plicatura crispa   Plicatura crispa

Sat 17 Jan 2009 Isle of Luing

A Seil Natural History Group walk, just a few quick pics.

Hygrocybe coccinea   Cladonia fimbriata

An unseasonal group of Scarlet Waxcaps by the roadside, and the cup lichen Cladonia fimbriata on a fallen rowan.

Diplolepis rosae gall

The Robin's Pincushion gall on a rose stem.  Bright red in summer, it fades to brown in winter.  The inhabitants are still inside; they emerge in spring.


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer