Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Sun 7 Jun 2009 Glencoe - 2nd day of Scottish Bryology meeting.

In keeping with new "latest first" policy I'm making a page for 7 & 8 Jun even though I haven't yet done a page for 6 Jun, the first day of the bryology meeting.  I hope to get the 6 Jun page done very shortly.

Gymnomitrion obtusum   Gymnomitrion crenulatum

Two similar-looking liverworts on the same rock, the pale Gymnomitrion obtusum and the dark Gymnomitrion crenulatum.

Nardia scalaris   Orthothecium rufescens

Another liverwort with a similar habit, but this time pinkish, Nardia scalaris.  And the brightly coloured moss Orthothecium rufescens in a deep crevice in a rocky gorge.

Grimmia torquata   Grimmia torquata

Grimmia torquata forms large smooth-looking olive-green cushions, but a closer view shows the densely packed shoots with white hair-pointed leaves.

To be honest I didn't have much brain capacity for bryophytes on the second day after learning so much on day 1.  Also on this second day we were in my vice-county, so I was busy recording all the vascular plants in every square we went through.  Plus, it being summer, there were moths and dragonflies to compete with the mosses.  This Argent and Sable moth was spotted by Sallie Jack.  I didn't have the moth camera with me so the pic is rather small, but I was happy enough to see the species for the first time.

Good vascular plants found included Few-flowered Sedge, Green Spleenwort, Brittle Bladder Fern, Wood Cranesbill, Starry Saxifrage, Mountain Sorrel and Globe Flower.  It's a lot easier to keep your mind on bryos in the winter. 

Mon 8 Jun 2009 Seil to Jura

A Seil Natural History Group boat trip run by David Ainsley of Sealife Adventures.  The weather was glorious, the scenery stunning.  The route was similar to that taken on the Dec 2007 trip.  Once again we saw Sea Eagles and a Golden Eagle, seals and a great many seabirds, this time including Gannets, Kittiwakes and Terns, which are absent in winter; all gave great views of their fishing techniques.  We also saw many Harbour Porpoises.  In one place these came very close to the boat, so that we could see them underwater as well as when they briefly broke surface, but they were too quick to capture on camera.

Didn't take many photos, just wanted to relax and enjoy it.  Here are a few I did take.

Rissa tridactyla

Kittiwakes showing us where the shoals of fish were; we hoped they might attract Minke Whales but we saw no cetaceans except porpoises.

Uria aalge   Rissa tridactyla

Guillemots and a Kittiwake

Phoca vitulina

Common Seals

Phoca vitulina   Haliaeetus albicilla

Closer view of Common Seals, distant view of Sea Eagle

Sula bassana


Capra hircus

Feral Goat


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer