Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Sun 5 Jul 2009 Portavadie to Eilean Aoidhe

Elophila nymphaeata   Centaurium erythraea

The Brown China-mark moth on a birch leaf.  I was here to do some plant recording in the far south of the vice-county.  The first thing I noticed was that Common Centaury is frequent in the Portavadie area, though scarce in most of Argyll.

Leontodon saxatilis   Leontodon saxatilis

Another plant I don't often see is Lesser Hawkbit, but it was abundant in a couple of roadside gravel patches here.  The outer florets are purplish grey beneath.

Anagallis minima   Lythrum portula

The road from Eilean Aoidhe to Stillaig produced some surprises.  As well as giving me my first sight of an Adder in Argyll - it didn't stop for a photo - the verge and ditch had several interesting plants including the tiny Chaffweed, rather out of focus in this photo, and vast amounts of Water Purslane.

Hypericum elodes   Standing stone near Portavadie

Best of all was the rare Marsh St John's Wort.  I was a bit early for it as it only had this one flower partly open, but the broad frosted leaves were present in quantity, a pleasing sight.

The standing stone is near the path from Pollphail to Low Stillaig.

Mon 6 Jul 2009 Ballachuan, Seil

Autographa gamma   Mystery eggs   Vanessa cardui caterpillar

Just three quick pics from a walk I helped to lead as part of the Atlantic Islands Festival programme.  A Silver Y Moth on a Meadowsweet leaf, some mystery eggs on a rush stem (all suggestions welcome) and one of the many Painted Lady caterpillars that are eating their way through our Creeping Thistle population following the massive invasion of adult butterflies at the end of May.

Tue 7 Jul 2009 Musdale area

Thymus polytrichus, white-flowered form   Trichophorum germanicum, proliferous form

It's not often you see albino Thyme, but here it is along with the normal kind.  Not often you see a proliferous flowerhead on Deergrass either.  Every stem in the tuft had one.

Sparganium natans   Carex limosa

Plants from the richly vegetated margins of East Loch Cnoc Philip: Least Bur-reed and Bog Sedge.

Lobelia dortmanna   Eupithecia virgaureata caterpillar

Water Lobelia from the same loch.  On a heathery bank near the loch edge, this Golden-rod Pug caterpillar was eating Tormentil petals.  Thanks to Reg Fry for help with identifying it.


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer