Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Fri 4 Dec 2009 Seil

Basidioradulum radula   Ascocoryne cylichnium

This is the Toothed crust, Basidioradulum radula, on a Rowan branch, that we saw on the Nov midweek walk in the rain.  I went back to take its photo while passing the spot.

Mon 7 Dec 2009 Taynuilt

The purple jelly fungus is Ascocoryne cylichnium, growing on a dead tree, probably birch or beech.
 

Wed 16 Dec 2009 Inverawe

A couple of lichens we haven't had before.

Hypotrachyna revoluta
Hypotrachyna revoluta

Hypotrachyna taylorensis
Hypotrachyna taylorensis
 

Cladonia furcata

A scene from the humid woods in the River Awe valley between Inverawe and the main road.  The shrubby bluish lichen is Cladonia furcata, with Bilberry stems in front of it, the red liverwort Frullania tamarisci behind it to the left, and the Common Dog Lichen (Peltigera membranacea) to the right surrounded by the moss Hylocomium splendens.
 

Phlebia radiata

The Wrinkled Crust fungus, Phlebia radiata, on dead Beech.
 

Tue 29 Dec 2009 Dunollie.  A Seil Natural History Group midweek recording walk.  Cold fingers not good for photos.

Mull from Dunollie

View towards Mull from Dunollie
 

Turdus philomelos   Hypoxylon fragiforme

The woods were full of birds trying to scrape a living from the frozen land.  This Song Thrush went round and round the base of this tree pecking at crevices in the bark.  We also saw a Red Squirrel, full of energy as usual.

The pepperpot fruitbodies of the Beech Woodwart were found on a fallen beech branch.
 

Ganoderma australe   Ganoderma australe

A group of dead beeches had some spectacular examples of Ganoderma australe, the Southern Bracket.  In the RH pic a bird has made a very cosy looking nest beneath the bracket.
 

Halyzia 16-guttata   Halyzia 16-guttata

These Orange Ladybirds were hibernating in and around burrs on a beech tree.
 

Pyrenula macrospora   Nephroma laevigatum agg

The lichen Pyrenula macrospora is easy to recognise with its white-dotted thallus and black domed perithecia with a tiny hole in the top.

The lichen in the RH pic is a Nephroma growing on rock and covered with folioles, which makes it key out to the rare N tangeriense in the 2009 Lichen Flora.  Following discussion on the Scottish Lichenology forum, however, it's clear that most examples like this belong to the commoner N laevigatum, and that the book is misleading in this regard.  This specimen awaits determination.
 

The temperature has remained below zero for weeks.  On 20 Dec I had a Yellowhammer at the bird feeders for the first time, followed by 3 the next day.  On 23 Dec a Siskin appeared; last winter there were none till late Feb.  On the same day Goldfinches returned to the feeders after a month's absence, and Bramblings were in the beechwood at Inverawe.
 

       
                 

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer