Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Tue 27 Apr 2010 Loch Nell

A midweek recording visit to an oak, ash and hazel wood beside Loch Nell.  After months of nothing to look at but lichens, I chose this sheltered south-facing spot as likely to give people a sight of some early flowers and insects.  Wasn't sunny enough for butterflies but there were definitely some flowers - and lots of lichens!

Primula vulgaris

Primroses flowering among the jumble of tree roots and boulders that form the steep loch side.

Loch Nell

A place where it's easier to get to the loch shore.

Loch Nell through the oaks

The loch through oak with ivy.

Oxalis acetosella with mauve flowers   Trigonaspis megaptera gall

A mauve flower of the usually white Wood Sorrel, and a nice find by Olya - galls of the wasp Trigonaspis megaptera on the dormant buds at the base of an oak.

Mammal remains, possibly Wood Mouse

Bones and fur left on moss partway up an oak.  My guess at the victim is a wood mouse.  The culprit will be a bird of some kind.

Opposite: Tree Slug on moss on hazel.

  Lehmannia marginata


Peniophora sp?

A pinkish-brown resupinate fungus covering most of the underside of a large oak branch.  It would not give spores so I can't ID it.  My guess is a Peniophora species.

Exidia glandulosa

I know this one.  Witch's Butter.  On the same oak.

Prunus spinosa

Blackthorn, another early flowerer.  Spring is really here.  It's been a long wait.

Ramalina fastigiata

Still can't ignore the lichens in a wood like this.  There were a lot of Atlantic species on the oaks, ashes and hazels.  But here are some fine clumps of Ramalina fastigiata on Hawthorn.

Diura bicaudata, male and female

A pair of stoneflies found on some loose wood by the loch shore and deftly caught in this plastic container.  I make them Diura bicaudata.  The male is the one with short wings.

Eriophorum vaginatum, flowering  

Returning from the wood through open country, one of the earliest plants to flower is bog-cotton - in this case Harestail Bog-cotton.


This tiny freshwater clam was found by Olya in a small flush of water.  I'd never seen anything like it before but I think it's a Pisidium species, the Fingernail Clam.

Pisidium sp.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer