Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Thu 27 Jan 2011

Anthus petrosus   Haematopus ostralegus

Rock Pipit on the shingle between Dunbeg and Connel.

Tue 8 Feb 2011 Taynuilt

Oystercatchers are common on the shore here and sometimes in the fields, but it was unusual to see one on a rock in middle of the River Awe.  The white throat bar is becoming darkened so the bird is about to enter breeding condition.
 

Sat 12 Feb 2011 Kilbrandon to Seaview, Seil.  A Seil Natural History Group walk.

Falco tinnunculus

 

Falco tinnunculus

We had good views of a Kestrel as we assembled at Kilbrandon church for the start of the walk.  At first it was on a house roof, then moved to this ash tree, then as we set off down the road it came in the same direction, pausing now and again for a spot of hovering.
 

Easdale from SW Seil

From the church we walked across to the south-west coast of Seil, and then along the raised beach in the direction of Easdale, which is in a brief window of sunshine ahead of us here.
 

Silene uniflora with prev yr's capsules   Stilbia anomala larva

The cliffs are mostly set well back from the present-day beach, but facing the prevailing wind they catch the salt-laden air, and support sea plants such as the Sea Campion, here with last year's capsules, Buckshorn Plantain and Sea Spleenwort, as well as Juniper, Thyme and other rock-loving species.

This overwintering caterpillar of the Anomalous Moth was found on willow and moved to an adjacent rock for its photo.  It can be recognised by the black dot at each end, just above the broad pale side-stripe.
 

Corvus corax nest   Wind-shaped tree, Seil

We watched a Raven carrying sticks to this nest high in the cliffs.  I'm showing the pic just for the colours on the rocks.  The hilltop tree has been shaped by the westerly winds which batter this coast for much of the time, though they have been a lot less frequent over the past couple of years.
 

Wed 16 Feb 2011 Taynuilt

Fomes fomentarius

This Hoof Fungus had reached a good size when its birch tree fell over, and it then started putting out little horizontal hooves.
 

Trichia varia   Trichia varia

These capsules opening up to release yellow spores were on the underside of a piece of loose birch bark.  They turned out to be the slime mould Trichia varia.  The microscope picture shows the contents of the capsules: round spores and spirally ridged filaments with pointed ends.

 

       
                 

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer