Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Mon 9 May 2011 Glen Nant

Philopotamus montanus

Here's a better pic than last week's of the caddis fly Philopotamus montanus.  It likes fast-flowing streams with rapids so it was no surprise to find it on the banks of the River Nant, which look like this...


But not every rock in the middle of this river is surmounted by a dog...

Trollius europaeus

... some are crowned with Globe Flowers.

Ranunculus auricomus   Viburnum opulus

The humid sheltered banks have a lush ground flora of Wild Garlic, Dog's Mercury, Woodruff, Bluebell and a great variety of other shade-loving plants.  We were looking for old records of Twayblade and Herb Paris but didn't see them in the short stretch of ground we covered.  They may be on the opposite bank.  We did find Goldilocks Buttercup, above left, and Guelder Rose, on the right.  Oak Fern, Wood Speedwell and Stone Bramble were also present.

Prunus padus

The place is leafy from ground level to top of gorge.  Hazel, Oak, Birch, Wych Elm, Rowan, Sallows, Blackthorn and Ash contribute to the greenery, which Bird Cherry punctuates with brilliant sprays of white.

Leucozona lucorum   Ancistronycha abdominalis

The hoverfly Leucozona lucorum at a Wild Garlic flower, and the Blue Soldier Beetle, Ancistronycha abdominalis, on a Hazel leaf.

Jodis lactearia   Gymnopus aquosus

The find of the day was undoubtedly this spectacular moth found by Olya.  Not only had I never seen a sky-blue moth in life before, I'd never seen one in the books either.  It turned out to be the Little Emerald, which normally starts green and quickly fades to white.  This was only the second vice-county record for the species, the first having been made in the same place 38 years earlier.

Mushrooms are a rare sight at the moment but there were quite a number of this kind, in clumps of two or three, under hazel.  After heroic efforts by Dick Peebles and Malcolm Storey on the Scottish Field Mycology forum we nailed it down to Gymnopus aquosus (formerly Collybia aquosa).  Thanks guys.

River Nant

Roll on, you rolling river!  You still hold many secrets.  We hope to glimpse one or two more of them another day.

Tue 10 May 2011

Selenia lunularia

A new moth visitor to the house, the Lunar Thorn.

Wed 11 May 2011 Appin

Anthocharis cardamines

Orange Tip butterflies seem to become more numerous every year, and they are certainly abundant at the moment.

Anthocharis cardamines

Here's a side view showing their wonderfully patterned underwings.

Cephalanthera longifolia

Still on the orange and white theme, the Narrow-leaved Helleborines are looking good.

Xanthorhoe ferrugata

Tonight's new moth visitor was the Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer