Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Mon 9 May 2011 Glen Nant
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...
... some are crowned with Globe Flowers.
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.
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.
The hoverfly Leucozona lucorum at a Wild
Garlic flower, and the Blue Soldier Beetle, Ancistronycha abdominalis, on a Hazel leaf.
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
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
A new moth visitor to the house, the Lunar Thorn.
Wed 11 May 2011 Appin
Orange Tip butterflies seem to become more numerous every
year, and they are certainly abundant at the moment.
Here's a side view showing their wonderfully patterned
Still on the orange and white theme, the Narrow-leaved
Helleborines are looking good.
Tonight's new moth visitor was the Dark-barred Twin-spot
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer