Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Fri 10 Feb 2012 Taynuilt

Larus glaucoides

There's been an influx of Iceland Gulls to the west coast following the stormy weather of the last 2 months.  This is a second-winter bird spotted by Annie Steel on my local beach at the mouth of the River Awe.  Conditions were very dull and I had to approach it across a lot of slippery seaweed, so the picture quality is not the best.

Sun 19 Feb 2012 North Cuil, by Duror.

A lichen training day with Andy Acton and Anna Griffith.  All lichens are on Hazel except where stated.  Thanks to Andy and Anna for the id's.

Lobaria scrobiculata   Degelia cyanoloma

Some lichens had dried out and were in unfamiliar colours - the first pic shows Lobaria scrobiculata which normally has a dark blue-grey appearance.  On the same tree was Degelia cyanoloma, showing the dark fruits and concentrically-ringed lobes that distinguish it from D plumbea.

Leptogium burgessii   Peltigera collina

The Frilly-fruited Jelly Lichen, Leptogium burgessii, and the Floury Dog Lichen, Peltigera collina.

Parmotrema crinitum

Desperate Dan


  Dimerella lutea

Tinned Apricots


Crustose hazel lichens   Crustose hazel lichens

Young hazel poles covered with crustose lichens.  On the LH one, most are Pyrenula laevigata but the brownish-pink one is Arthonia cinnabarina and the white one above it is Thelotrema petractoides.  On the RH pole the orange-brown ones are Pyrenula occidentalis, the ones like writing are Graphis scripta and the greenish one to the right of centre is Pertusaria leioplaca.

Pyrenula laevigata

Close-up of Pyrenula laevigata.  Many crustose lichens have a thick black line where two thalli meet, but this one has a line of dots instead, making it easy to recognise.

Graphis scripta

Closer view of Graphis scripta.  Who says humans invented writing?

Graphis alboscripta   Graphis alboscripta

Find of the day was the very rare Graphis alboscripta, spotted by Anna and not previously known from this site.  It occurs nowhere in the world except in west of Scotland hazelwoods.  It's the large white patch in the centre in the LH pic, shown in close-up on the right.  The lirellae are similar to those of Graphis scripta but without black in the furrows.

Corylus avellana stool spreading from hollow centre

Andy showed us this example of a hazel stool whose poles are beginning to diverge, leaving the centre empty.  This process can continue indefinitely until after hundreds of years there is a ring of hazels many yards apart that show no obvious signs of a common origin.  Rather like a fairy ring of mushrooms but on a much longer timescale.

Cetrelia olivetorum   Megalaria pulverea

Two lichens on oak, Cetrelia olivetorum, whose white dots distinguish it from Parmotrema and its allies, and Megalaria pulverea, rather unusual for a crustose lichen in that it grows over mosses instead of vice versa.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer