Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Fri 10 Feb 2012 Taynuilt
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.
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.
The Frilly-fruited Jelly Lichen, Leptogium burgessii, and the
Floury Dog Lichen, Peltigera collina.
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
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.
Closer view of Graphis scripta. Who says humans invented writing?
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.
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.
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