Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Mon 30 Apr 2012 Dunstaffnage

The first U3A Wild Flower Group walk of the season took place at Dunstaffnage.  It provided the following rather soggy additions to the April Flowers list.

Potentilla anserina


Trichophorum germanicum


Potentilla erecta


Also spotted was Erophila verna s.s. (Common Spring Whitlow-grass) but I didn't get a photo of it.  I did photograph the following two which don't count for the list.

Hyacinthoides x massartiana

The hybrid between the native Bluebell and the garden plant Spanish Bluebell.  It is common near habitations but has not so far posed a serious threat to native Bluebell woods here in the West of Scotland, as it has in other parts of the UK.

Saxifraga granulata

Meadow Saxifrage, native to Scotland but not to the West Highlands, and introduced at Dunstaffnage.  Cuckoo Pint is another native plant introduced there.

Taynuilt - 3 more to round off the April Flowers list:

Veronica hederifolia

Ivy-leaved Speedwell.  Probably commoner than records suggest.  Gordon Rothero's 1994 VC98 flora gives only 4 records and then says "Some doubt remains about the accuracy of these records.  Apparently very rare".  I know it from Taynuilt and Oban, and it may be overlooked elsewhere due to its early flowering and inconspicuous nature.

Prunus padus

Bird Cherry beginning to open.  Plentiful at Taynuilt.

Myosotis arvensis

Field Forgetmenot

Thu 3 May 2012 Benderloch

Benderloch pools

The gravel pit pools, showing how much they've dried out recently due to lack of rain.

Viola riviniana

Pale dwarf versions of Dog Violet colonizing bare gravel that is normally underwater.

Equisetum fluviatile

Water Horsetail.  The brownish lower part of the stem with white internodes shows how far the water level has fallen.

Potamogeton natans

Jointed Pondweed, the brown withered leaves still floating on the pool surface thanks to the hinge-like joint which allows them to adjust to changes in water level.

Calidris alpina

These 3 Dunlin were splashing about in the pools.

Actitis hypoleucos

Several Common Sandpiper were at the gravel pit pools. Not as approachable as the Dunlin.

Haematopus ostralegus

Oystercatchers, just sitting around on the gravel watching the other bird life, same as I was.

Carex arenaria, young shoots

Straight lines in the sand made by shoots arising at close intervals from the long straight rhizomes of Sand Sedge.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer