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.
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.
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
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:
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.
Bird Cherry beginning to open. Plentiful at Taynuilt.
Thu 3 May 2012 Benderloch
The gravel pit pools, showing how much they've dried out
recently due to lack of rain.
Pale dwarf versions of Dog Violet colonizing bare gravel that
is normally underwater.
Water Horsetail. The brownish lower part of the stem with
white internodes shows how far the water level has fallen.
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.
These 3 Dunlin were splashing about in the pools.
Several Common Sandpiper were at the gravel pit pools. Not as approachable
as the Dunlin.
Oystercatchers, just sitting around on the gravel watching the other bird
life, same as I was.
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