Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Mon 6 Aug 2012 Taynuilt

Phaedon tumidulus

Celery Leaf Beetle, Phaedon tumidulus, was in great crowds on Hogweed stems.


Sat 11 Aug 2012 Ben Sgulaird

From SNHG forum:

Comment by Carl Farmer on August 11, 2012 at 21:13

Ben Sgulaird

Perfect weather to be on the mountains today, sunny with a good breeze.  Chris, Robin, Richard and I set off up Beinn Sgulaird hoping to re-find two very rare plants recorded there long ago by Alf Slack: Purple Oxytropis and Arctic Sandwort.  After a long hunt we finally found them.  Inevitably it was Chris who spotted both of them.  There was just one shoot of the Sandwort, but many patches of the Oxytropis, not showing any sign of flowering however.  This is probably the highest site in Britain for it and I don't know if it ever flowers there.  It was first found on Ben Sgulaird in 1767 and no-one was able to find it since until Alf Slack in 1958.  It was last seen there in 1991 so it's good to know it's still thriving.

Carl

 

Arenaria norvegica

Arctic Sandwort

  Oxytropis halleri, vegetative

Purple Oxytropis


Spot the bird - don't scroll beyond next pic...
See if you can see the bird in the picture below, without looking at the next picture after it.

Lagopus muta

I couldn't see the bird in this scene for ages although Robin was pointing straight at it.  See next pic for closer view.
 

Lagopus muta

Ptarmigan, a master of camouflage.  And when the hills turn white in winter, so do they.
 

Asplenium viride

Green Spleenwort, luxurious growth on limestone rock, Ben Sgulaird.


Tue 14 Aug 2012 Glen Euchar

Rob Lightfoot found literally hundreds of Vapourer moth cocoons in an area of open moorland above Glen Euchar today, also hundreds of caterpillars of various sizes and the odd adult moth, showing that though they all like to pupate in the same place they do so over an extended period of time.  I had never seen anything like this before, just the odd individual.

Orgyia antiqua, larva

Vapourer Moth caterpillar
 

Orgyia antiqua, cocoon   Orgyia antiqua, cocoon

Vapourer Moth cocoon, and its underside, incorporating hairs from the caterpillar.
 

Orgyia antiqua, adult male

Male adult Vapourer moth, one of the first to emerge from the huge colony of cocoons.
 

Gymnosporangium clavariiforme gall on Crataegus mongyna

Fungal gall of Gymnosporangium clavariiforme on Hawthorn
 

Deilephila elpenor, larva

Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar eating flowers of Fireweed
 

       
                 

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer