Islay peatlands just now?
INHT has started its rounds on the breeding bird surveys, we have been contracted to undertake of the SAC sites adopted by ACT/CANN (Argyll countryside Trust & Collaborative Action for Natura Networks). This gives me a great opportunity to escape the computer and emails and get out and see what stage nature is at in the season.
It also provides an opportunity to inspire people to start exploring
|Cast Northern Eggar moth cocoon|
|Bleached hummock of Sphagnum capilifolium|
|Sphagnum cuspidatum in the edge of a dubh loch|
This was sadly
evident walking the bog this week, each footstep heard with a rustle and a
crunch of dry parched vegetation. Where
the Sphagnums should have been soft and full of colour they are bleached from
the sun and form a dry crust, particularly on the hummock forms that cannot
draw moisture up so easily from deeper layers of peat. The small sphagnum pools
which should have been under water were empty with a slight moist layer of Sphagnum cuspidatum, those in the edges
of the dubh lochs moist and plump. As a
walker there were no dilemmas about which was the driest route or how to get
over the wide soft squelchy bits without water going over my wellies!
Male flowers of Willow (a dioecious plant, the male and female flowers are on separate plants)
|Hare's-tail Cotton Grass|
|Common Cotton Grass head |
with dangling male anthers
|Common Cotton Grass |
(female stigma at top of head)
|Cones of Bog Myrtle|
|Feur Lochain pools|