Friday, 8 June 2012

Ramble at Bunnahabhain

The rain held off for our ramble this afternoon. Five of us were present and whilst Ben showed us his photos of otters, we scoured the coastline trying to make every lump of seaweed or rock into an otter for Scott, who has never seen one before; alas, we scoured in vain. We may not have seen otters, but we saw plenty of other things. Highlights were Whinchat, clusters of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock caterpillars (some of which we have acquired for the Visitor Centre), Redpoll and a Nursery Wep Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
with a huge egg sac.

I found some information about the Nursery Web Spider from the British Arachnological Society's webpage as follows:

A female carries her large eggs sac beneath her body, held in the jaws. Prior to the spiderlings hatching she fixes it to some plants and spins a silken tent around it and then stands guard. It is the distinctive tents that give her away. She guards the eggs and spiderlings, giving rise to the English name of Nursery Web Spider.

I have submitted our record to the BAS as the distribution maps showed the species has not been recorded on Islay before. It is, however, a fairly widely distributed species, suggesting that, as with many other genera, it is under-recorded, rather than rare!

Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic contributions today.

Lesser Redpoll, Whinchat, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Whitethroat, Swallow, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Wren, Shag, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Rock Pipit, Linnet

Tormentil, Butterwort, Milkwort, Foxglove, Honeysuckle, Silverweed, Meadow Buttercup, Common Nettle, Broad-leaved Dock, Sheep Sorrel, Heath Bedstraw, Round-leaved Sundew, White Clover, Red Clover, Marsh Thistle, Spear Thistle, Bracken, Common Cottongrass, Lousewort, Bell Heather, Rhododendron, Bog Asphodel, Bramble, Hard Fern, Cleavers, Bilberry, Heath-spotted Orchid

Common Frog, Common Toad, Common Lizard, Common Seal

Small Heath Butterfly, Red Admiral Butterfly, Brown-eye Silver-Line, Clouded Buff, grasshopper sp., froghopper sp., Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillars, Peacock Caterpillars, Nursery web spider (Pisaura mirabilis ), Stenodema holsata (Mirid bug), Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum), White-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

Mirid Bug - Stenodema holsata

Common Sandpiper (Photo: Mark Nelson)

Nursery Web Spider, (Pisaura mirabilis)
(Photo: MN)

Whinchat (Photo: MN)

Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars (Photo: Lorna)

Peacock Caterpillars (Photo: Lorna)

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