Monday, 17 August 2015

It's an Ard life....

What glorious weather we had for our weekly Sunday afternoon rAmble yesterday - blue skies, warm sun, calm seas....who needs the Med!

View from the Ard
We set off for a stroll round the Ard, which for anyone who hasn't visited yet is an area to the south of the bay at Port Ellen. And what a beautiful spot it is. The views are lovely, and there are wildflowers in abundance.

Swan Pool
Why it's called Swan Pool
Amongst other things we saw this Wood Sage, a new one for me, as well as various marsh wildflowers like Bog Asphodel and Marsh Cinqfoil - see end for full list.

Wood Sage
Plenty of insects around too, like this Grayling butterfly, and this beautiful Emperor Moth caterpillar.

Grayling - can you spot it?
Emperor Moth caterpillar
Lots of 6-Spot Burnet moths buzzing around too, including this one that looked like it might be newly emerged, as well as lots of Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on ragwort.

6-Spot Burnet moth
Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on Ragwort
All in all a lovely walk - thanks to Fiona for leading it and thanks too to those who came along for your very enjoyable company! Mandy

Plants: Greater knapweed, ragwort, red bartsia, yarrow, eyebright, self heal, tormentil, daisy, red clover, white clover, cat's ear, marsh pennywort, marsh ragwort, marsh thistle, sphagnum moss, bird's foot trefoil, ling heather, bell heather, willow, bramble, wood sage, buttercup, devil's bit scabious, ladies' bedstraw, scented mayweed, meadowsweet, marsh cinqfoil, marsh lousewort, bog pimpernel, bog asphodel, yellow flag iris, english stonecrop, blackthorn, goosegrass, reindeer moss, spear thistle.

Insects: Emperor moth caterpillar, cinnabar moth caterpillar, 6-spot burnet moth, grayling butterfly, common blue butterfly, ringlet butterfly, small heath butterfly, green-veined white butterfly, meadow brown butterfly, soldier beetle, carder or moss carder bee, ants' nest, cranefly,

Birds: Shag, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, swallows.

Mammals: Seals.

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