Sunday 31 August 2014

Frosted Orange

I've commented before on the sometimes very appropriate and sometimes downright weird vernacular names given mainly by the Victorians to our moths. One I caught last night definitely belongs to the former category, even if it does nowadays sound rather like a delicious sweet! The Frosted Orange moth may not be a sweet but its name is a fitting description of this very attractive little insect. This is only the sixth record for the vice-county (Islay, Jura, Colonsay) and the fourth for Islay. The first two were trapped on the RSPB Loch Gruinart reserve in September 2010, then one was caught on Colonsay in August 2011, followed by another there in August 2013. In the same month, David Wood trapped one on the RSPB's The Oa reserve here on Islay.

Friday 22 August 2014

Sunday rAmble - 24th August - Geology walk at the Oa

After a long run of wet and windy weekend weather our programme of Sunday rAmbles have been severely washed out. So this weekend with hopefully dry weather we are hopeful that this Sunday's fascinating geology inspired walk around the monument at the Oa and Dun Athad will attract interest from many quarters. David Webster led a fascinating walk at Kilchiaran last month and will interpret the billions of years of rock formation, some of the oldest rocks in the world are on Islay, formed over the South Pole!
Come along, meet at the RSPB Oa car park at 2pm on Sunday.
Cost £4/person; £10/family; £2 INHT members

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Killinallan family activity 08/08/14

So it was a blustery and rainy day last Friday but against the weather the family activity continued. Although pollinators were few on the ground (although one common frog was very happy with the weather) in the rainy weather we were able to find many wildflowers still showing well, including eye bright, ragged robin, water mint, meadow sweet and harebells.

Out in force in the short grass were the grass of Parnassus flowers bobbing in the wind and looking none the worse for the rain. Although my ID skills helped me through most of the plants on offer at Killinalan I was lost for a few names to species I now remember so to correct that here are a few photos with their names below, forgive the image quality it was a rather miserable day and so I could only do the best that I could.
Silver weed


Self Heal
Sea Plantain

Sunday 10 August 2014

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust visiting Islay

And here is some footage of Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Port Ellen bay just a few days ago


Basking Shark Tag

A Basking Shark tag had come off a shark affectionately known as Finly. Several people, including Lorna and I went in search of said tag - it was near Smaull Farm. The search area covered about 1 km of potentially dangerous terrain though and we did not risk going too far, although we had a thorough, futile scour of part of the safer area. Apparently the tag has been located (by satellite) on its way north - perhaps (and hopefully) Colonsay - so let's hope it turns up somewhere more accessible next time!