Monday 29 September 2014

This moth uses a calendar!

On 30th September 2010, I caught this attractive moth, the Green-brindled Crescent, in my garden in Bruichladdich. It was the first record for Islay. On 28th September 2013, I caught another - the second record for Islay. Now, on 29th September 2014, I have caught my third (and Islay's third). I find the coincidence of dates quite remarkable.

Friday 26 September 2014

Free for Kids day!

We had lots of children visiting us today at the Natural History Centre in Port Charlotte. Everyone enjoyed feeding the fish and lobster, holding the starfish and crabs. It's been a busy and fun season and we look forward to seeing you all again next year. Don't forget to tell your friends!


Tuesday 23 September 2014

Art Exhibition

The Islay Natural History Trust is proud to be the host of a small Wildlife Art Exhibition for this week only. Paintings on display are mainly by local artists, George Jackson and Robert Davison, and are for sale. Fifty per cent of the money raised will go towards the INHT. Come and see some excellent portraits of some of Islay's beautiful wildlife.

Thursday 18 September 2014

More moths

This is my 6th year of moth trapping in my garden, and I have been surprised at how many new species I keep getting, including two this week, the Black Rustic for which there are eight previous records on Islay, plus further records on Colonsay and Jura, and Setaceous Hebrew Character, with just four previous records, all on Islay. The former is indeed very blackish, while part of the wing markings of the latter are supposed to look like a character in Hebrew.
Black Rustic
Setaceous Hebrew Character,

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust on tour!

On Monday just gone the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust gave a great talk at the ICCI as part of their tour of the Islands. Sightings Officer Connor Ryan told us about the natural history of whales and dolphins in the Hebrides, and about recent research results from the area. He also emphasised how important (and easy!) it is to report sightings to them, and showed us how to identify the different species we might see here. I've already submitted my sighting of a Basking Shark off Frenchman's Rocks in August! If you missed the talk they'll be visiting other Islands throughout the month, so if you happen to be there it's well worth attending. Tonight they'll be giving the talk on Coll, followed by Tiree tomorrow, and then Easdale and Seil, Arisaig and Mallaig, Canna, Eigg, Elgol and Dunvegan - see for dates and details. I'll certainly be keeping a lookout on my next ferry trip! Mandy.
Bottle-nosed Dolphins

Tuesday 9 September 2014

More photos from Sunday's rAmble

Here are some more of the photos from Sunday's rAmble to the Lily Loch.
Bearded Lichen

Slug eating a Russula

Broom Moth caterpillar


Grey Coral Fungus

Hard Fern

Pleurotellus porrigens

White Helvella

Finding fungi was fun!

Well what a beautiful afternoon it turned out to be for Sunday’s Lily Loch rAmble. Blue skies above, fungi at our feet, what more could you want? Thanks to Alistair’s IDing prowess, plus the eagle-eyed spotters in our merry band, we saw lots of different fungi, some we’d never seen before! Here are a few photos of what we came across including Artist’s fungus, so-called because if you score the underside it turns dark so you can ‘draw’ on it…

Artist's Fungus

Other things spotted were non-fungal but equally interesting – a Bearded Lichen, a Broom Moth caterpillar, a Hard Fern, lots of dragonflies and a stunning hoverfly… and the lovely Lily Loch on my first but not my last visit to this area. More photos to follow. Thanks to those who came along! Hope to see you on next Sunday’s rAmble from the airport to Knockangle point.


Friday 5 September 2014

A wee taster for the walk to the Lily Loch on Sunday.

I had a quick wander down the path on Thursday to see what might be waiting for us on the INHT's rAmble this Sunday 7th September. 

So to spark your appetite for the walk, the heathers are in bloom full spectacle and lovely, other late summer flowers too, in the wood tit flocks and lots of calling goldcrests. 

At the loch the lilies are lovely with moorhens paddling amongst them.  To top it a peregrine flew from the trees, obviously just fed with a bulging crop. 

I went in hope of fungi, and a few specimens were available, this rain today may just wet the ground enough to encourage a few more for Sunday.

Come along for a pleasant wander and social appreciation of the natural history.  We will meet at 2pm in the big layby between Caoila road end and the top of Port Askaig hill.